Summary: If you don’t consistently spend time alone with God in His Word and in prayer, you don’t have a walk with God! If you don’t have a walk with God, you will not be able to stand alone as Noah did. You will be more conformed to this evil world than you ...
Opening Illustration: According to an African fable, four fingers and a thumb lived together on a hand. They were inseparable friends. One day, they noticed a gold ring lying next to them and conspired to take it. The thumb said it would be wrong to steal the ring, but the four fingers called him a self-righteous coward and refused to be his friend. That was just fine with the thumb; he wanted nothing to do with their mischief. This is why, the legend goes, the thumb still stands separate from the other fingers.
This tale reminds me that at times we may feel we’re standing alone when wrongdoing surrounds us. In Noah’s day, the earth was filled with violence; every thought in every heart was “evil continually” (Genesis 6:5, 11). Yet “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (v.8). Fully devoted to God, Noah obeyed Him and built the ark. The Lord, in His grace, spared him and his family.
We too have been shown God’s grace through His Son Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We have every reason to bring Him honor and stand strong for Him in our daily lives. He is always near, even abiding in us, so we never really stand alone. His “ears are open to [our] cry” (Psalm 34:15). [Jennifer Benson Schuldt, ODB]
Introduction: Noah was a splendid figure of solitary goodness! He was the solitary saint in a time of universal apostasy. His character demonstrates that it is possible therefore, to be good even though we have to stand alone. For 120 years people laughed at him but now the ‘The flood’ was a vindication of his faith. It brought everyone to their knees and so will the last days. It is possible to be right with God even amidst surrounding iniquity. God is the same today as He was to Noah, and if only we are willing to fulfill the same conditions, we too shall walk with God and please Him.
What was the character of the man who has God’s call upon his life?
1. Finds GRACE in the eyes of God (v. 8)
‘Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.’ This was the foundation of his life as it is the foundation of every true life today. ‘By grace we are saved.’ In the biblical sense, ‘Grace’ means God’s unmerited favor, and it was this alone that gave Noah his spiritual position before God. He was ‘saved by grace alone.’ In its proper meaning, it means that the recipients of grace actually deserved the judgment too.
This grace, which Noah found and shared in, was the favor and good will of God; Noah was grateful and acceptable to him; he was well pleased with him in Christ; his person, services, and sacrifices, were acceptable to him through the Beloved; though he might not be acceptable in the eyes of men, who derided him for his piety and devotion, and especially for his prediction of the flood, and making an ark to save him and his family from it; yet he was very acceptable in the eyes of the Lord, and grateful in his sight, and was favored with grace from him, who is the God of all grace, and with all the supplies of it.
2. RIGHTEOUS Man (v. 9)
“Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time” (6:9). The word righteous is used in two ways in the Bible. It is used of the righteousness of faith, that is, of imputed righteousness (Romans 3:21-4:25). When a person trusts in Christ as his sin-bearer, God credits the righteousness of Jesus Christ to his account. We know that Noah had been justified by faith because Hebrews 11:7 says that his obedience in building the ark shows that he was “an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
But the word righteous is also used of the right conduct which stems from being justified (declared righteous) by faith. It means “conformity to a standard” and points to the observable behavior of those who live by God’s revealed standards of right and wrong. When verse 9 says that Noah was righteous, it is referring to this type of righteousness. It would be wrong to say that Noah found favor with God (6:8) because he was a righteous man. Rather, because he was the object of God’s undeserved favor, he lived a righteous life. His faith showed itself in good works and moral behavior. That’s always God’s order--grace first, then saving faith, then good deeds (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Noah was not only righteous, but also blameless, which means “complete” or “whole,” that Noah had integrity. The phrase “in his time [or, generations]” means that Noah’s contemporaries viewed him that way. Many of them probably thought he was crazy, but they couldn’t deny that he lived what he believed. That Noah was righteous and blameless does not mean that he was perfect. He sinned just as we do. But Noah confessed his sin to God and he obeyed God. Noah’s righteousness and blamelessness are summed up in the words, “Noah walked with God.”