The Heart of God Toward Sinners
Read the whole chapter of Genesis 6.
Genesis 6:6 (NASB): “The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”
By ten generations after Adam, the human race is so hopelessly sinful that God decides to wipe them out and start over. “Human beings on the earth were very wicked and everything they thought about was evil,” God tells Noah. This deeply grieved the heart of the Lord.
Speaking of God’s sorrow, His remorse does not indicate an arbitrary change of mind, though it seems that way to man (cf. 1 Sam. 15:29). Rather, it indicates a different attitude on God’s part in response to some change in man’s behavior. Because He is holy, He must react against sin. This reaction is an expression referring to the pain of God’s love caused by the sinfulness of man.
Genesis 6:6 reveals several things about how God deals with sin. First, the mention of divine grief informs us that God does not hate us, but hates sin instead. This is a timely reminder for us who loves sin, but hates sinner. Second, let me suggest that the initial reaction of God to sin is not His righteous wrath, but His deep felt grief. This tells us again that whenever we sin, we broke His heart first before we provoke His wrath. Third, God’s judgment against the people in the time of Noah will be repeated at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but it will not be through the flood, but fire (cf. Matt. 24:37-38, see also, 2 Peter 3:7-13). Judgment then is good news for those believers!
Gruesome the picture might it look; it still reveals that God is love. Remember He first reached out, but only few responded. He gave a long probation to return for sinners, but only few accepted. The hideous result of sin reveals the depth of heart of God toward sinners. He acted on love to stop the miserable life of sinners because He knew that it would be more miserable to live life apart from Him.
Will you allow the Holy Spirit to change what you feel towards sin?
 The word repented is the customary explanation of the Hebrew verb in verse 6; its basic meaning is to be pained.