Genesis 4-7 Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD

From Genesis 4-7

01 Genesis EarthThe LORD is grieved over all creation. They are all evil from the heart. Except one man, who is righteous and finds his favour. Today we look at Noah and the flood.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

All of mankind are evil and corrupt in the LORD’s sight. Only Noah is described as righteous and he finds the LORD’s favour. This is where our passage picks up.

[5] The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. [6] And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

[7] So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Gen 6.5-7)

‘Wickedness of man’. The depiction of man is astonishingly bad. Every intention and thought, only evil, continually. God is understandably grieved. He will do something about it.

‘Blot out’. God resolves to blot out – destroy all wickedness and most of the animals he has created. Effectively he hits the restart button.

[8] But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

[9] These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. [10] And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Gen 6.8-10)

‘Favor’, ‘Righteous man’. Noah on the other hand finds favour with the LORD. He finds favour because he is different to wicked humanity. He is a righteous man and walks with God. Therefore God will save him.

God saves the righteous. Those who walk with him.

‘Generations of Noah’. The Genesis accounts are structured around narratives of people. This narrative concerns Noah and his three sons.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. (Gen 6:11-18)

And God sets in motion his plan to save Noah and his family from the coming destruction. Noah found favour in the eyes of the LORD. So the LORD had mercy on him and set about to save him and his family.

The LORD commands Noah to build an Ark. Basically like a big coffin shaped boat. Its really big. Big enough to hold two of every kind of animal. Clean and unclean. Then the LORD shuts them all in the ark and sends the rain. It rains a lot. The flood comes and everything dies on the earth (Gen 7).

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Moving forward, there is a bit of ground to cover before we get to the story of Israel. Soon God will call Abraham and from him will come his offspring. God also has a plan to save them, we will see this through various covenants and the promises associated with them. But sadly they don’t always measure up to Noah’s example. They too need someone to save them – from themselves!

Story of Jesus

What picture of God emerges from the Flood narrative? If we look to the New Testament, the Flood should be a reminder to us of the reality of final judgment. As we seen in the gospel for example;

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Mt 13.36-43)

Of course there is grace and mercy – the forgiveness of sins. But God’s justice will be exercised in the end, as they were in the Flood. We should not succumb to fear, but strive for holiness (1 Pet 1.16-17). God does not desire to scare us by threats of judgment but to win us by acts of love, mercy, and grace. This is how the cross should shape our behaviour now (1 Pet 1.18-19). God’s grace and justice is most strikingly evident when set in contrast to the darkness and gloom of a sinful world racing toward its judgment.

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