Summary: What is it that makes God frown and smile? This message offers some thoughts.
Gaining the Smile of God
* A couple of weeks ago Christy and Piper accompanied Deboria to Florida to check and take care of Deb’s parents. As you know, they are presently in a rehab center. As they visited the rehab center, little Piper was all over the place talking, smiling, and hugging necks which caused her mom to make a special note of what little ones are able to do in a facility like this. She was able to bring a smile to the faces of the people with whom she interacted. To hear Christy tell it, it was striking. For instance, an old man might be sitting in a wheelchair in the hallway scowling at people who come down the hall and the 3 year old walks up to him, says “hello”, and the expression turns from a scowl to a smile. Don’t you like that?
* Now most of us never think or even consider that God would ever get a scowl on His divine face. We want to think that He has a permanent pleasant persona that is like “Jolly old Saint Nick”, yet the Bible teaches us something entirely different. I dare say that verse 5 & 6 paints us a picture of Jehovah God without a smile on His face.
* Verse 5 communicates that evil, wickedness, and disobedience takes away the smile of God and negatively impacts our Heavenly Father. Truth be told, we try to rationalize this emotion or sensation of our Heavenly Father by saying, “But it was really bad back them.” Let’s get real; we live in a wicked world, a sinful-shameless society, and a corrupt culture. Verse 5 indicates that simply being evil is not enough but mankind was evil by “every scheme he could think of” which means “whatever he could imagine would be evil and what’s more he would do it.” At the risk of preaching gloom and doom, this is an accurate observation of today. We see pornography becoming protected by our government, murder on demand (abortion) reaching the status of a constitutional guaranteed right, and those who name Christ becoming more concerned about “fitting in” or being “accepted” that our day has become like the day of Noah. It was a day of evil and it IS a day of evil.
* Verse 6 gives us 2 descriptive words which jump out at us & communicate to us just how badly this activity impacts the Lord God. In the HCSB those words are “regretted” and “grieved”. Both of these words imply “pain.” In fact, one translation gives a clearer picture to us by saying, “God was sorry that He had made man on the earth, it broke His heart.” In all of creation there is not one who has a broken heart and can still smile. It is easy to suggest that God was not smiling or happy during these days. I submit God may have similar feelings about the world today.
* Why do I say this? Because sin, evil, wickedness, and disobedience, has permeated His crown creation and it brings Him pain. Verse 8 is an encouraging verse because it shows that you and I do not have to be counted among the evil. (Read verse 8) So how is it that you and I can bring back the smile of God and gain His favor? Let me suggest 6 ways.
1) Love Him Supremely – First, the word supremely means “above or more than anything else.” No court in the land is higher than the Supreme Court, no pizza has more “stuff” on it than a supreme pizza, and no love is more than a supreme love. By the words of Jesus in the Great Commandment we are called on to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and while most of us know this truth, knowing this is not enough. Our ‘love’ is not ‘love’ until it takes the form of action.
* Verse 9 says, “Noah walked with God.” This hints at this; in a day when no one else did, Noah had a relationship with God. The word walked literally means “with”, in other words, “Noah was with God.” We hear this word used this way in our culture, “Who are you ‘with’ these days?” Honestly (and sometimes immorally) this question inquires with whom are you intimate. To love God supremely means that we are intimate with Him and our love for Him is above our love for everything else.
* Today, scripture hints that the only way to truly love God is through His Son. 1 Corinthians 8:3 says, “To love God is to be KNOWN by God.” And I submit that Jesus is the only way to the Father, and if He is the only way to the Father, then He is the only way to be KNOWN by the Father and the only way to truly love the Father. You and I can never love God supremely until we invite Jesus in our lives to forgive us from our sin & take up residence in our lives to lead us into the future.