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Does God admit he made a mistake in Genesis 6:5-7?

Discussion in 'Bible Chat' started by HappySoul, Jan 7, 2011.

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  1. <SUP>5</SUP>And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his <NOBR>heart</NOBR> was only evil continually.

    <SUP id=en-KJV-144 class=versenum>6</SUP>And it repented the LORD that he had made <NOBR>man</NOBR> on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. <SUP id=en-KJV-145 class=versenum>7</SUP>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.
  2. This repentance was a change of mind in the way He would deal with man. That was admission of error but rather a response to man's heart and deed.

    From the Vines Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament:

    nacham (H5162), "to repent, comfort." Nacham apparently means "to repent" about 40 times and "to comfort" about 65 times in the Old Testament. Scholars assert several views in trying to ascertain the meaning of nacham by connecting the word to a change of the heart or disposition, a change of mind, a change of purpose, or an emphasis upon the change of one's conduct.
    Most uses of the term in the Old Testament are connected with God's repentance: "...It repented the Lord that he had made man..." (Gen_6:6); "And the Lord repented [NASB, "changed his mind"] of the evil which he thought to do unto his people" (Exo_32:14, KJV). Sometimes the Lord "repented" of the discipline He had planned to carry ou
    t concerning His
  3. Can an unchanging God change his mind?
  4. Larry, I have to respectfully disagree. I do not believe it was a change of mind at all. In fact, I think it is a perfect display of God's love that ultimately leads to Christ. For instance, I do not believe God took joy in sending His Son to die on the cross nor do I believe He wished He could have taken it all back once it happened. However, I believe it still grieved Him at the same time. It was His plan but I do not believe He took joy in it despite this fact. It actually had to happen as did the events in the verses originally posted.

    Have you ever stopped to think that Jesus came from the bloodline he did because of the flood? They were not 2 separate events spanned over thousands of years. The flood was merely setting the stage for the biggest event of all which was the birth of our Lord and Savior.

    I believe it grieved God to see how it was all playing out but I do not believe He changed His mind at all. His sovereign plan was moving forward while His heart ached at the various things that were taking place in the meantime all the way up to the aching heart during the death of His Son.
  5. #5 Boanerges, Jan 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
    Yes. We are made in His image and we change our mind all the time.:shade: Just a quick read of the Old Testament showed God offered Israel a choice between blessing and cursing; life and death. Both of these were tested on a regular basis and the basis of the outcome was reflected in their everyday choices.

    A review of the Vines Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament will give one a full "flavor" of the meaning of "repent" in the old covenant times:

    From the Vines Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament:

    nacham (H5162), "to repent, comfort." Nacham apparently means "to repent" about 40 times and "to comfort" about 65 times in the Old Testament. Scholars assert several views in trying to ascertain the meaning of nacham by connecting the word to a change of the heart or disposition, a change of mind, a change of purpose, or an emphasis upon the change of one's conduct.
    Most uses of the term in the Old Testament are connected with God's repentance: "...It repented the Lord that he had made man..." (Gen_6:6); "And the Lord repented [NASB, "changed his mind"] of the evil which he thought to do unto his people" (Exo_32:14, KJV). Sometimes the Lord "repented" of the discipline He had planned to carry out concerning His people: "If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them" (Jer_18:8); "If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good..." (Jer_18:10); "And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger...and repenteth him of evil" (Joe_2:13). In other instances, the Lord changed His mind; obviously, He changed when man changed to make the right choices, but He could not change His attitude toward evil when man continued on the wrong course. As God changed His actions, He always remained faithful to His own righteousness.
    In some situations, God was weary of"repenting" (Jer_15:6), suggesting that there might be a point beyond which He had no choice but to implement His discipline. An instance of this action was in Samuel's word to Saul, that God took the kingdom from Israel's first king and intended to give it to another; Samuel declared, "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent" (NASB, "change His mind"; 1Sa_15:29).
    God usually changed His mind and "repented" of His actions because of man's intercession and repentance of his evil deeds. Moses pleaded with God as the intercessor for Israel: "Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people" (Exo_32:12). The Lord did that when He "...repented [changed His mind] of the evil which he thought to do unto his people" (Exo_32:14). As God's prophet preached to Nineveh, "...God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them..." (Jon_3:10). In such instances, God "repented," or changed His mind, to bring about a change of plan. Again, however, God remained faithful to His absolutes of righteousness in His relation to and with man.
    Other passages refer to a change (or lack of it) in man's attitude. When man did not "repent" of his wickedness, he chose rebellion (Jer_8:6). In the eschatological sense, when Ephraim (as a representative of the northern branch of Israel) will "repent" (Jer_31:19), God then will have mercy (Jer_31:20).
    Man also expressed repentance to other men. Benjamin suffered greatly from the crime of immorality (Judges 19-20): "And the children of Israel [eleven tribes] repented them from Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day" (Jdg_21:6; cf. Jdg_21:15).
    Nacham may also mean "to comfort." The refugees in Babylon would be "comforted" when survivors arrived from Jerusalem (Eze_14:23); the connection between "comfort" and "repent" here resulted from the calamity God brought upon Jerusalem as a testimony to the truth of His Word. David "comforted" Bathsheba after the death of her child born in sin (2Sa_12:24); this probably indicates his repentance of what had happened in their indiscretion.
    On the other hand, the word was used in the human sense of "comfort." Job asked his three companions, "How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?" (Job_21:34; he meant that their attitude seemed cruel and unfeeling). The psalmist looked to God for "comfort": "Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side" (Psa_71:21). In an eschatological sense, God indicated that He would "comfort" Jerusalem with the restoration of Israel, as a mother comforts her offspring (Isa_66:13).
  6. Our difference in opinion here goes back to God's foreknowledge. He wasn't happy but neither was He surprised and He always had a plan thus the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" reference.
    Your strict views on predestination may keep us from agreeing on much but I will be glad to hug your neck inside heavens gate my friend.

