Having looked at what seems an injustice, the God of love sending a flood, this week we looked at to what others felt was another inconsistency – why were Noah and his family saved? Surely this is arbitrary, God choosing one family over others for no reason and reflects his random and bizarre ways.
But as we looked at the passage of Genesis 6, we discovered that there were clear reasons for Noah and his family being saved.
But not all hope was lost, there was a guy, Noah
Firstly, let’s remind ourselves about why God sent the flood. Re-reading Genesis 6:5 reminds us that God did not just send a flood, but that human wickedness had become so great that God, the just and perfect omnibenevolent God was grieved that he had even made humans. Even the use of the word omnibenevolent here (not in Genesis) draws us back to part of the very nature of God – that He wills for the good. God sent a flood, not because things were going well, but because things had gone wrong, seriously wrong, sin had so messed up the world that God had created and intended and what he saw were poles apart.
But not all hope was lost; there was a guy, Noah, who was different. As we read Genesis 6 we see that there are three things that mark Noah out:
- V8 – But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
- V9 – Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.
- V22 – Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
What saved Noah? Well his actions were different, but was he saved by these? V8 gives us the answer. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was saved by grace. He was not saved by what he did but he was saved because he had made the conscious decision to follow God, to allow God to be God in his life and follow him no matter what, even if that meant building a boat in the middle of a desert!
All around Noah people were sinning. All around us people are sinning and we sin too. In the same way that Noah chose to follow God and he had an attitude of obedience, so too I would say that sin is an attitude and a choice. We often think of it as certain acts that defy God, but I think of sin as more of an attitude, a bit like this:
We can choose two ways of life, one that puts ourselves first, and the results of which are acts we call sin – stealing, lying, cheating etc. Or we can choose to put God first, the results of which are life, life to the full and amazing blessings in this life and the next. This word grace that pops up in Genesis 6:8 means ‘undeserved favour’.
The word Grace … means ‘undeserved favour’.
Paul teaches us in Romans that the problem of sin was not just a problem for Adam and Eve or just of the people of Noah’s time, actually it affects us all. Paul writes in Romans 3:23 ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. We all deserve what the people of Noah’s time got, Romans 6:23a tells us – ‘for the wages of sin is death’.
But the good news is that God doesn’t want to leave us in trouble. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God is patient with us not wanting any of us to perish. He loves us too much to leave us where we are. Romans 6:23 finishes off ‘BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord’. God’s grace, undeserved favour, wasn’t just for Noah and his family, but through the cross of Jesus it has been extended to you and to me. Through the wood of the ark Noah and his family were saved, through the wood of the cross grace is extended to us. We are not good enough, but God loves us so much that he wants us to be in a relationship with him.
Before Noah was saved, he had to believe in God and follow Him, and then he experienced the awesomeness of grace. In the same way, we must accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins. That’s quite tough, because it means accepting that we cannot do it alone, that we need God. But when we say sorry for our sins, when we allow God to be in control of our lives as he intended, then we see grace working in our lives and we experience grace overflowing and see God blessing us.
We have the choice – are we going to choose to do our own thing or are we going to choose to let God be God in our lives. If you put yourself first, good luck to you. If you put God first, hold onto your seat, the journey is going to be EPIC!!!