“But Noah…” (Genesis 6:8)
It didn’t take long. On only Page 11 in my bible, mankind had become so wicked God was sorry He had created them. God saw that “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time,” so He decided to wipe them out (6:5-7). But that’s when we read these beautiful words which followed:
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (v8)
Among all the men whom God had created, one was different in some way. If you’re like me, you’re quick to jump to the conclusion that Noah was different because of what he DID. You may read verse 22 which says that “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” and conclude that due to his obedient conduct, Noah WON the favor of God. But that’s not what the verse says.
The order of things here makes a huge difference. Noah FIRST received the “favor” of God – a Hebrew word meaning God’s unmerited grace. It was only AFTER Noah received God’s grace do we read about his obedient and righteous actions (Genesis 6:22; 7:1).
Do you see the important difference? Noah’s righteousness didn’t earn God’s favor/grace; God’s gift of free grace transformed Noah’s life in ways that led to his obedience and righteousness. The same is true today – God’s grace is received freely by faith, then God’s grace transforms our life. And being right with God leads to being used by Him in unique ways. –Dave
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