  7. I do not see it as being a mistake. God does not make mistakes.
    When the bible says that it repented the LORD that he had made man, God is sorry that he created us for our wicked way, however it was man that did wrong, not God. Many times we feel sorry about things, and regret the way it turns out, but it does not mean that we made a mistake in the process.
  8. I don't think the Bible is saying here the Lord made a mistake but had an emotional reaction to the wickedness and evil that was happening on the Earth. I'm sure the Lord was not surprised nor was the Lord sorry he created us.

    God loved us from the very beginning. God planned to save mankind even before we sinned.

    God may have been grieved but certainly HE had no regrets.
  9. It is really hard for me to consider the possibility that God ever makes a mistake. To think that He could make a mistake would mean that actually He cannot be trusted. How many times does Jesus tell us to trust Him? Over and over again: Fear not.

    The problem was that the people made a mistake, or many mistakes. It made God sad to see how His lovely creation had been corrupted, and to see how far the people had strayed from Him. God is allowed to be sad, but personally I believe that He knew it was going to happen from the beginning. Even if He knew it would happen, it still was grievous to behold when it actually did happen.

    Part of my belief system is that God cannot make a mistake. Everything that happens is by His design, even things that we may consider a mistake. It has been my experience that whenever something does not go "right" (in my estimation), it ends up that God uses the "mistake" or "problem" to get a better result than there would have been without the "mistake". Maybe the "mistake" really wasn't a mistake after all, but we just didn't know what God's real will was?

    Question: was what God made still "very good" after the fall? That is some food for thought.

  10. God can't make a mistake because everything that happens was planned by him before creation. This message was planned by him and now it's taking place in the alotted time.

    Think of it this way. God saw the movie while he was making plans to produce the movie.
  11. Are murderers designed for a reason? Was Ted Bundy meant to be a famous serial killer? What about Jeffrey Dahmer?
  12. #12 MelodyC, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
    No such thing as being born a murderer. You ahve the choice to sin or not. Cain chose to ignore God's warning.

    It was Cain who on his own decided to murder his brother it wasn't in his DNA he could have chosen to not kill Abel but didn't resist the urge.

    There is no excuse we are accountable for the temptations we yield to and saying "the Devil made me do it", doesn't wash with God.

    At least Cain understood he was being punished for his own doing and didn't stand there offering excuses to God for his own actions.

    We aren't designed murderers or homosexuals or with any other detestable sinful behaviour in our DNA.

    God said to Cain "you can master sin". We have the ability to choose not to sin.
  13. If everything happens for a reason and murder happens. It must've happened for a reason or the statement "everything happens for a reason" is false.
  14. I can see you like to dance in verbal circles.:zip:
    There is one reason for murder and etc. It is the same reason you like to argue these wild ideas; man was given the ability to choose. All of our choices interact and cause a ripple effect like stones dropped into a pond.
  15. #15 Jaareshiah, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
    At Genesis 6:6, the Hebrew word na·cham´ is used and in the majority of cases it has the sense of “feeling regret,” with the reference to Jehovah God. This Hebrew word can mean “feel regret, keep a period of mourning, repent” (Ex 13:17; Gen 38:12; Job 42:6), as well as “comfort oneself” (2Sam 13:39; Eze 5:13), “relieve oneself (as of one’s enemies).” (Isa 1:24) Whether regret or comfort, it can be seen that a change of mind or feeling is involved.

