Once they started mating with sons of God, people fell out of favor with the Lord. Almost immediately,
5 Then the LORD 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. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD 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." 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Clearly one of two things is going on here. Either someone is taking literary license, and exaggeration or speculating to make the story interesting, or God is being exposed as imperfect.
God was sorry He had made man? God knew, did he not, that he made man this way. Because man is made this way. And God is the One who made us like that. He knew when He first made us. Is it that God regrets His horrible decision? But God makes no mistakes, right? The other day, when someone urged me to read James 1:5-6, I read the rest of James 1, too. I found this to be of interest:
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
With God, therefore, there is no variation or shadow of turning. God does not change. God certainly would not change His mind. Yet, here He is, in Genesis 6, lamenting His error in the creation of man, and deciding to fix this error by killing, killing, killing.
And why does God decide to punish all the beasts of the ground and birds of the air? What did they do wrong? And if they were wicked, too, why have Noah save breeding pairs of each wicked breed? And what was so great about the fish that the destruction was to come in a form that would not harm them? If God wanted to kill mankind, why not just unlease a virus (other than because the ancients didn't understand viruses)? Why do billions of innocent creatures have to perish? The decision appears to be arbitrary, cruel and unjust.
9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
So Noah was just, and "perfect in his generations", whatever that means. I'm sure it cannot mean that Noah was perfect. He was only a man. In fact, we learn later that Noah is going to be quite imperfect, but perhaps compared to the wicked, he was pretty good. It doesn't say whether this is why he walked with God, or if walking with God made him just and perfect.
But the world was filled with violence. Much, I suppose, like it is today. It makes me wonder why God isn't flooding the Earth again. Yes, in a couple of chapters, God is going to promise not to do that again, but why? Could this ancient time have been any more wicked than today's world? If not, why would God destroy the ancients, but promise not to destroy us? We are undoubtedly many times more wicked and dangerous than people were 4,000 years ago. So why this and why then? Unless God does not see the future. So far, the context is telling me that perhaps God is not clairvoyant. An all-knowing deity who sees the future should never regret any prior decision, as God clearly does in Genesis 6.
Once we start getting into the animals and the ark, we will be reading my favorite story from my children's Bible. But, now, reading it carefully as a grown man, I find no sense in it at all.