Genesis 6 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“When the L_rd saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and every scheme that he thought of was nothing but evil all the time, the L_rd regretted that He had made man on the earth and He was grieved in His heart. Then the L_rd said, “I will wipe off the face of the earth: man, whom I created together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky – for I regret that I made them.” Noah, however, found favor in the eyes of the L_rd.” Genesis 6: 5-8
When mankind was created, G_d said, “Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness. (Genesis 1:26) The text describes G_d in the plural form, as opposed to a singular “I will make man in MY image, according to MY likeness.”
This usage of God in the Plural is similar to the Bible’s opening statement, “In the Beginning, God…” (Elohim: Gods). Genesis 1:1
Because of the Bible’s statement that G_d is ONE (Echad), (Deuteronomy 6:4) the rabbis have traditionally rejected the notion that G_d exists as a Plurality. This is, they do not believe in the “Trinity” or tri-unity of G_d.
Two arguments the Rabbis use to explain-away the notion of G_d as a “singular plurality” are:
1) The traditional Hebrew use of plurality to a single person illustrates power, i.e., “one” possesses the strength of “many”. This is definitely true of omnipotent G_d.
2) Plurality denotes internal debate. That is, they believe that G_d debated as to whether to create man. That is, the terms “us” and “our” are simply representative of the different opinions G_d held while debating whether to create mankind at all.
If you agree with the rabbis’ argument over G_d’s internal debate, it is easy to understand His statement, “I regret that I made them.” God is represented as being “singular”, “One”. But there is a problem with that argument: It is impossible for G_d to be double minded. (1 Samuel 15:29, Malachi 3:6) Remember G_d pronounced creation “Very Good” at the end of the 6th day. So, how can creation be “very good” and regrettable?
Perhaps, the answer lies in the primary roles of the individual members of the Trinity. G_d: Justice/Mercy Yeshua: Redemption/Grace, Spirit: Revelation of Truth. In the creation of man, we are allowed a glimpse of the Trinity conversing with each other, as a single unit: “G_d said, ‘Let Us…’”. In the pronouncement of judgment in the days of Noah, we see the persons of the Trinity represented individually with respect to their ministries: The Spirit: revelation of widespread wickedness. The Father: weighs the Spirit’s testimony and pronounces regret over mankind’s sin. The Messiah: provides grace for Noah and the rest of his family. (Remember: only Noah was “pronounced” righteous, not the others) Therefore, we conclude that, while still in communion with the Spirit & Son, it is altogether possible for G_d’s pronouncement to be as an individual.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, January 16, 2014