Never Again Curse The Ground
The Lord said in his heart, i will never again curse the ground for man's sake Genesis 18:21 NKJV
God was well pleased with the performance, He smelt a sweet savour, or, as it is in the Hebrew, a savour of rest, from it. As, when he had made the world at first on the seventh day, he rested and was refreshed, so, now that he had new-made it, in the sacrifice of the seventh he rested. He was well pleased with Noah’s pious zeal, and these hopeful beginnings of the new world, as men are with fragrant and agreeable smells; though his offering was small it was according to his ability, and God accepted it. Having caused his anger to rest upon the world of sinners, he here caused his love to rest upon this little remnant of believers.
Hereupon, he took up a resolution never to drown the world again. Herein he had an eye, not so much to Noah’s sacrifice as to Christ’s sacrifice of himself, which was typified and represented by it, and which was indeed an offering of a sweet-smelling savour, Ephesians 5:2. Good security is here given, and that which may be relied upon,
That this judgment should never be repeated. Noah might think, "To what purpose should the world be repaired, when, in all probability, for the wickedness of it, it will quickly be in like manner ruined again?’’ "No,’’ says God, "it never shall.’’ It was said, It repented the Lord that he had made man; now here he speaks as if it repented him that he had destroyed man: neither means a change of his mind, but both a change of his way. It repented him concerning his servants, Deuteronomy 32:36. Two ways this resolve is expressed: I will not again curse the ground, Heb. I will not add to curse the ground any more. God had cursed the ground upon the first entrance of sin, when he drowned it he added to that curse; but now he determines not to add to it any more. Neither will I again smite any more every living thing; that is, it was determined that whatever ruin God might bring upon particular persons, or families, or countries, he would never again destroy the whole world till the day shall come when time shall be no more. But the reason of this resolve is very surprising, for it seems the same in effect with the reason given for the destruction of the world: Because the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth, But there is this difference-there it is said, The imagination of man’s heart is evil continually, that is, "his actual transgressions continually cry against him;’’ here it is said, It is evil from his youth or childhood. It is bred in the bone; he brought it into the world with him; he was shapen and conceived in it. Now, one would think it should follow, "Therefore that guilty race shall be wholly extinguished, and I will make a full end.’’ No, "Therefore I will no more take this severe method; for,’’ First, "He is rather to be pitied, for it is all the effect of sin dwelling in him; and it is but what might be expected from such a degenerate race: he is called a transgressor from the womb, and therefore it is not strange that he deals so very treacherously,’’ Isaiah 48:8. Thus God remembers that he is flesh, corrupt and sinful, Psalm 78:39. Secondly, "He will be utterly ruined; for, if he be dealt with according to his deserts, one flood must succeed another till all be destroyed.’’ See here, 1. That outward judgments, though they may terrify and restrain men, yet cannot of themselves sanctify and renew them; the grace of God must work with those judgments. Man’s nature was as sinful after the deluge as it had been before. That God’s goodness takes occasion from man’s sinfulness to magnify itself the more; his reasons of mercy are all drawn from himself, not from any thing in us. - Matthew Henry