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Gen. 6:9-10 – Noah – Part 1
Remember the first 65 years of Enoch’s life he was definitely not walking with God, he had the same godless attitude of those around him for those years. We learned that by “Faith” Enoch was taken from this life in a most unique way, so obviously those years of living a godless life was not counted against him.
Now today we look at another man who “walked with God,” and was also listed in the Hall of Faith in the book of Hebrews - Noah. Here is a man who exemplifies the attributes God considered worthy, so wouldn’t we want to learn more about them?
What was it about Noah, Job, Enoch, David and many others, that God Himself noticed them and considered them great men of faith? In the next couple weeks we will look into the life of Noah.
In 1888, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel awoke one morning to read his own obituary in the local newspaper: “The Merchant of Death is Dead: Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died yesterday, devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before, and he died a very rich man.” There was only one problem; Alfred Nobel had not died. Actually, it was his older brother who had died, but a newspaper reporter had somehow gotten it wrong. Regardless of how it happened, the account had a profound effect on Alfred Nobel. He decided he wanted to be known for something other than developing the means to kill people efficiently and for amassing a fortune in the process. So, he started the Nobel Peace Prize, the award for scientists and writers who foster peace. Nobel said, “Every man ought to have the chance to correct his epitaph in midstream and write a new one.”
How will we be remembered when our time on earth is over? When we are gone, how will others describe our faith in God? Are we preparing for God’s judgment?
This story of Noah will challenge us to answer these questions.
This week and next week we will focus on just a couple verses I think are important, though in 6:9-8:22 the narrative treats these paragraphs as one long section.
Write your epitaph (6:9-10). Moses writes, “This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had 3 sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.”
In 6:8, Noah “found favor” or “grace” through faith. Heb. 11:17 says: “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 the heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” This simple statement should give us ALL hope and confidence in what God is doing! If you have not yet felt alone or troubled or useless among those in your circle, the more you follow God, YOU WILL!
Ordinary circumstances do not often appear to tip toward God’s side. The bad guys seem to win more often than not. But GRACE is always just around the corner in God’s eye!
Then in 6:9-10, we learn four important things about Noah.
First, Noah was a “righteous man.” The word translated “righteous” (tsaddiq) means: “conformity to the standard.” The word “righteous” simply means that he accepted and used the righteous standards for his living and acting. It does NOT imply perfection or sinlessness.
I can’t imagine a more stressful and confusing time for a man who sought to understand what was happening. What a strong character he must have been to resist the pull of a WHOLE RACE! He was completely sold out to God! Standing alone in the midst of a perverted world; believing God when all the rest of the world denied him, making that giant oceanliner of a boat inland where people thought it could never float!
In the case of Noah, he conformed to the standard set by God. He was able to do so because God granted him grace. This reminds us that God’s grace always comes before anything. It’s easy to think that God loves us for what we are intrinsically, for what we have done, or what we can become.
But remember, God does not love us because of that, nor is He gracious to us because of that. On the contrary, He loves us solely because He loves us. He is gracious to us only because He is (Deut 7:7-8). This is a crucial truth for us to understand. We do not earn God’s grace or favor: Eph 2:8-9 - “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.”
He bestows it upon us for His own good pleasure: Eph 1:4-6 - “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.”
Not only was Noah a righteous man but 2 Peter 2:5 tells us that he was also a “preacher of righteousness.” Noah preached righteousness in the same way that his great-grandfather Enoch had done before him (Jude 1:14-15). The reason he could do this is that he himself was righteous. The reason that we do not have more preaching of righteousness in our day is that those who profess Christ are often not living righteous lives themselves or are more fearful of man than God and are afraid of “offending” people. Are we living with “right-ness”? Does our life match your convictions?
Second, Noah was “blameless.” The word “blameless” (tamim) involves the idea of completeness. Noah conformed to the standard set by God and his life was “complete,” with no essential quality missing. Again, the word blameless does not imply we are perfect or in a state where we no longer sin. Job was another example of “blameless,” but even he said: How can a mortal be righteous before God?” Righteousness and blamelessness go hand in hand, and Job knew it!
The phrase “in his time” highlights all the more clearly that Noah’s righteousness and blamelessness stood out against the sinfulness of those around him. Noah was not only righteous in the sight of God; he also had a credible reputation among the people of his day. They could not pin a single wrong action on him. He was blameless.
Arthur Friedman once said, “Men of genius are admired. Men of wealth are envied. Men of power are feared. But only men of character are trusted.” Does your character demand the trust of those people in your life?
We will continue to look into the life of Noah next week. Blessing to you all.