So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. (Genesis 6:12, N.K.J.V.)
It is interesting how God Himself described the world’s population of Noah’s day. He said they had “corrupted their way.” The image called to mind is that of a person who was created to live in a certain way, but that person is tainting that way, marring it, defiling it, or perverting it through behavior that is contradictory to it.
In our way of thinking, corruption is something that only happens in the realms of business, government, court rooms, law enforcement, etc. When we hear the word, we think of lying, taking bribes, covering up scandals, or showing bias one way or the other. We typically don’t think of missing God’s will for our lives as corrupting those lives. That is, however, exactly what the Bible teaches in our text verse.
You see, you can corrupt your way without becoming a murderer, a robber, an alcoholic, or a drug addict. When Jesus described the people of Noah’s day, He said they were “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (Matthew 24:37-38; Luke 17:26-27). Is eating a sin? Not unless you commit the sin of gluttony by eating too much. Is drinking a sin? Not unless you commit the sin of drunkenness by drinking too much alcohol. Is marrying a sin? Not unless you commit the sin of bigamy or polygamy by having multiple spouses. Is giving in marriage a sin? Not unless you knowingly marry off your son or daughter into bigamy or polygamy. Still, though, God said concerning those people, “They have corrupted their way on the earth.” As W.A Criswell wrote in The Criswell Study Bible, “Noah’s day was characterized by preoccupation with trivial matters and neglect of spiritual concerns.”
The point is, you can corrupt God’s intended way for your life simply by not giving Him His proper place in your life. When you ignore His will and do your own, you corrupt your way. When you ignore His word and follow your own logic, you corrupt your way. Certainly when you ignore His Son (Jesus) and don’t believe in Jesus as Savior, you corrupt your way not only in an earthly sense but an eternal one.
Right now, here at the onset of this new year, you should do an assessment of your life to see how much deviation there is between it and the life that God wants you to be living. Again, the fact that you haven’t been arrested recently and aren’t in rehab doesn’t mean that you are living in your God-approved way. Remember the people of Noah’s day. Many of them were just eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, and yet somehow through all of it they were corrupting their way. Like W.A. Criswell said, they were preoccupied with trivial (worldly) matters while they were neglecting spiritual ones. If that doesn’t describe a whole lot of people today, I don’t know what does. Just be sure that you aren’t one of them and that you are living a life that is in line with your God-intended way rather than a corruption to it.