I must admit, my Sunday school class continues to stimulate and challenge my beliefs in the doctrines of Grace. This past Sunday our lesson ‘Aspire to Walk with God’ centered on the story of Noah and the Flood. I studied the passages in Genesis chapter 6 and had decided to focus in on the righteousness of Noah, anticipating that this would be a hot topic during discussion. Turns out I was correct. The teacher asked a question I think everyone has when first reading this passage. Here’s the text. Read through it and I bet the question that first pops into your mind is the same as mine.
Gen 6:5-22 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 was sorry 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.” (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. (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. …. (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. (19) And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. (20) Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. (21) Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” (22) Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
I came away asking this: How could Noah possibly be righteous and blameless in a world corrupted by sin?
While you chew on that, here’s another question to ponder: Who is responsible for mankind’s redemption in this story? Did God redeem man or did Noah? Well, it looks like God desired to wipe out the whole human race because they were evil. Noah, because of his righteousness, was spared. If Noah had not been blameless in God’s sight we would not be here discussing this story. The world would be barren and lifeless. So, we are in fact indebted to Noah and some kind of inherent righteousness he somehow possessed that no other human had. Noah is our hero! All hail to the savior of us all! In spite of God’s will to destroy all flesh, man prevailed. Continue reading