Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
The worst man has ever been in our history was during the time before God destroyed the world in a global flood. Scripture says that all of mankind was so depraved that “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5), causing God to be “sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” (v. 6). Yet there was one man during that time who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (v. 8)…Noah.
What was it about Noah that brought him favor in God’s eyes? Scripture says he was a righteous man, blameless in his generation, and that he walked with God (v. 9). Surrounded by a world completely filled with unrighteousness and sin, Noah was different.
Was he sinless? No. In fact, Genesis 9 records him getting so drunk that he passed out naked on one occasion. However, Noah was penitent when he sinned. He recognized his sinfulness and worked hard to overcome it and serve God, and he was successful. We know this because the Bible says he also “did all that God had commanded him” (6:22; 7:5). This was due to his faith (Hebrews 11:7), which makes sense because Scripture teaches that a true, living faith is one that proves itself by works of obedience to God (James 2:14-26).
Additionally, Noah was “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). He didn’t have a pulpit. He didn’t attend a seminary. He was likely a carpenter or farmer, not a professional preacher. However, none of that mattered when he saw the sinfulness of the world in which he lived. He couldn’t stay silent. He told everyone he knew about the righteousness of God.
Noah found grace. So must we. Since all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23) and cannot be saved without grace (Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11-12), we need to find grace just like Noah did. Paul said that what was written in the Old Testament was written to instruct us, encourage us, give us hope, serve as an example to us, and correct us (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11). Noah’s biography is in the Bible for a reason. It serves as a guide to help us find grace in the eyes of the Lord today. If we want the grace of God, we must be like Noah.
We also must be righteous, blameless in our generation. Again, that does not mean perfection because no one save Jesus has ever been sinless (1 John 1:8; Romans 3:23; Hebrews 4:14-15). It does mean that we must allow God to make us blameless and righteous. This happens when we first obey His command to believe in Christ, repent of our sins, and wash our sins away through baptism into Christ and His body which is His church (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Ephesians 1:4, 22-23; 4:4; Romans 6:1-5; Galatians 3:26-27; 1 Corinthians 12:13). That’s when we become Christians, born again and cleansed of sin. It continues when, as Christians, we “walk in the light” by penitently acknowledging our sins to God and each other, resulting in continual cleansing and forgiveness (1 John 1:7-9; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11; James 5:16). Consequently, we stay righteous and blameless in the sight of God.
Like Noah, we must walk with God and obey Him in all things if we want to receive grace. Salvation is given only to those who obey Jesus (Hebrews 5:9; Matthew 7:21-27; 28:19-20). Obedient Christians walk with God. They “no longer walk as the Gentiles do” (Ephesians 4:17-20). Instead, they must imitate God and “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:1-2), walking “as children of light” who “try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” by “taking no part in the unfruitful works of darkness” and instead “look(ing) carefully…how (they) walk” by “understand(ing) what the will of the Lord is” (vs. 8-11, 15-17).
We must also be “preachers of righteousness” like Noah. Most of us don’t step into pulpits, but we can talk to others about God’s will revealed in Scripture and we can reflect Jesus by living godly lives which refuse to conform to the world but are instead transformed (1 Peter 2:9; Romans 12:2).
Does all of this describe you? Have you found grace in God’s sight? If you’d like to learn more, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.