This Week's Article
By Colly Caldwell
“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, and the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” (Genesis 6:5-6).
In December 2017, Franz Lidz published an article in the Smithsonian Magazine describing an unusual museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It looks something like a supermarket on the inside but its shelves are loaded with thousands of products whose sales disappointed their producers and were taken off the market. Some of them came from big-time companies such as Clairol’s Touch of Yogurt shampoo and Pepsi’s AM Breakfast Cola (designed to compete with coffee). Can you imagine the disappointment of the inventors of these products who poured their creativity, time, resources and energy into products, however unique, only to see them fall short of expectations and sales.
There have been at least a couple of times when God specifically expressed disappointment with man so severe that He would take away all but a minute sample of the body of persons who disappointed Him. In each case, however, the fault was man’s intentional ornery sinfulness, not some failure on the part of the designing Creator.
In Noah’s day, God saw man’s failure to do and to be what He had created Him to be. He was so dis-appointed that He was sorry He had made man and He determined to destroy the evil-doers by means of a great flood covering the entire earth. But God saved one man and his family. Not only so, when Noah came out of the ark a year after the rain began, God made a covenant that He would never again destroy living creatures as He had done with the flood. A rainbow was the sign of that covenant.
Moses experienced something close to how God felt in Noah’s day. While he was on the mountain receiving God’s Law, God’s own people turned from Him and made a golden calf to worship. Moses, himself was angry and threw down the tablets of stone. But Jehovah was even more angry. He said, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation” (Ex. 32:9-10). God was terribly disappointed in the nation He had providentially developed down in Egypt but He relented and continued His covenant with Israel.
Underlying these covenants are two implications I would like to suggest we remember. First is the fact of special covenants. They arose from God’s disappoint-ment with man. Even the best of men have caused God to be disappointed. Both Noah and Moses later sinned even though they were instrumental in
God’s showing mercy and making the covenants that saved so many from destruction. And all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. We do not measure up to God’s will for us and thus He is disappointed. Even at our best, we are not all that God created us to be. None of us utilizes all of our potential, all of our abilities, and all of our possessions in a constructive manner all the days of our lives. We are not the mothers and fathers we ought to be; the citi-zens we ought to be; the church members we ought to be. And that leads us to the second implication.
Even though we disappoint Him, He is passionately in love with even the worst of us. God is our last hope but we are His greatest love.
So what has He done. He has made another covenant with us...an even greater covenant than that with Noah or Moses. And He has sealed it: not with a rainbow but with a cross. God’s last word concerning His disappointment with mankind has been to send His only begotten Son to die for us. And what He asks is for us to follow the guidelines given by His Son to beg His forgiveness and receive His loving fellowship once again.
Former Beatle, Paul McCartney is said to have coined a word to describe the letdown fans experience “when a new song by an old group fails to make them feel young again.” The word is “anticipointment.” He went on to say that the word represents your expecting something great but you get something quite different. I am certain that God knew well that man would sin. His plan was made before the creation. But that did not diminish His disappointment. Let’s give it our best not to disappoint our loving God.