The Earth Corrupt before God
A comment by Matthew Henry
Genesis 6:11-13, The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was
filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was
corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said
unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled
with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
THE wickedness of that generation is here again spoken of, either as a foil
to Noah’s piety – he was just and perfect, when all the earth was corrupt;
or as a further justification of God’s resolution to destroy the world, which
He was now about to communicate to His servant Noah.
1. All kinds of sin was found among them, for it
is said (v. 11) that the earth was, (1.) Corrupt before God, that is,
in the matters of God’s worship; either they had other gods before Him, or
they worshipped Him by images, or they were corrupt and wicked in despite and
contempt of God, daring Him and defying Him to His face. (2.) The earth
was also filled with violence and injustice towards men. There was no order
nor regular government; no man was safe in the possession of that which he
had the most clear and incontestable right to, no, not the most innocent life;
there was nothing but murders, rapes, and rapine.
Note: wickedness, as it is the shame of human nature, so it is the ruin
of human society. Take away conscience and the fear of God, and men become
beasts and devils to one another, like the fishes of the sea, where the greater
devour the less. Sin fills the earth with violence, and so turns the world
into a wilderness, into a cock-pit.
2. The proof and evidence of it were undeniable; for God
looked upon the
earth, and was Himself an eye-witness of the corruption that was in it, of
which before, v. 5. The righteous Judge in all His judgments proceeds upon
the infallible certainty of His own omniscience, Ps. 33:13.
3. That which most aggravated the matter was the universal
spreading of the contagion: all flesh had corrupted his way. It
was not some particular nations or cities that were thus wicked but the
whole world of mankind were so; there was none that did good, no, not one
Note: when wickedness has become general then universal ruin is not far
off. While there is a remnant of praying people in a nation, to empty the measure
as it fills, judgments may be kept off a great while; but when all hands are
at work to pull down the fences by sin, and none stand in the gap to make up
the breach, what can be expected but an inundation of wrath?
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