    Genesis 6:6, 7 states that “Jehovah felt regrets that he had made men in the earth, and he felt hurt at his heart,” their wickedness being so great that God determined he would wipe them off the surface of the ground by means of the global Flood. This cannot mean that God felt regret in the sense of having made a mistake in his work of creation, for “perfect is his activity.” (Deut 32:4, 5)

    Regret is the opposite of pleasurable satisfaction and rejoicing. Hence, it must be that God regretted that after he had created mankind, their conduct became so evil that he now found himself obliged (and justly so) to destroy all mankind with the exception of Noah and his family. For God ‘takes no delight in the death of the wicked.’—Eze 33:11.

    M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia comments: “God himself is said to repent [na·cham´, feel regret]; but this can only be understood of his altering his conduct towards his creatures, either in the bestowing of good or infliction of evil—which change in the divine conduct is founded on a change in his creatures; and thus, speaking after the manner of men, God is said to repent.” (1894, Vol. VIII, p. 1042) God’s righteous standards remain constant, stable, unchanging, free from fluctuation. (Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17)

    No circumstance can cause him to change his mind about these, to turn from them, or to abandon them. However, the attitude and reactions of his intelligent creatures toward those perfect standards and toward God’s application of them can be good or bad. If good, this is pleasing to God; if bad, it causes regret.

    Moreover, the creature’s attitude can change from good to bad or bad to good, and since God does not change his standards to accommodate them, his pleasure (and accompanying blessings) can accordingly change to regret (and accompanying discipline or punishment) or vice versa. His judgments and decisions, then, are totally free from caprice, fickleness, unreliability, or error; hence he is free from all erratic or eccentric conduct.—Eze 18:21-30; 33:7-20.

    A potter may begin to make one type of vessel and then change to another style if the vessel is “spoiled by the potter’s hand.” (Jer 18:3, 4) By this example Jehovah illustrates, not that he is like a human potter in ‘spoiling by his hand,’ but rather, that he has divine authority over mankind, authority to adjust his dealings with them according to the way they respond or fail to respond to his righteousness and mercy. (Compare Isa 45:9; Rom 9:19-21.)

    He can thus “feel regret over the calamity that [he] had thought to execute” upon a nation, or “feel regret over the good that [he] said to [himself] to do for its good,” all depending upon the reaction of the nation to his prior dealings with it. (Jer 18:5-10) Thus, it is not that the Great Potter, Jehovah, errs, but rather, that the human “clay” undergoes a “metamorphosis” (change of form or composition) as to its heart condition, producing regret, or a change of feeling, on Jehovah’s part.

    This is true of individuals as well as of nations, and the very fact that Jehovah God speaks of his ‘feeling regret’ over certain of his servants, such as King Saul, who turned away from righteousness, shows that God does not predestinate the future of such individuals. God’s regret over Saul’s deviation does not mean that God’s choice of him as king had been erroneous and was to be regretted on that ground. God must rather have felt regret because Saul, as a free moral agent, had not made good use of the splendid privilege and opportunity God had afforded him, and because Saul’s change called for a change in God’s dealings with him.—1Sam 15:10, 11, 26.

    The prophet Samuel, in declaring God’s adverse decision regarding Saul, stated that “the Excellency of Israel will not prove false, and He will not feel regrets, for He is not an earthling man so as to feel regrets.” (1Sam 15:28, 29) Earthling men frequently prove untrue to their word, fail to make good their promises, or do not live up to the terms of their agreements; being imperfect, they commit errors in judgment, causing them regret. This is never the case with God.—Ps 132:11; Isa 45:23, 24; 55:10, 11.

    God’s covenant made between God and “all flesh” after the Flood, for example, unconditionally guaranteed that God would never again bring a flood of waters over all the earth. (Gen 9:8-17) There is, then, no possibility of God’s changing with regard to that covenant or ‘regretting it.’

    Similarly, in his covenant with Abraham, God “stepped in with an oath” as “a legal guarantee” so as to “demonstrate more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his counsel,” his promise and his oath being “two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie.” (Heb 6:13-18) God’s sworn covenant with his Son for a priesthood like that of Melchizedek was likewise something over which God would “feel no regret.”—Heb 7:20, 21; Ps 110:4; compare Ro 11:29.

    However, in stating a promise or making a covenant, God may set out requirements, conditions to be met by those with whom the promise or covenant is made. He promised Israel that they would become his “special property” and “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,” if they would strictly obey his voice and keep his covenant. (Ex 19:5, 6) God held true to his side of the covenant, but Israel failed; they violated that covenant time and again. (Mal 3:6, 7; compare Ne 9:16-19, 26-31.)

