Yesterday, we looked at the depth of sin and its consequences in Genesis 6:5-13. So today its time for some good news! I’d like to find it in that same passage of Scripture:
8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Noah is described as: finding favor in the eyes of the Lord, righteous, blameless in his generation, and walking with God. Let’s look briefly at each one of these descriptors.
FINDING FAVOR IN THE EYES OF THE LORD
Some versions of Scripture translate verse 8 as finding “grace” in the eyes of the Lord, which is perhaps a more accurate translation. After all, the only way that people can be saved from God’s wrath is through God’s grace. This is the first time the word “grace” occurs in Scripture, and it’s in the midst of the utter sinfulness of Genesis 6! Some define grace as “divine unmerited favor.” In fact, in Hebrew, “grace” comes from a root meaning “to bend or stoop,” which implies that grace means the unmerited or condescending favor of a superior person “stooping down” to an inferior. Noah is not described as the perfect person, but one on whom God has bestowed His favor. Why did God do this? Because Noah was righteous.
Throughout Scripture, it is made clear that the only way to be righteous before God is through faith. The author of Hebrews tells us “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (11:6) He then immediately gives an example of such faith in the next verse: “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household” (11:7). Noah was righteous before God because he had faith in God. Yet this wasn’t merely an inward faith, because Noah is also described as blameless in his generation.
BLAMELESS IN HIS GENERATION
Note that the scripture does not say that Noah was blameless. No one is blameless before God—all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. But, Noah is described as blameless compared to those around Him (“in his generation”). The world has gotten so bad and sinful, that Noah, who would later get so drunk that he passed out, was considered blameless compared to them. Yet, despite Noah’s sin, he would be faithful to God. After all, he was willing to risk building a giant boat in the middle of dry land, in a world that had never before experienced rain—all because God said so. He certainly demonstrated faith while preaching to the people around him and having them reject his offer of salvation.
WALKED WITH GOD
Compared to the people around him, its easy for one to say that Noah alone walked with God. Noah communed with God. Noah listened to God. And God used Noah to do an incredible thing. As we will learn more about next week, God used Noah and the Ark as a picture of the redemption that would one day come through Jesus Christ.
My prayer is that our church would be filled with Noah’s—people who find favor in the eyes of the Lord, not because of our own righteous deeds, but through faith in Jesus Christ who alone can make us righteous before God, and lead us to live blameless lives in our community, as we daily walk with Him.
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