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 (Gen. 6:11) 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, Gen. 6:5. 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 besides Noah. Note, When wickedness has become general and 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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