According to the apostle Paul, it is possible to afflict God with sorrow (Ephesians 4:30). Sin on the part of man is what grieves Him.
When “Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” He “was SORRY that He had made man on the earth, and He was GRIEVED in His heart. So Jehovah said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am SORRY that I have made them’” (Genesis 6:5-7). With that, the Almighty prepared Noah and his family for the flood by which He would exterminate the rest of mankind.
Of rebellious and ungrateful Israel, Asaph wrote, “often they provoked Him in the wilderness, and GRIEVED Him in the desert” (Psalm 78:10). God declared, “For forty years I was GRIEVED with that generation, and said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they do not know My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest’” (Psalm 95:10-11). Thus, the Lord let an entire generation of Hebrews perish in the desert, save faithful Joshua and Caleb, barring the wicked from the promised land of Canaan.
Although God was Savior and Redeemer to Israel (Isaiah 63:8-9), “they rebelled and GRIEVED His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them” (Isaiah 63:10). The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob allowed His people to be subdued by foreigners and brought into captivity for their unfaithfulness.
The Mighty One is a God of emotion. He suffers anguish when the people He made violate His will. He feels betrayed when the people He singled out as His own rebel against Him. He is distressed when those toward whom He is loyal cheat on Him.
It is no different now. Sin hurts His feelings. So, Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). We do as our Lord commands because we care how He feels.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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