“And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” Genesis 6:6
The word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” 1 Samuel 15: 19-11
In His complexity, the Lord knows all human emotions including regret, not an emotion often associated with God.
God feeling sorrow or remorse challenges our understanding of infallibility. Our typical response to regret is; “if I knew then what I know now, I would never have done it”. God however is fully cognisant of every one of His actions and choices, and still finds himself regretting some of them. For God to feel regret, He must therefore be vulnerable to our choices. Free will must actually be free, and poor choices on our part can cause divine pain. The Lord actually gets upset and frustrated, just as He is pleased and delighted by us in turn. This vulnerability must be a deliberate and sovereign choice of our God. The Lord of all could have placed Himself above all such feelings but He chose a version of creation in which the choices of His children affect Him.
God has sovereignly chosen to make Himself vulnerable. in that, He experiences difficult and even negative emotions, along with great joy and delight, in response to earthly events.
Just take in all the emotions God is feeling in the following two Scriptures.
And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” Numbers 14:11-12
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Thank goodness, our Heavenly Father, sent Jesus to show us the extent of His commitment to us, and His love for us. It is vivdly revealed by Jesus just before His crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane:
“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:41-44
It is staggering beyond belief that Jesus would put Himself through the suffering He endured. Not just the physical pain but the spiritual horror of taking all of our sins upon Himself.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:46
What feelings would our Heavenly Father have experienced as He watched us, His creation, torturing and crucifying His Son? We are blessed to have seen how Jesus coped with the situation. It gives us a picture of how our Heavenly Father dealt with it. He understands us in every way.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
It is amazing in our emotional complexity we are not that different from our Creator who experiences anger, pain, regret. After all, we are made in His image. We are His children.
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
Do you know God personally? If you do not it is your problem. God assures us that if you seek Him you will find Him.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” Proverbs 8:17
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
Spend more time looking at Jesus and you will find God.
“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? John 14:9-10
Is it any wonder that those that truly know God get down on their knees regularly to thank Him for all that He has done for us, particularly in sending Jesus, for all that He is doing for us now through the Holy Spirit, and for all that we know He has planned for us through the prophetic Scriptures. There are over 2000 prophecies of Jesus second coming and there were only about 300 prophecies of His first coming. Most of those prophecies are to prepare us for the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ on this earth.