The Paris shootings on Friday night, at 6 different locations by ISIS terrorists reminds us that this world is not a safe place. The land that has created a humanist haven under the idealistic banner of “liberty, fraternity and equality” finds itself assaulted by human beings to whom it has somewhat naively offered asylum. Ironically, the place where most people were killed was at a concert venue where an American band “Eagles of Death Metal” had been playing! Our world is in turmoil and many thinking people ask where all this is leading to. Well, we turn to the Bible, the Word of God, where we find an accurate analysis of the origin of man and of sin, and how sin has impacted itself upon man. Here we learn what man is capable of, if left to himself.
Genesis 6 becomes a turning point in Genesis. In Gen. 6:9 we read: “These are the generations of Noah" . This is a formula  frequently employed in the book of Genesis. It indicates that a new section or division of Genesis begins. Each of these sections end with a picture that portrays the effects and results of sin.
The chronology of the godly offspring in Genesis 5 introduces us to Noah, a major OT character. Noah came from a remarkable line of men. He was the grandson of Methuselah, the oldest man in the Bible and the great grandson of Enoch, the man who walked with God and of whom no death is recorded (Gen. 5:24). The father of Noah was Lamech, who said upon the birth of Noah,“Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed this one shall bring us relief (or rest) from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” (Gen. 5:29). Noah’s father, Lamech, was a man of faith, for he was able to discern the Lord’s hand in the affairs of the world when he said that God through Noah was going to bring a time of relief or rest into the world. But just what will be the nature of that relief or rest that Noah will usher in? Be prepared to be very surprised !
Genesis 6: 1-8 provides us with an assessment of the sinful and shocking state of mankind in the days which preceded the Flood. It is reaffirmed in Gen. 6:11-12. It all begins in Gen. 6: 1-3 when the godly offspring of Seth (the sons of God) began to mingle with the daughters of man (the offspring of Cain). This serious compromise constitutes the beginning of the collapse of that civilization. The major problem is that the sons of God are now tempted to move away from their godly roots, and the main way in which they manifest that fact is through giving into their hormones. Unrestrained sexual desire leads to all sorts of further grief , and God is grieved, and not only grieved. He is determined to deal decisively with this situation and this sin. He will put an end to this civilization.
A typical pattern now emerges in the Bible. The doctrine of the remnant is established. God destroys a civilization due to its wickedness and yet not completely. God says: “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land… but Noah found favour or grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Gen. 6:8) In the midst of this devastating announcement we find an exception, Noah! And so the next verse says: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God." (v.9) All is not lost. In the Bible there is always a remnant. There are always those who, by the grace of God, do not share that wickedness.
"… Noah found favour (grace KJV) in the eyes of the Lord" (Gen. 6:8).
This is the first thing that we are told about Noah. Grace is the foundation of every life that is well-pleasing to God. It was the grace or favour of God, and not the personal goodness of Noah which made Noah who he was. This is the first time the word "grace” or “favour" is mentioned in the Bible, although the concept already exists immediately after the fall e.g. in Gen. 3:21 when God made garments for Adam and Eve, who after the fall felt exposed and naked, and God clothed them. Surely this is a token of God’s Grace!
So then, it was when the sin had reached its climax that God was pleased to exercise His Grace. Paul speaks about this in his letter to the Romans, “ … where sin increased, grace abounded all the more…” (Rom. 5:20).
From the very beginning of the Bible we are taught and reminded that man contributes essentially nothing to the fact that his civilization remains. The truth is that we exist only by God’s favour. Left to ourselves we would not preserve one another, for we have become graceless. We would kill one another without God’s restraining grace. Who we are and what we are able to do right, is by God’s grace alone. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Every Christian is a member of the remnant community, saved by the same Grace as Noah (Eph. 2:10), and so we live by that same Grace.
How did the grace of God manifest itself in Noah’s character ? We see it in Genesis 6:9 :
"Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God."
(i) He was "righteous”. He is the first man in the Bible who is so called righteous. To understand the nature and meaning of his righteousness we need to understand the biblical use of the word. What makes a man righteous in the Bible is not his ‘self -righteousness’, but an ‘imputed righteousness’. Let me explain. In and of ourselves we do not possess sufficient self -righteousness to satisfy the holy God. How then can we appear righteous before God? That is one of the grand subjects of the Bible: imputed righteousness! The nature of this righteousness is described by Paul in Romans 3:21- 4:12 and Galatians 3:1-14. Imputed righteousness is that righteousness given to me (imputed to me) when I trust in the Lord Jesus Christ entirely for my salvation. He imputes His perfect righteousness to me by His shed blood on the cross. The way in which that righteousness is shown in my life is by my faith in Jesus. “The just shall live by faith” , and therefore we find Noah among the fifteen believers mentioned in the great faith chapter of Hebrews 11. The faith by which Noah demonstrated that Noah believed God was ‘ …in reverent fear he constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of righteousness that comes by faith.” (Heb. 11:7). We shall consider this text in a moment.
(ii) He was "blameless in his generation”. The Hebrew word translated as blameless means literally "without blemish". Noah was a pure man when compared with his generation. He was known by God and he lived in fellowship with God.
(iii) He "walked with God." In this regard he has like his great grandfather, Enoch. It is this ongoing walk that keeps us with God, and which keeps us from evil.
