“And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, 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” (Genesis 6:12-13).
In a day when men had corrupted themselves before God we read this arresting statement in verse 8; “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
The great question comes to us, why did one man find grace or help from the Lord? The answer to that question is, perhaps of all things, the most important thing we need to know.
The scripture teaches us that all have sinned and are under the judgment of God for our sins. Noah was as much a sinner as any other man on earth. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. Noah in his very nature was as much a sinner as every other man on earth. The first grace he needed was, grace or help for the forgiveness and cleansing of his sin. Evidently Noah was the only man on earth at that time who obtained that grace.
Why did Noah find that grace? The answer is found in Ephesians 2:8-9; “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Noah had in his heart that thing called faith; he had a heart for God. He moved in obedience toward God. That was the factor that separated Noah from all the other men on the face of the earth. That is the factor that has always separated men and still does today. Just a brief look at the record proves that. Compare Abel with Cain; compare Jacob with Esau. Some men move toward God and some men move away from God. That does not alter the fact that all men are equally sinners and need salvation.
God chose and called Abram because he foreknew that Abram would obey the Lord. "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" (1 Peter 1:2). We see this revealed in Genesis 18:19; “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”
We see this all throughout scripture; we see it in lives of David and Daniel and Paul as well as countless others, both in scripture and in history. To be sure, the Spirit of God must enlighten and convict and draw these men to God, but that doesn’t alter the fact that there is a response in their hearts that is not found in the hearts of others.
May I ask you a question; do you have heart for God? Do you respond when He calls you? Do you obey when He commands? Look at Noah; it says of him, Noah was a just man, Noah walked with God, and Noah did according to all that God commanded him. Are these marks found in my life and in your life?
The first and most important obedience is obedience to the gospel.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”(John 3:14-16).
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
Peter warned of judgment for those “That obey not the gospel.” If you have not obeyed the gospel you will not find grace in the eyes of the Lord.