Genesis 6:5-7 “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. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”
When my friend, Phil, got saved he began reading through his Bible starting with Genesis. One day while we were discussing his thoughts about his reading, he observed that – “all those guys (the patriarchs) were dirty, rotten, low-life scumbags.” I thought that was pretty insightful.
They were no different than we are and we have a problem. It is our sin nature. It is universal. We are Dirty. We are Disgusting. The reformers called it Depravity.
The prophet described us like this: “But we are all like an unclean thing” (Isaiah 64:6). By using the phrase, “an unclean thing,” he may have been alluding to the disease of leprosy.
Leprosy is a stinking, reeking mass of rotting, dead flesh. It is disgusting; it is repulsive with oozing puss and blood. Imagine that someone would attempt to cover his leprosy with fine white silk garments. That wouldn’t change the facts. The rotten, diseased flesh would still stink and immediately the uncleanness would begin to bleed through the fabric. The result would be that the fine silk would become as corrupt as the man.
And that is exactly how God sees men who attempt to clean themselves up and cover the disease of their sin with their own good works. The prophet continues, “All our righteousnesses (good works) are become as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). That is our scriptural description and position as sinners before God converts us.
As my friend, Phil, said, “We are all dirty, rotten, lowlife scumbags.” And God’s anger and wrath are on us.
But there is hope. After His universal pronouncement of the depravity of the entire human race in Genesis 6:5-7, God intervenes with this good news; “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8).
What is the remedy? It is God’s sovereign, saving grace that is demonstrated by His love through a purposeful act of mercy. “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).