It is hard to imagine what it would be like to be singled out as the only person on earth for something. That is exactly what happened to Noah in his generation. After reading that God regretted and grieved creating humanity, deciding to blot out His creation, we also read that there was one man, Noah, who, instead of being subjected to the judgment of God, found favor in God’s sight.
Here is one man, among the whole of humanity at this time, whom God looks upon and lavishes grace. Since humanity had rebelled against God in the Garden the account of the beginning of history has been pretty dark and despairing.
From the snapshots provided us in Genesis to this point, it is not hard to get glimpses of why God would make the sweeping assessment that the earth is filled with corruption. Like lungs filled with fluid, the violence that has blanketed the earth is depriving humanity of oxygen and quickly choking out all of life.
The fact that a song celebrating the most violent aggressors is found right in the middle of the narrative, is proof positive that the view and practice of violence then, rivals our most gratuitous and grotesque horror flicks now. Against this bleak backdrop, we are introduced to Noah. A man who is described as righteous, blameless, and obedient.
What could be passed over as a mere footnote, a comment lost in the cacophony of corruption and violence, is a four-word description that is perhaps the most important characteristic of this man who went against the grain. Tucked in this narrative is the statement, “Noah walked with God.” In a culture of men who were the captain of their own ship, the master of their own domain,
Noah was courageous enough to walk the path that, we must assume, no one else was walking. Imagine the opposition this provoked. It would be like pushing against the flow of an ocean of gladiators moving with intensity and savagery that leaves one sapped of all reserves and battered by the onslaught of unending body blows. It is hard to comprehend the audacity, the resolve involved in Noah waking up each morning, bandaging his bruises, and stepping back into the fray he knew awaited him.
Perhaps that sounds futile to you. I believe what drove Noah to walk with God day after day, year after year, decade after decade is the same thing that can be the driving force for us to walk with God as well. “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” The society around him was facing the judgment of God, and Noah found animosity from them. Before God, however, he found grace. Instead of the judgment of God, through Christ we can find favor in the eyes of the Lord. You may feel as though you are the only one walking with God in your world. Be encouraged to remain steadfast by the life of Noah. But be even more encouraged by the grace of God washing over you in Christ. Pause and pay attention to God’s grace in your life. That is the pathway to joy.
In the face of the judgment of God, that is the motivating power of grace.
This article appeared here.