Summary: This study covers Romans Chapter 5:9-21
Book of Romans
Lesson # 13
By Rev. James May
What a Great God we serve. He is a God that loved us even while we were lost in sin and living in rebellion against his love. We had spurned his love as he tried to reach us so many times, but he never gave up on us. The heart of God ached for the loss of his children. We were created in his image, created and born to serve the Lord, but we were separated from him by a great gulf of darkness and sin, and could never approach him again. How this must have sorrowed God greatly.
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
The wickedness of the heart and life of man, and every thought and conversation was so terrible that God was saddened that he had ever created man. The problem was that God had intended for man to be his own children who would be willing to love him in return and with whom he could share all of the wonders of Heaven forever, but it wasn’t going to be possible.
I read one opinion from a well-respected commentator on the Bible who said that it was impossible to change the heart of God in any way and that we could not make God sad or sorrowful. This man said, and I quote, “God is a simple Being, uncompounded, and not subject to any passions and affections.”
Let’s think about that for a moment, because how you think about God’s heart directly affects what we believe about how much God cares; how much he loves; how much he is willing to come to your aid; and to what length God will go to reach a lost soul.
I agree that God is unchangeable, but I believe that God’s great love can cause his heart to be grieved. In fact, I believe that God can weep over the sadness and sorrow of his children who are so far from where they should be.
This scripture in Genesis 6:6 tells us that God’s heart was grieved. I also remember when Jesus, the Son of God, stood by Lazarus’ tomb, he wept. Why did Jesus cry? He shed tears, as the heart of God was broken over the sorrow and hopelessness that he knew was in the hearts of those who stood around.
In Ephesians 4:20 Paul also said that we could grieve the Holy Ghost through not being obedient or reverencing the presence of God in our midst.
In Luke 19:41 when Jesus stood on the mountain overlooking the City of Jerusalem, the Bible says that Jesus “wept over it”. Why did Jesus cry over Jerusalem? He cried because in the foreknowledge of God, he knew the pain and suffering, and the judgment that would fall on the city and the Jews, and Jesus’ heart was broken because they rejected him and lost their opportunity to know the peace that he could have given to them.
So is it then possible that God was grieved over mankind in Genesis like he was at Lazarus’ tomb and as he looked over Jerusalem? Since God is not a God that changes, then I have no doubt at all that we can bring grief to God’s own heart!
In effect, it grieved the heart of God in the same manner as it would grieve a parent in our society who has children and those children end up causing such trouble, or committing some heinous crime, or worst of all, realizing that their children are refusing to serve the Lord and unless they repent, they will join the billions of other lost souls in hell’s flames for eternity.
When a parent thinks of that, though they love those children with all their heart, yet the thought comes that perhaps it had better if they had never been born. To know what they will face in the future and to see that they are only getting worse all the time, and to know that it’s your responsibility that they were born, can bring grief and sorrow to your heart. How much more then, can we sorrow the heart of God by our acts of rebellion.
In another example, imagine you are a potter. You begin working with raw clay, right out of the dust of the earth, and you start with a beautiful vase or bowl in mind. You know the clay and its strengths and weaknesses. You know where it came from, and you know where it’s going. You have the entire process of forming that clay into a useful vessel before you ever place it on the wheel.
In your mind the vase is already formed. You love to create beautiful and useful things. The clay knows nothing, except that it must respond to the touch of the Potter’s hand. From a useless, dead lump of dirt, you, the potter form a vessel. It is decorated and painted beautifully, glazed and fired, and you have such great plans for its display and its use in your home. You carefully work it into a perfect form and shape to look like your vision because the clay has life within itself.