Friday, November 24, 2023

The Vision (11.24.23): But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD


Image: Noah icon, sixteenth century, Mt. Athos, Greece.

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Genesis 6:1-8.

Genesis 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

In light of the fact that “the wickedness of man was great” (Genesis 6:5), the LORD made a solemn declaration of his intent utterly to destroy “man whom I have created” (v. 7a). Note that this destruction would entail “both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air” (v. 7b). All creation must pay the price for man’s sin! Again, we hear that God “repented” (cf. v. 6), meaning that he was grieved, disturbed at the mess fallen humanity had made of the world he once looked upon and declared to be very good (Genesis 1:31).

Imagine if you took the time to build something or prepare something of great value. And then one rogue actor came in and, in a few moments, destroyed all that you had so carefully made. It is so much easier to destroy than it is to create and build!

What a terrible state things were in! God would have been completely justified to do just as he here declared.

The breaking light comes, however, in v. 8: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” This is one of the great “adversative conjunctions” statements in the Bible. Think of 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Or, of Ephesians 2:4, “But God, who is rich in mercy….”

Notice it says that Noah found grace. It does not say that Noah earned grace, or that he deserved grace, or that he won grace, or that he merited grace. No, he found it, which means he was given it by God. God’s response to man’s sin was grace!

God’s promise of the gospel in Genesis 3:15 would not fail.

We are reminded here of how God works. When he came to us and looked upon us and saw our sinful state, he might well have snuffed us out, as he might have the whole world in the days of Noah. And yet he gave grace.

The story is told of a mother of many children who had one of them sneak off and get into an oil barrel. When she found the wayward child, after much searching, he was covered head to toe in black goo. She exclaimed, “Lord, it’d just about be easier to have another one than it would be to clean you up!”

The Lord did not give us over to what we deserved. He saved us, and he is cleaning us up. We found grace in his eyes through Christ.

All praise, glory, and honor be to him.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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