In Genesis 6:6, we see that God’s love and care for all humanity resulted in his intervention in the world where the hearts of all humanity had turned to violence and murder.  While their hearts were turned against each other, God’s heart was grieving. He decided the world would not continue under such conditions. Verse 7 picks up God’s plan for intervention in humanity, “So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.’” After the initial creation of mankind in Genesis one, God announced that it was “very good.” By Genesis 6, the created order of all life has become distorted by violence and is beyond repair. Kissling rightly observes, “God’s grief at having made humanity stems from having provided everything for the good of humanity only to see them reject his good gifts and drift further and further away from his purposes for them. The divine pain at the sight of such grievous rebellion by the creatures he made is an important biblical theme which leads ultimately to the cross.”[1]

Blotting out is an interesting concept in the Bible. It refers to the “blotting out” or erasing of an entry in a book so thoroughly that there is no trace left.  It’s used this way often. In Exodus 32:33, God says He will “blot out” of his book those who have sinned against him. The Psalmist calls for God to “blot out” the wicked from the book of the living. God talks about “blotting out” the memory of Amalek forever. In Ezekiel 6:6, God speaks about the works of the flesh being “blotted out” in the final judgment. Jesus refers to the destruction in the days of Noah in Matthew 24:36-39, saying that the end of this age will have a similar ending. But at that time, there will be some “taken” and some “blotted out.” The difference between the two has to do with what is “blotted out.”

Jesus claims to be the one who spoke in Isaiah 43:25, “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Those who trust in Him will find refuge from the “blotting out” of life as it happened in the days of Noah. When Jesus forgave sins during his ministry on earth, the religious leaders accused him of playing God. In Luke 5:21, “But the scribes and Pharisees began thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this man who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” But it is “only” Jesus who can blot out sin. The writer of Hebrews speaks for God when he says in Hebrews 8:12, “I will forgive their iniquities and will remember their sins no more.”

[1] Kissling, Paul J. 2004–. Genesis. The College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.