I guess all the rain has me thinking about Noah and the Ark. It’s been raining hard here for a few days with at least two more to go. It’s nothing like the people of Noah’s day experienced however and I am glad for that.
Noah’s story begins in Genesis 6:5 ff when the wickedness of the world brought divine judgment. The inspired description of mankind is sobering:
“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. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6).
Unfortunately Noah found himself among these wicked people. But fortunately God had something special in mind for the future boat builder. The Bible says, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). The word “favor” here can also be translated, and is translated by some, as “grace.” So I am wondering about this grace or favor that Noah found in God. What exactly did it do for him?
Noah Found Grace Through A Plan
Beginning in verse 14 God delivers a plan of escape. He carefully details a plan for a large boat, the Ark, which Noah is to build. The Ark will lift Noah and his family above the raging destruction that will come upon the earth. God supplied the plan through his grace but Noah was required to build the boat. “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22).
Clearly, Noah was a man of faith (Hebrews 11:7) but he was also a man of action with a living faith that obeyed the plan in all its details.
God’s grace has been shown to all men (Titus 2:11). As part of that grace we have been given our own kind of Ark. We have been given a plan that will bear us up and above the coming destruction of the wicked; we have the gospel plan of salvation. When we are obedient, like Noah, we too are blessed with deliverance (Romans 6:17; 1 Peter 1:22).
Noah Found Grace, But Not An Ark
This Bible story would have been interesting if God, instead of delivering a plan, had delivered an Ark instead. Really, think about it. God could have done all the work and still saved Noah. Perhaps he could have instructed Noah to take his family to a certain location where he would have found the Ark already assembled and ready for occupancy. But that is not what happened is it?
The grace Noah found was not the Ark but rather the plan for the Ark. God in his gracious mercy told Noah how to escape the judgment he was bring upon the earth. Likewise, the grace shown us is not a sudden pronouncement of salvation but a path of justification and sanctification in Jesus Christ.
There was nothing that compelled God to save Noah nor is there any necessary reason why God saves us. Only his love for his creatures matched with his grace and mercy produced the plan of redemption. we are saved in Jesus alone. Only the precious Son can save from sins. Let us come to him in a humble spirit of obedience and he will save!