And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3)
That the LORD said this is to be understood as the LORD “resolved,” that as a result of the unholy unions mentioned in the previous verse, He would not strive with man without limits. The word translated as “strive” is also used to denote judgment or, more specifically, “pleading a case.” In other words, it seems that the Almighty was saying, there are limits to His long-suffering and patience.
He also acknowledged that man “is indeed flesh,” likely alluding to fact that, like Adam, though all men were created in the image and likeness of God, they were inclined to follow the earthy side of their makeup. In other words, they were more inclined to do what was right in their own eyes. In effect, in the days before the flood, men were doing exactly as Adam did – partaking of forbidden fruit, and without hesitation.
This has always been man’s issue and will, until the regeneration of the earth and final judgment, be our affliction. In this day and time, men are prone to do what is unlawful in God’s eyes and then boast about it. Our God is merciful and forgiving but, as we see, there are limits. Eventually, He will say, “Enough” and will allow for a reckoning.
Until then, let us pray for His mercy upon those who are oblivious to what is to come and that they might be moved to repentance. Furthermore, may we never be inclined to take His mercy and grace for granted but always live in appreciation of His goodness to us, who, “Because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah” (Ephesians 2: 4-5).
Blessings and Shalom,