Genesis 6:8 – “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” NKJV
(Photo of the Ark in The Ark Encounter Theme Park)
Not only are we living in the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, we are also living in the dispensation of grace. I believe you and I would be hard-pressed to find someone who has not heard the song, “Amazing Grace” because it’s a classic in the world. But just in case there is one:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now I’m found,
was blind, but now I see!
The word “grace” is first mentioned in our key text, where Moses wrote that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. There are several important events in the Bible where grace is mentioned, and through this study, over the next few blogs, I intend to take a closer look at grace, zeroing in, on the grace of God.
The word for grace, in this verse is “chen”, the Hebrew word for favor, or, to find favor in the eyes of someone, to be acceptable to him”. If you know what happened to Noah, then you definitely understand this picture of grace.
God was upset with the human race because all they did and thought about was sin. Genesis 6 gives us a picture of world bent on life without God. But not Noah! Noah was of a different mindset, and in that crazy world in which he lived, he stood out as one who loved God.
From Adam to Noah, mankind lived ridiculously long lives. Noah was five hundred years old when he started having kids. We can’t imagine this, but he was probably in the prime of his life. In the book of Genesis we learn that Noah was a just man who walked with God, and according to scripture, was perfect. Therefore, he found grace, and was acceptable to God. When God had enough of the violence and corruption that filled the earth, He judged the earth and found it lacking, deciding to flood the earth and destroy it. But because of the favor that God had towards Noah, He chose to save Noah and his family from destruction.
God, therefore, tasked Noah with building the ark. This ark would keep Noah, his family, and the animals safe from the flood. Everything else had to be destroyed. It took Noah somewhere between 55 to 75 years to build the ark, but after carefully obeying God’s instructions, the ark was complete! When God instructed Noah to build this ark, it was a tangible picture of the grace God extended to Noah. Without this ark, Noah and his family would have also perished in the flood!
In the book of Hebrews, the writer tells us:
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Although Noah and his family were the only humans to be saved that day, God’s grace towards mankind was the bigger picture. God had condemned the world, and as such, every man, woman, boy, and girl, deserved His wrath, and thus, death; but because of His great love, mercy was extended when Noah found grace in His eyes.
Abraham was another person in the Old Testament who found favor in the eyes of the Lord. In Genesis 18:3, Abraham said:
“My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.
This word for favor, is the same word, “chen”, used when Noah found grace. Abraham wasn’t sure if he had found grace, but he said, “If I have…”, and the fact that the angels remained as he requested was a sign that he had found favor, or grace in the eyes of the Lord. It was during this encounter that two significant things happened. The first, was that Abraham and Sarah were told that they would soon have a son. The second, was the news about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Here, Abraham pleads for the mercy of God upon the city if there can be found 10 righteous souls. God obviously desired to extend His mercy, but there wasn’t even 10 in the two towns combined.
Lot was spared because of Abraham, and because he found “favor”, but the others perished. And again, when Lot didn’t want to go to the mountains, he appealed on the basis of grace, which was extended to him.
Three different incidents of three men who found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Lot! Abraham! Noah! Each time, God’s judgment came into play, and every time there was someone who found grace in His sight.
God’s grace is abundant grace. The word of God speaks of it in a sense of excessive grace towards us. As I have been meditating in Ephesians, I am awed by how much Paul speaks of the grace of God, using phrases like:
- Exceeding riches of His grace
- Abundance of grace
- Grace abounded
- All grace
- Exceeding grace
- Glory of His grace
- Riches of His grace
- Gift of grace
- According to the grace
- Throne of grace
- Fall short of the grace
- Manifold grace of God
Yet, it seems that we still have difficulty in realizing how very much God has extended His grace towards us who believe. I look forward to digging into His grace and hope you will join me in the days to come. Wonderful Jesus!