We looked last week at the heart’s first mention in scripture:

  • And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

Today we’ll take a look at its next occurrence:

God’s response:

Repented, or nacham in Hebrew, means:

  • to sigh, i.e. breathe strongly
  • to be sorry i.e. (in a favorable sense) to pity, console, or rue
  • to avenge (unfavorably)

To repent means to make a strong turning to a new course of action.

This scripture forces me to pause. In Genesis 1:31, God, after making man in his own image, beheld everything he’d made and declared it to be good. But after the fall and when men began to multiply, what he saw no longer seemed good.

He sighed.

When are sighs ever a good sign?

My husband says I have mastered the art of the sigh. As proficient as I may be at it, I can’t imagine how God’s sounded as he looked upon man’s wickedness and the evil imaginations of our hearts.

“…it grieved his heart.”

Here were learn something extremely important.

  • God has a heart

In fact, this Hebrew word used for God’s heart is the very same one we discussed last week used for man’s heart; leb.

Perhaps this isn’t a startling revelation, but I supposed I never viewed God’s heart quite like my own. I didn’t necessarily see him as having feelings, affections or desires in the way I do.

We also learn through this verse:

  • God’s heart can be grieved

That is to mean, (atsab in Hebrew) in a bad sense:

  • to worry
  • pain
  • anger

Seeing God’s heart respond in such a way opened my understanding of God to a degree. It made Him all the more personal, relateable, and understandable.

When we enter into a relationship with someone, we don’t want to do anything that might cause those types of responses. Nor do I want, in my relationship with God, to cause in Him these type of responses.

Until seeing God’s heart as real as my very own, I wasn’t aware I could produce such a response from Him.

The way this verse reads, you would almost think this took Him by surprise, and yet, we know God from His word to be omniscient, or knowing everything. He declared the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done. (Isaiah 46:10)

But, does that mean God cannot feel or be moved by our actions?

Clearly God was. Genesis 6:7 goes on to tell just how moved He was:

The evil thoughts of man’s heart evoked a very strong emotion in God. So much so, it caused him to destroy man from the face of the earth.

This was obviously the unfavorable response in God’s repentance of creating man.

Join me next week to see God’s favorable response.


For reflection and response: Do these verses affect your view of God? If so how?



    1. Hi Amy, thank you so much for taking time to stop by and read! I started this study over six years ago and I’m just beginning to understand the heart and it’s importance. I’m so thankful this helped you my friend!