And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart.--Genesis 6:6
When the Bible says that God was sorry that He had made man, does this mean that He would actually change His decision if He had it all to do over again? I don’t think so. Because someone experiences sorrow does not necessarily mean that they experience regret. By this, I mean that although one might experience grief over circumstances that have come about, it is possible at the same time to experience a sense of approval in what has taken place. I always feel sorrow when disciplining my children, but that sorrow is overshadowed by a sense of approval that the discipline will bear fruit in my child’s life that will cause him to be a better person.
The ultimate example of this is the cross. I cannot think of a single incident that grieved the heart of God more than sending the Son, who was blameless and without sin, to suffer and die on a cross. If that were not enough, Jesus also experienced the holy wrath of God. As time was drawing near to his death, as He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ “began to feel sorrowful and troubled,” (Mt 26:38). However, Peter also made the claim that Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,” (Ac 2:23).
While the death of Christ on the cross must have brought great sorrow to the heart of God, that sorrow was overshadowed by the glory that He received by punishing sin and showing mercy to His people. In the same way, as God felt sorrow at having made man (Gn 6:6), He is also greatly glorified through it and He would not go back and do it differently. God’s creation of man had brought about short-term sorrow that ultimately brought about the accomplishment of His good purposes and led to His glory. Praise the Lord that we do not serve some arbitrary God that changes His mind about the decisions that He has made. Our God is all-knowing and all-glorious. He is perfect and we shall praise Him as such!