Understanding His story helps us to understand that His-Story is our Story!
Week Two: Noah Finds Grace - Genesis 6-7
By: Mike Anderson - prodigalmike.com
Grace is defined as undeserved, unmerited favor. One of the easiest ways to understand what Grace really is, is to think about it this way: Grace is loving the most unlovable, absolutely unlovely and totally undeserving human being there has ever been! When God said let there be light, it was an act of Grace! God is all knowing! God always has been all knowing! So, when He said let there be light, He already knew what was going to happen, yet He said it anyway. God creates the earth and all of the resources that mankind would need to live and to flourish. God not only creates the earth, but He also put a special place on it just for the human beings that He created. He knew that Adam and Eve would reject His will and seek their own glorification! He knew that of the first two children born, Cain would kill his own brother. He does not kill Cain as a punishment, but instead offers him a chance at life and gave he and his descendants a chance to follow the Lord. That’s Grace! But they would not follow.
Five generations after Cain there is a man named Lamech who has multiple wives and also kills a young man for wounding him. He twisted the promise of God made to Cain for his own purposes. His actions and his self-justification reveal how far man had fallen from moral and spiritual law that God had written on their hearts. (See: Romans 2:11-16.) Man sinks so far into sin, that the human race itself becomes so wicked that God experiences regret.
It came to the point that “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)
God would destroy the human race but for one, small, insignificant man. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8 - NKJV)
At the conclusion of this lesson, students will understand that God gives Grace and mercy according to what God sees in the heart. Through Noah and the ark, students will see how He will accomplish the fulfillment of His Grace through Jesus Christ.
The hearts of men and every thought that occurs is known by the Lord.
God’s love is shown in the fact He has taken extraordinary steps to save us.
God’s Grace is evident in the scriptures from the very beginning.
As Adam and Eve debated about what to do after they had sinned against God, they hid themselves thinking God would not see what they had done. But God was coming. They hear the Lord coming closer and instead of running to meet God they ran away and hid from Him. Then they hear the Lord say, “Where are you?”
Of course, God knew where they were. God was not seeking an answer for Himself. He was seeking an answer for them. God wanted them to realize where they were and what they had become. They certainly did not deserve it, but God wanted to show them His Grace. He shows them His love through the first blood sacrifice ever made and then, taking that sacrifice, He uses it to cover their nakedness which was symbolic of the shame that now was obvious.
Ten generations later, God is looking again. Genesis 6:5 says, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great…” He was looking at men. He not only sees what they are doing, but He also sees the thoughts they are thinking. Genesis 6:5 also says that He saw, “...every intent of the thoughts of his heart…” The fact that the word “heart” is used, indicates that He sees the deepest, darkest desires hidden in the hearts of men! God was looking, but like in the garden, He was not looking for His own benefit or because He did not know. Once again, He was not seeking an answer for Himself, but He was seeking an answer for mankind. For us! God was looking for… anyone. The scriptures do not say that God found Grace or that God found Noah. The Lord simply gives us a statement that says, “But Noah found grace...”
2. How did Noah find Grace?
The word for found in Hebrew is Matsa. It means found and is also sometimes translated sufficient, possessed, enough and other similar words and is used 425 times in the Old Testament. In other words, in the eyes of the Lord, the Lord possesses enough sufficient Grace for Noah! Noah did not go looking for Grace and find it. Noah did not find Grace in the sense that you and I think of the word “find”, Noah was found by Grace! God found him! Matt Redman sings a wonderful song about the miracle of God’s Grace finding us! “Your Grace Finds Me” (it will be on the website on the CBT page).
But why Noah? Why him and no one else? Genesis 6:9 tells us a little about the “why”. “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time”. Noah was upstanding in the community, but he was not sinless. “All have sinned and fall short…” (Romans 3:23) I am sure there were good people in the world at that time and Noah was one of them, but it is not enough to be a good person. The next part of the verse gives more insight, “Noah walked with God”. Later, in the book of Hebrews it is made perfectly clear! “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)
Faith! That is how it happened! Noah had faith in God! He did not just talk it! He did not just sit on it in a pew on the Lord’s day! He did not ask for blessings and see to his own interest until God gave him everything he wanted! He had faith! Real faith! He is given the plans to the ark and he immediately begins working on it. He works on it for 200 years! And remember, it had never rained! (Genesis 2:5-6) He preached to the people and told them that God was about to bring judgment and they must prepare! (2 Peter 2:5) But they would not listen! In fact, he was literally preaching something akin to “the sky is going to fall.” Have you ever known anyone who always talks like the sky is falling? Now imagine Noah saying that and building a boat that was nowhere near water and you had never seen rain! Noah had faith. He stuck with it even up to the day when he actually walked onto the ark and brought his family on board.
Something we must realize is that Noah's sons are not said to have found Grace in the eyes of the Lord. Neither had Noah's wife or Noah's father or anyone else in Noah's family. Yet because God chose to give Grace to Noah, because of his faith, his wife and three sons, along with their wives, we're all saved from the flood.
So where did Noah learn to walk with God? Someone taught him to have faith and to sacrifice (we see that later). Noah's great grandfather was Enoch, who also walked with God. But he went to be with the Lord at the young age of 365 and he was no more. God took him to to be with Him. So Enoch had been gone 69 years before Noah was born.
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