Sunday, November 2, 2014

Noah Found Grace

Next week will be the anniversary of Noah’s flood, a subject I have spent many hours researching and studying over the years.  I’m not sure exactly why it has fascinated me so much but regardless of the reasons for my interest, it is also referenced often in scripture as well.  I thought today I would share a post from a few years back which talks about Noah, and the fact that he found the grace from God which resulted in his deliverance from judgment.  It is something we as believers also have in common with him by the grace we have received through our faith in Jesus Christ.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.      Genesis 6:8 NKJV

In the world we live in today, how often do you hear someone take the position that we "deserve" many of the things we have? I often hear many people say that we have a right to obtain or experience certain things in this life, and by now I am sure you are familiar with the fact that many so called preachers of the Word tell their followers the same thing. Yet anyone who studies the Word of God with an open mind soon finds that we as sinners deserve only one thing, and that is God's judgment. Yet the possibility to escape that which we deserve is a manifestation of what is called "grace", given to us by God despite the fact we are undeserving.

The first time the word grace is used in the Bible is here in Genesis where God tells us that "Noah found grace". One of the often quoted verses believers use when discussing the possibility we are living in the last days, and again when talking about the rapture is something Jesus said in the Olivet Discourse.

"But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.     Matthew 24:37 NKJV

But while most of the time the discussion centers around what people were like in Noah's day, one subject we usually find ignored is what made Noah different? What was it about Noah that helped him find “grace in the eyes of the Lord”? I believe if we look closely at what other men were like as opposed to Noah, we will see just what it is that God is looking for in order to bestow His grace on the undeserving.

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.     Genesis 6:5 NKJV

The first thing I think we are told in this verse about finding grace is that God has given us all a choice; a choice in whom we will serve. One of the things we know for certain is that all throughout Noah's age, as well as ours, God was and is calling out to men and pleading with them not to be deceived by Satan's lies. Yet the Bible makes it clear that men had made their choice, and it was to reject what God had to offer in exchange for the lie that Satan presents. So what was the first thing that set Noah and his family apart? They had made a choice to follow God, and the result was the chance to experience God's grace. All men must make a choice of whom they will serve, and that choice determines whether or not we experience God's grace, or His judgment.

"And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."      Joshua 24:15 NKJV

Second, in order for man to obtain grace, something I believe God is looking for is obedience. If we look at this verse we find that the result of man making the wrong choice was “wickedness”. From the context it seems evident what is being described are the actions of men after making their choice. When talking about the actions we take in this life, I believe they can be best described in only one of two ways; obedience to God, or disobedience. Those who choose to serve God, also choose to be obedient to Him and His commands. Obviously from this verse, it would seem that the result of making the wrong choice and serving Satan, results in only one thing and that is disobedience which leads to wickedness. Noah not only made the right choice in choosing to serve God, the result was also obedience, which was the second reason he found grace.

Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.       Genesis 6:22 NKJV

The third thing I believe we find in this verse is that in order to find grace we must have a heart for God. Notice that after talking about man's wickedness, we are told that “every intent” of man's heart was “evil continually”. How depraved is that? What we are being told is that absolutely nothing in man's heart was considered good, but only evil. The Hebrew word for heart here means man's inner will, thoughts, determination, and conscience. Basically, every waking moment was centered around thinking about doing evil. So if Noah “found grace”, what was in his heart? The logical answer would be just the opposite. Apparently Noah and his family had not only made a choice to serve God, and be obedient to His will, but to also spend their waking moments seeking to find ways to love Him and serve Him. Their desire was to please God by seeking to do good, rather than evil.

So he answered and said, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.'"       Luke 10:27 NKJV

If we look closely at where we are today, it would appear that the world is indeed much like the days of Noah. If we were to get all that we deserve in this life, we would find ourselves in the same position the men of Noah's day did; waiting to receive God's judgment. Yet because God loves us, we are offered a choice in order to experience God's grace and escape His judgment. How do we as sinners find grace in the eyes of God? Simply make the choice to follow Him, be obedient to His will, and seek to show your love for Him by committing your every waking moment to be used to further the kingdom.

Keep watching.