And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Ge 8:21.
At this point, following the flood and Noah’s offering to him, God decided to deal with us humans as we are. No longer would he try to develop a “pure” strain. Instead, he would have grace toward our impurity.
Thus, an imperfect Abraham could be God’s instrument. A very imperfect David could be called a righteous man. And me. And you.
Takes some pressure off, doesn’t it?
The Genesis flood story thus affirms that God has faced the monumental obstacle to the creation project constituted by the negative inclination of the human mind, has therefore thought of abandoning this creation project, but has determined not to do so.
John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology: Israel’s Gospel, vol. 1 (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 178–179.