Genesis 6: Finding Grace in the Eyes of the LORD
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8)
Man fell because he decided to reject God. Rejection is a painful thing, isn’t it? When others push us away, they are really saying we aren’t what they want—we don’t satisfy them. And, when we are rejected, aside from being hurt, we may even want to hurt those who reject us. We may want to “get them back” somehow.
In Genesis 6, we see the ultimate destination of man’s fallen behavior. What began with Adam and Eve in the form of rebellion gave way to “every intent of the thoughts of his heart” were on evil continually. Man rejected God. However, such behavior on man’s part didn’t prompt anger from God, but sorrow (v. 6). Because God knew how destructive sin was and how much He longed to bless, it hurt God that man didn’t follow Him. No doubt as with Cain, God warned sinful man repeatedly of the consequences of his actions. But, when man would not change, God had no choice but to punish.
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord,” Genesis 6:8 tells us. Sometimes people think that grace—or favor— is a New Testament concept, but it isn’t. Anytime God acts toward us in a way we do not deserve, that is grace. Every action of God’s in the Bible of a positive nature toward man is an expression of His grace. What did Noah do to deserve such an observance of God? Verse 9 tells us he was a righteous, or a just, man, and that he “walked with God.”
God’s grace is never arbitrary. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). God gave His mercy to Noah because Noah was trying to serve God. Does this mean Noah earned God’s favor? No, Noah was still, like all men, a sinner. But, because he had a heart that longed to serve God, God extended His grace and provided salvation to Noah and his family when He wiped out sin from the world.
What about you? In this sinful world, have you found grace in God’s eyes? Does He look upon you with mercy, and long to give to you what you don’t have, but so desperately need?
In reality, all men are in need of His grace, but, also in reality, all men don’t find favor in His eyes. What separates those who do from those who don’t? The same things that separated Noah from the antediluvian world: righteousness and a desire to be with God. For us today, this righteousness is not our own, but only comes to us through Jesus Christ, “…and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Philippians 3:9). When our sins are washed away, we can then have a relationship with God which was impossible while we were sinners. We can then “walk” with God, which speaks of an ongoing relationship, a desire to be with Him and never without Him. It is to worship Him, honor Him, respect Him, and yes, obey Him as our Lord and King.
So, what about you? Can it be said of you that you have “found grace in the eyes of the LORD?” Have you sought to be righteous through Christ? Can it be said you are walking with Him today? Have you found favor in the eyes of the LORD?
Let’s apply this to our lives.