Gen 6:8,9 "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord...Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God."
Wow. What a statement about this guy, Noah. Almost everyone knows about Noah. What do we know? Basically what we see in children's books and toys. He was the guy who built the ark and brought in all the animals when there was a great flood over the earth. Now some dispute whether this flood ever took place, and I am not going to go into all of the proof that this happened. What I want to center on, however, is how we miss the truth about who Noah really was. We simplify the story. We picture a guy with a white flowing beard and hair bringing the animals into a huge ship and we kind of leave it at that…but there is so much more.
We have to get an idea about what the world was like in Noah's day. It was a rotten place. "The wickedness of man was great in the earth and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." V 5 In the middle of it all was this one guy who stood out. He was different. He didn't cave in to what was going on around him. He didn't let the evil and wickedness of his day suck him in. In fact, his thoughts were different. His heart was different. When evil and wickedness were swirling all around him, this guy was just. He was righteous. He did what was right. When everyone else was doing wrong he did the opposite. He was also perfect in his generation. He was wholesome. He was innocent. He had integrity. No wonder he found grace in God's eyes. No wonder God favored Him. God looked at this guy as being elegant in His eyes. (That is what the word 'grace' means.) God looked at the earth and was sorry. He was sorry that he made man. But He was also happy that He made this one man because like Enoch, Moses walked with God. Because of that God used him to save the earth.
I don't think that Noah had this in mind for his life. I don't think that Noah had any inkling that God was going to use him in this way. He just did what he knew was the right thing to do. He walked with God. He listened to God. He moved when God moved. He knew that the pressure of the world was nothing in comparison to his relationship with the God of all creation. He stayed in that place. He too was consistent. (See yesterday's blog.) And that is all he wanted for his life. To walk with God. To live a righteous life. To walk with integrity. And what happened? God's favor rested upon Him and God picked him out to use him in an unbelievable way.
I think of Noah's obedience also. "Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did." (v22) This was Noah's way of life. He would not have it any other way. Even though building a huge ship on dry land did not make any sense at all, he did it because God told him to do it. It was a result of His walk.
This really challenges me. I wish that God would say about me that I walked with Him. That I was a just man perfect in my generation. But I know that I have a long way to go. How do I know? Because this unswerving obedience in the face of something that makes no sense and is totally contrary to logic and common sense and that flies in the face of all that is going on around me is a tough thing to do. I know that I put things off. I know that I try to negotiate things with God. And frankly, that is not walking. That is disobedience. And that is sin. I have to step out and do something that may make no sense to me or to many. Will it take time? Yes. Will it be a challenge? Yes. Is it taking me out of my comfort zone? Yes.