But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Yesterday we covered God’s decree to destroy the wicked human beings that made up the antediluvian society. God, however, decided to preserve humankind through one man—Noah—and his family.
We were introduced to Noah in Genesis 5:29-32. There we read that his father, Lamech, named him Noah (meaning “rest”) and prophesied that he would bring “comfort” to humanity (Genesis 5:29). This comfort came through Noah’s role in helping to preserve humanity and providing the family line from which the “Seed” (Messiah) would come (Genesis 3:15).
We read here that Noah was unique because he “found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” This is the first time in the Bible that the word grace is used. The Hebrew word translated “grace” is chen and means to show favor and mercy (see Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon and Zondervan Expository Dictionary of Bible Words).
Grace is an important concept that runs throughout the Bible. It describes a core aspect of God’s unchanging character—His goodness, mercy and kindness towards human beings (Exodus 34:6-7; Psalm 145:8-9). The concept is more fully developed in the New Testament to explain God’s unmerited pardon of human sin because of God’s love and favor expressed through the sacrifice and life of Jesus Christ (see Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9).
Though grace is sometimes misunderstood to mean that nothing is required of human beings to please God (Jude 1:4), the truth is that those who receive God’s grace are to live a life of obedience to God (Romans 6:1-2, 14-15; Ephesians 2:10). That applied to Noah as well!
Tomorrow we will cover the next verse—which reveals the key to why Noah “found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
To learn more about the biblical teaching on grace, read “What Is Grace?”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Noah’s Righteousness.”