GRACE! In Genesis 5:1-6:8 we find the origins of mankind, his linage, his total descent from fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden to the final corruption of the human race except for one man who found favor or grace in God’s sight. The bible describes it like this, “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:5-8 NIV). If anyone thinks the human race is progressing away from sin and advancing toward righteousness they need only read this account of God’s evaluation of mankind.
From Adam to Noah one can see God’s grace (favor) at work in certain individuals who retained their integrity or love for God. People like Enoch of whom it was stated, “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Genesis 5:24 NIV). Noah was a righteous man living among a totally corrupted society. “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. (Genesis 6:11-12 NIV).” If not for the grace of God the human race would have ended in Noah’s day. If not for the grace of God we would never have existed and if not for the grace of God His judgment would fall on us today for our sins. But God’s Word reminds us there is a day of judgment coming for the human race for their sins unless a change of relationship with God occurs, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise (of judgment), as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NIV).” People misunderstand the grace and love of God by believing that since things have always been the same during their life cycle that things will always be the same. God’s patience and grace will one day run out for the human race and judgment will be swift and complete. Just as it happened in Noah’s day.
For us Christian’s it always good to remind ourselves often of God’s grace. It helps us to retain our perspective in a world that reminds us of the world of Noah’s day. My “life verses” are Ephesians 2:8-10, “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. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (NIV).” Except for God’s grace Noah would have died in the flood. Except for God’s grace we would die in our sinful state. But in God’s grace He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins so we could experience His grace and experience salvation—deliverance from His judgment through Christ’s work on our behalf (John 3:16). As we view our world today, no matter how good or bad we think it is, let us remember that a day of accounting is coming for this world and the people living in it. And let us be as faithful as Noah in sharing the gospel message to those around us as Noah did in his day. The bible calls Noah a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). He didn’t just walk faithfully with God but he also proclaimed God’s message as well. Let us do the same in our generation. Jesus is coming soon!