Noah Found Grace–You Can Too!
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God . . . Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. Genesis 6:5-8, 22 NKJV
In the antediluvian world (before the Great Flood), the wickedness of man was great. So great, in fact, that every intent of people’s hearts and their thoughts were “only evil continually.” This sinful condition of the human race caused God to repent that he had created man. “Repent” meaning that God sighed in disgust, felt regret and sorrow, and was deeply grieved in His heart. The above scripture text reinforces this unchanging truth: wickedness grieves the heart of God. Not just in Noah’s day, but also in this day and time (Matt. 24:37). Although no one is perfectly sinless; nonetheless, it pleases God when we find grace in spite of temptation, sin and darkness that surround us—day-in day-out.
The first mention of the word “grace” in the Bible appears here in Genesis chapter 6:8. The first mention of the word in the New Testament appears in Luke 1:30, when the angel Gabriel said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” “Grace” and “favor” are words of the same meaning both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. So, grace is favor and favor is grace.
Traditionally, grace has been defined as, undeserved, unmerited favor and kindness. But when you consider the working of grace in the lives of God’s people throughout scripture, it is clear to see that grace isn’t just undeserved, unmerited favor and kindness, but grace is also God’s operational power and provision that is made available to us according to His plan and purpose for our lives. For example, Noah, not only found favor and kindness that effected his salvation and deliverance from the Great Flood of judgment and destruction, but he also found an operational power and provision of God in the building of the Ark.
How did Noah find grace when there was no written law, no God-given commandment, and no Holy Spirit in the earth? Noah, I believe, relied on his conscience and the integrity of his heart to guide him as a light in the gross darkness of his generation (see Romans 2:12-15). He affirmatively responded to God’s grace and favor when others failed to. Grace requires a response in faith (see Eph. 2:8). God is a Sovereign God and He could have elected Noah to build the Ark and be saved over all others. But there is also human responsibility that must be taken in consideration. Divine Sovereignty and human responsibility are not mutually exclusive—they work together. God gives the grace and man must respond in faith, so did Noah.
Please notice that after Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, he became a just man, a perfect man (complete, mature, and blameless before his generation), he walked with God, and he was obedient. This is the Biblical order: we are saved by grace through faith, then we are made just (righteousness), perfectly complete in Christ, and without an evil conscience, we have relationship and fellowship with God through the obedience of our faith. Noah found grace and you can too. Grace is found not earned!