Last week we looked at God’s unfavorable response to man’s wickedness.

  • And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Genesis 6:6
  • I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth… for it repenteth me that I have made them. Genesis 6:7

God’s heart was so grieved that twice, scripture states, He was sorry He even made man. So He destroyed His creation.


God’s favorable response to the situation was to establish a covenant with a man named Noah who had found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:8,18) Despite God’s grieved heart, He didn’t utterly destroy mankind. Through Noah, ultimately, you and I also found grace.

We’ve discovered through this study so far the condition of man’s heart. We’ve taken a look at God’s heart and seen it’s response to the heart of man.

We can clearly see by God’s actions that from the heart can arise intense emotion that can have intense ramifications.

Let’s continue our look into the heart.


And the Lord smelled...

Noah built an altar unto the Lord and offered burnt offerings of every clean beast and foul.

God smelled it and called it sweet. Here we see God’s senses were engaged.

The Hebrew word used for smelled is ruwach:

  • to perceive
  • enjoy
  • smell

From this aromatic offering, God’s heart was moved to make the following decree:

“I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing, as I have done.”

I wonder here what God meant in saying, “For the imaginations of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” What, if anything, did man’s heart being evil from his youth have to do with God’s decree?

Had He reflected on His decision to destroy the human race before Noah?

Did He see or remember that man’s heart was wicked from childhood and thus, without being rescued, would remain so?

I consulted Matthew Henry’s commentary on this and he states the following:

“He (man) is rather to be pitied, for it is all the effect of sin dwelling in him; and it is but what might be expected from such a degenerate race: he is called a transgressor from the womb, and therefore it is not strange that he deals so very treacherously,” Isa. 48:8. Thus God remembers that he is flesh, corrupt and sinful.”



Was it the sacrifice itself that caused God’s heart to make this promise? Was the sacrifice a representation of something to come?

As you can see, as I study the heart myself, I have questions. I like questions though. Questions challenge me to think deeper. They cause me to search, to study, and pray for the answers I seek. Though I may not always have them this side of Heaven, I usually come away with greater wisdom and understanding as I search.

I’d love to hear your take on today’s study?

Have you had some of the same questions? Do they challenge any of your existing thoughts about these verses? How so?


    1. Aren’t they interesting words? I am prone to overlook something that is seemingly simple and yet can say so much. Thank you for reading my friend!

  1. Callie, great job of diving deep into Scripture. I remember my brother telling me that he felt as though Satan won when God saw the evilness in man’s heart and created the flood. However, we have a Savior – Jesus Christ – who saves us from our evil heart.

    1. Hi Susan, thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, I am also so grateful God didn’t leave us in such a condition! Blessings to you sweet friend!