The faith of Noah is described in Hebrews 11:7 and it amplifies the nature of the grace that Noah had received from the Lord :
"By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
7 Aspects concerning Noah's Faith and some Diagnostic Questions
1.The foundation of Noah’s faith: The Word of God —"being warned by God." Noah listened to the word that came to Him from God . The foundation of all faith which is pleasing to God is that it rests on the plain Word of God.
· Peter and his partners had fished all night and caught nothing. The Lord said, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch" . Peter replied, "Master, we have worked all the night, and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets. (Lk. 5:4,5).
· Acts 27:25. For many days the ship in which Paul was travelling to Italy battled with stormy weather. Then, when everything seemed to be lost Paul said, " keep up your courage , men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me.” Their lives were saved, just as Paul said.
A faith that does not rest upon the God’s word has no substance. But when God has said it, we may believe it. That is what Noah did and therefore he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Is the Bible the foundation of trust for your life in this world?
2.The scope of Noah’s faith: "concerning things unseen …" Noah trusted God, although He had seen no evidence of the flood so far. This illustrates the fact that believers walk by faith in the revealed truth of God’s word. “We walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). As Noah built the ark, the world must have considered him mad. What evidence was there that there was going to be a great flood ? What then caused Noah to do what he did ? Nothing but the word of God. Noah’s spiritual eyes, the eyes of faith looked beyond that which was seen. Therefore Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
How do you look at your world?
3.The character of Noah’s faith: "in reverent fear “. Noah believed God more than what his society or what his own eyes told him.
Do you fear God more than man?
4.The evidence of Noah’s faith: he "constructed an ark." "Faith, if unaccompanied by works is dead" (Jas. 2:17). Read through Hebrews 11 and it will be seen that in every case recorded there, faith was evidenced by works. Abel had faith. How did he display it? By presenting to God the divinely ordained sacrifice. Enoch had faith. How did he manifest it? By walking with God. Noah had faith. How did he show it? By building the ark.
How do you display your faith ?
5. The concern of Noah’s faith : Noah "build an ark for the saving of his family" . This fact deserves prayerful consideration. While it is true that parents cannot save their children’s souls, there are evidences of God’s blessings where the obedience of one leads to the salvation of many. Because Abraham exercised faith, God gave the land of Canaan to his offspring. Because Rahab believed the report of the spies, her whole household was preserved from destruction. In the NT we find that the faith of a centurion’s is the catalyst to his servants healing (Lk.7:1-10); Jairus’ daughter is healed as a result of his faith (Lk.8:40-56) etc. Noah’s faith issues in the temporal salvation of his family.
Does your faith include the future of your family ?
6. The witness of Noah’s faith : "By this he condemned the world.” Every Christian who is walking by faith condemns the world. His conduct is a silent rebuke upon the course followed by the ungodly. His life is a witness against their sin.
Does your life testify against your world ?
7. The reward of Noah’s faith: " …and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." This is the crowning statement and it brings us back to the fact as to why Noah is an exception in this backslidden community. He was “an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” God had chosen him to belong to that long line of faithful men in Genesis 5 and in Hebrews 11. He had the godly seed in Him and that is why He had the faith and inclination to act contrary to whatever everyone else was doing.
Are you looking forward to receive your inheritance kept in heaven for you ?
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and the evidence is seen in Hebrews 11:7: “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
- Have you found grace in the eyes of the Lord ?
- Take the 7 diagnostic questions and examine your own faith !
 The first division (the concluding verses of Genesis 4) , closes with the account of Abel’s murder by Cain, and Lamech ( an offspring of Cain’s line) boasting over a young man whom he had killed
The second division closes (Gen. 6:1-8) with God looking down on the wickedness of those before the flood ( the Antediluvians. )
The third division closes (Gen. 9:20-29) with the sad scene of Noah’s drunkenness, leading to a curse pronounced on the line of his youngest son . This is followed by Noah’s death.
The fourth division starts with the account of Shem , Ham and Japheth , the descendants of Noah (10:1) and closes (Gen. 11:1-9) with the overthrow of the Tower of Babel.
The fifth division introduces the line of Shem and closes (Gen. 11:10-26) with the births, ages, and deaths of Shem’s descendants.
The sixth division closes (Gen. 11:31, 32) with the death of Terah.
The seventh division closes (Gen. 25:10, 11) with the burial of Abraham.
The eighth division closes (Gen. 25:18) with the death of Ishmael.
The ninth division closes (Gen. 35:29) with the death of Isaac.
The tenth division closes (Gen. 36:8) with the departure of Esau from the promised land, the birthright which he had forfeited & sold because He considered his bodily appetites as more important that his birthright .
The eleventh division closes (Gen. 36) with a list of the descendants of Esau, and significantly ends with the words, "He was Esau the father of the Edomites."
The 12th division starts at 37 :2 ( The account of Jacob ) and closes (Gen. 50:26) with the death of Joseph.
 not the Lamech of Cain’s line ( 4:19-24) , but the Lamech of Seth’s line ( 5:25-31)
 חֵ ן : chen - grace , to favour someone
 Hab 2:4 ; Gal 3:11
 "tamim" – without blemish , mentioned forty-four times in the OT