The grace of God is the most beautiful reality in the world! In the darkest times and in the darkest places grace can shine through to rescue lost souls. The most evil time in human history is recorded in Genesis chapter six. Every intention and thought of man was evil, continually. Satan seemed to have complete sway over humanity. The Bible says that Jehovah God, the creator of heaven and earth, was sorry that he had made man, and He was grieved in His heart. He intended to wipe mankind off the face of the planet. However, there is the great contrasting conjunction in verse eight. “BUT Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
This reminds me of another place in God’s Word that shows the great “contrasting” power of God’s grace. God’s grace can erase the tide of sin and death, and interject the light of life into the believer. Listen to what Paul says in Ephesians 2, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…and were by nature children of wrath.” Then, Paul shares the great contrast, “BUT God, being rich in mercy, made us alive together with Jesus Christ (it is by grace you have been saved).” While we were dead in sin, God acted to send His own Son to die on the cross for our sins.
How does one find grace? In the midst of the tragedy of pre-flood wickedness, why did Noah stand out? Why did He find favor? It says that Noah was a righteous man and upright in his generation. But the defining characteristic of Noah’s life is found in the words that follow. It says, “And Noah walked with God.” The mark of Noah’s life and lineage was faith in the God of creation. His family line began this walk of faith back in the end of chapter 4, when man began again to call upon the name of the Lord. Noah’s life mirrored his great-grandfather, Enoch, who “walked with God” and then he was taken by the Lord. The writer of Hebrews elaborates, indicating that Enoch did not see death!
What does it mean to walk with God? What was so different about Noah in the midst of wickedness that he found God’s grace? The writer of Hebrews gives us the answer. Enoch and Noah walked with God in faith. It is by faith, Hebrews reminds us, that Enoch walked with God. It is by faith and in the reverence towards God, that Noah built the ark. Noah and his family differentiated themselves, they contrasted themselves, from a world of sin by the faith they held in almighty God. Noah and his family illustrated the great alternative to a dying world.
The Lord began afresh and anew with the family of Noah. The whole of human civilization perished in the flood, except for the family that walked with God in faith. God preserved the race of mankind and His redemptive plan through the lineage of Noah. The stories of faith found in chapter eleven of Hebrews recalls all the times the patriarchs defied the world around them and shone forth the great truth that God’s grace comes to those who have faith in Him, who walk with Him. The message of Noah and the patriarchs is this: all who turn to the Lord in faith and walk in reverence finds His grace. That is the great contrast from the dying world. The Bible declares that the world and all of its desires is passing away, but the one who has faith in God and follows after His will remains forever!
Your life of faith is a witness in a dark and dying world. Your testimony can illustrate the great contrasting power of God’s grace. You and I were defined by our sinfulness and rejection of God’s word, BUT we found God’s grace, when we turned to Him and His Son in faith. Let your life be that great testimony of God’s great power to reverse the curse of death in one’s life! All of us can say with confidence, with awe and wonder, with love, and with joy that we once were dead in our sins and totally separated from God, BUT found grace by turning to Him in faith. Thanks be to God for His great gift of grace that changes sinners into His sons and daughters!
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-Devotional published in Weakley County Press, September 28th, 2021