    So, when God finally annulled that covenant he did so with complete justice, the responsibility for the nonfulfillment of his promise resting entirely with the offending Israelites.—Matt 21:43; Heb 8:7-9.

    In the same way God can “feel regret” and ‘turn back’ from carrying out some punishment when his warning of such action produces a change in attitude and conduct on the part of the offenders. (Deut 13:17; Ps 90:13) They have returned to him and he ‘returns’ to them. (Zec 8:3; Mal 3:7) Instead of being ‘pained,’ he now rejoices, for he finds no delight in bringing death to sinners. (Luke 15:10; Eze 18:32)

    While never shifting away from his righteous standards, God extends help so that persons can return to him; they are encouraged to do so. He kindly invites them to return, ‘spreading out his hands’ and saying by means of his representatives, “Turn back, please, . . . that I may not cause calamity to you,” “Do not do, please, this detestable sort of thing that I have hated.” (Isa 65:1, 2; Jer 25:5, 6; 44:4, 5)

    He gives ample time for change (Neh 9:30; compare Rev 2:20-23) and shows great patience and forbearance, since “he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.” (2Pet 3:8, 9; Rom 2:4, 5) On occasion he kindly saw to it that his message was accompanied by powerful works, or miracles, that established the divine commission of his messengers and helped strengthen faith in those hearing. (Acts 9:32-35)

    When his message receives no response, he employs discipline; he withdraws his favor and protection, thereby allowing the unrepentant ones to undergo privations, famine, suffering of oppression from their enemies. This may bring them to their senses, may restore their proper fear of God, or may cause them to realize that their course was stupid and that their set of values was wrong.—2Chron 33:10-13; Neh 9:28, 29; Amos 4:6-11.

    However, his patience has its limits, and when these are reached he gets “tired of feeling regret” (Jer 15:6); then his decision to render punishment is unchangeable. (Jer 23:19, 20; Lev 26:14-33) He is no longer merely “thinking” or “forming” against such ones a calamity (Jer 18:11; 26:3-6) but has reached an irreversible decision.—2Kings 23:24-27; Isa 43:13; Jer 4:28; Zep 3:8; Rev 11:17, 18.

    God’s willingness to forgive repentant ones, as well as his mercifully opening the way to such forgiveness even in the face of repeated offenses, sets the example for all of his servants.—Matt 18:21, 22; Mark 3:28; Luke 17:3, 4; 1 John 1:9;

    (source of information - Insight on the Scriptures, Vol 2, pg 776)

  16. They chose their own path. They followed Satan and that is where He lead them. He is a liar and a deciever, so those that follow him will be the same. We all have a choice, we either choose to follow the Lord God, or satan. God gave unto us free will, they chose not to abide with the Father but to denie him and follow satan
  17. #17 HappySoul, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
    You're mistaking. I don't like to argue anything. I'm simply bringing up thoughts I have. I'm certaintly not trying to challenge anyone. That would be a waste of time. I'm looking for answers. I'm searching for truth. I can't just force myself to believe everything happens for a reason because that's the popular belief. I'm leaning more towards that philosophy, but nobody has ever given me a good answer. Other than the Predestination theory which makes more since for everything happening for a reason than random choices people (not God) decided to make. Although, I'm not convinced about predestination either. I'm still searching...
  18. I don't think our views on predestination has anything to do with it. I think this boils down to our views on God's sovereignty. Of course, predestination will play a role here but I believe that is secondary to the sovereignty issue.
    I do not believe anything happens outside of God's control or decrees. This is not to say God is the cause of everything that happens but it is to say that nothing happen without God first decreeing that it would be so.

    A perfect example is a question that was posed to R.C. Sproul regarding prayer.


  19. Did God create murderers? I don't know. He made people...who murder. If they persist in their behavior and don't repent, then they turn into a murderer.

    There are grey areas that I don't understand. There are people in the world who are genuinely mentally ill. There is something seriously wrong in their brains and they did not do anything to get that way. When they do something anti-social, can they be held accountable? How does God view them? Will they be sent to hell for being mentally unstable? I cannot answer such questions, but God is the ultimate judge. He knows what they had to deal with, He knows what was really going on with them, and He may have ways we don't know about to heal them at some future time.

    I think, too, that there is more and more pressure in the spiritual realm pushing people to do things that they never thought they would ever do. Not to excuse anyone, because they also have God's grace available to them for repentance and forgiveness.
  20. I've seen an interview with Jeff Dahmer where he said he didn't believe in God. He said that if he had felt accountable for his actions he may not have been able to go through with them. Though he admitted he had a desire or lust for his murdering that was very strong. But it wasn't until he went to prison that he found Jesus. It's strange, but maybe if he hadn't done all he did he might've never found God.

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