The Greeks believed God cannot have emotions because, if He did and if we are the cause of His emotions – whether grief, anger, sorrow, love, or dismay – then to that extent we would have power over God and control Him. That may be reasonable as philosophy, but it is not the Bible’s teaching. The Bible says that God grieves over sin and rejoices when a sinner is reclaimed. Jesus makes this explicit in Matthew 18.10-14, saying in the parable of the great shepherd, “He is happier about that one sheep [that is found] than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.” The fact is, God rejoices when we repent and return to Him.
We said last week that it is not the angels who are important in Matthew 18.10-14. They may be interceding on behalf of weak or wandering Christians, an encouraging thing to know. But what is really important here is that God is compared to the shepherd who seeks and finds the lost sheep.