The MOST Tragic Verse in the Bible

 Photo by Patrick Feller at
Photo by Patrick Feller at

Unlike the last post, this verse offers no immediate hope, so I call it the most tragic. I know this is a judgment call, but for me, the verse evokes such a deep well of sadness. Ironically, it also opens the deeper well of God’s compassion. It does so by revealing His heart, one that suffers. Here is the verse:

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” (Gen. 6:5-6).

God has created all that there is, and it’s all very good. Man and woman are destined to be the royal co-heirs of that creation. And then tragedy strikes. There is seduction, unbelief, betrayal, shame, lying, conflict, and finally murder. Like a deadly virus, sin infects the created order and fragments the human soul. The beauty or it all is tarnished, like graffiti spewed on an artistic masterpiece. Instead of feeling warmth and light from God, the human heart now pumps out the sewerage of iniquity.

However tragic this is, the real tragedy follows. It’s God’s response. The love of His heart has become bitter sorrow. He enters what He has not known before. He enters suffering.

He enters grief.

What are we to make of this? What happens when we start to see sin in terms of the pain it causes God? It is the same pain endured by Jesus, a man acquainted with grief (Is. 53:3), who is crushed under the weight of the world’s sin. It is the same pain felt by the Holy Spirit, who is grieved over the sin of believers (Eph. 4:30). The whole Trinity seems to be swept up in the suffering of grief. 

The anger of God has been widely misunderstood. It’s not the anger of a petty despot. It’s the anger of a jilted lover who is betrayed. It’s the anger of a Father who watches the self-destruction of His children. Behind the anger is grief. And behind the grief is a white-hot compassion that burns for us.

I’ll never forget the first time I realized that my sin broke God’s heart. I was walking out in the countryside, where the landscape widens into grassy fields with horses grazing quietly. It was a pastoral scene you would imagine in paintings. But inside I was flooded with sorrow. I remember saying to Him over and over, “I don’t want to hurt you anymore.” Some switch was flicked inside of me. I came home from that walk a different man. I had come home to the Father’s love. 

None of us is too far from God that our lives don’t affect Him. What you do or say today can bring Him joy or heartache, gladness or grief. There is a weight to your soul that moves something in the heart of God. To ignore that weight is to bring ruin and sorrow to yourself. To accept it is the road back home to the Father’s love.

This is how your story can be swept up into God’s story, turning tragedy into wonder.

Open your heart to that wonder.

Open your heart to that love today. 

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