Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. What a wonderful thing to say about a man who stood alone in a world so filled with wickedness that the Lord was even sorry He had made man.
The Lord was so grieved over the sinfulness of men that He determined He would destroy men, beasts, the creeping things and the fowls of the air. The Creator would bring such destruction to His handiwork that He had once pronounced as good. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
It is said of this grandson of Methuselah that he was “a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” Though he was not a perfect man in the way we might think of perfection, Noah was a righteous person. References are made to him in both Old and New Testament Scriptures. In Genesis 7:1 the word “righteous” is used for the first time in God’s Word, and it is used to describe how the Lord saw Noah.
Men lived in every way contrary to God. They were corrupt, speaking and acting wickedly. This was not the way the Lord intended because men worshipped themselves and their desires. They turned everything they had been given into dark and sinful works born out of the lusts of their hearts.
Having no regard for each other, men injured one another. With no regard or self-respect for themselves, men will soon turn to violence against other people, and that is what the Lord also saw as He looked at His creation.
God spoke to Noah, saying, “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
For Noah and his family, however, a way of deliverance would be made through the ark. The ark was not a vessel for sailing, but a box or chest in which the Lord would preserve life in the coming Flood.
Build the ark, the Lord said, using gopher wood. Compartments should be made for the ark’s occupants, and it should be sealed with pitch inside and out. If cubits were 18 inches, the ark would have been 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. There were three floors and it is estimated that as many as 125,000 animals could be housed in the ark.
The Lord said He would establish His covenant with Noah, an assurance that he, his wife, their three sons and their sons’ wives would be safe inside the ark. The Lord would gather the animals and bring them to Noah when it was time to board the ark.
Noah did “according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” The only way Noah and his family could have been saved was to live in the ark as the Lord said.
This, of course, is a picture of our salvation in Christ Jesus. God made a covenant with man through His only begotten Son. It is only through the Lord Jesus Christ that we can have salvation and eternal life. Like the ark, Jesus is our only hope and He will safely deliver us.
Noah was considered righteous because he believed and trusted God. It is only through our belief in Christ Jesus that we are given righteousness. May it be said of us that we have found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
The Sunday school lesson is written by Ed Wilcox, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church. [email protected]