5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

In Ancient Greek theater, the actors wore masks to express the emotions of their characters. These masks also allowed the actors to play more than one role, as well as helped those in distant seats see clearly the expression of the character. The masks even helped with sound, as the mask acted like a small megaphone.[1] Overall, the purpose of the masks served to show the audience the character through outward appearance. While masks are often still used in theater and film, most people do not wear actual masks on a regular basis. However, many of us do wear figurative masks, often projecting an image that is not truly reflective of our inward reality. In Genesis 6, we are reminded that God not only sees the outward actions of all people, but He also knows the inward reality deeply.

In this passage, we read that God observed the wickedness of man on the earth. Yet, the grief that God experienced over the wickedness of mankind was deeper because He also saw that the heart of mankind was continually evil. Because of this reality, God decided to destroy the earth by means of a great flood. This is a very sorrowful moment in Scripture. Yet, even in the great hardship of the reality of what the world was, there was a glimmer of hope. A man named Noah found favor with God.

Today, many of us still wear “masks,” seeking to cover the spiritual realities of our hearts before others. We should be reminded that God sees every part of our being; our sin cannot be hidden from Him. Yet just like Noah, we are not left without hope. Knowing the dark reality of the sinfulness of mankind, God sent His Son Jesus, that we might receive His favor and be saved from the penalty of our sin, just as Noah and his family were saved from the flood.

• Where are you most prone to wear a spiritual mask?

• How have you experienced the fruit of being honest with the reality of your sin before God and others?

• Confess before the Lord the ways you have sought to cover your sin on your own. Thank Him that He has sent Jesus to pay the penalty for the sinfulness you so often seek to hide.

[1] City Dionysia - Masks, Costumes and Props. Accessed March 05, 2019. http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/interactives/greece/theater/playersProps.html.