But Noah found favor with God. Gen 6:8
I love that this verse begins with “but”. Noah is the exception – his life is one that stands out to God as different than all the wicked and corrupted individuals God sees on the earth. What brought the favor?
So Noah’s character was righteous – right from the inside out, his actions were blameless – free from fault or guile, and his habit was to walk with God – not according to his own design. Noah sounds like the kind of man God would choose.
I wonder, did Noah “find” God’s favor because these things were true of him, or was Noah able to live this way because of God’s favor upon him? Was it merited favor – based on his life and actions toward God – or was it unmerited favor –based on God’s choosing, then resulting in a life that stands apart?
I think the word “found” is interesting, too. Was Noah looking for God’s favor or did he stumble upon it? Was it the direction and attitude of his heart to live in a way that God would see as favorable?
Did he seek out ways to please God, even when he was alone in that seeking? Noah didn’t have a Sunday school class or accountability group to help him stay focused. Truly, Noah was the ultimate “lone-ranger.”
But, it’s the timing that’s really interesting. Noah couldn’t have known about God’s plan to destroy the earth with a flood. He couldn’t have known of the coming catastrophe. It wasn’t like he saw impending doom and “got right with God” so he would be saved. His character, action and habits were already in place, grounded in the way he lived his life everyday. Then when an impossible assignment came from the LORD, he was ready to work. And when the floodwaters rose, he was already safe, already saved. Whether the favor was merited or unmerited, Noah and his family experienced God’s deliverance in a very tangible way: God’s protection and provision, fruits of God’s favor.
I want that kind of steady walk with God… that whenever floodwaters rise, I’m where I need to be – beside my God. Or when the dove returns with a freshly picked olive leaf (Gen. 8:11), I rejoice in his provision. And in all the messy life that happens in between, God’s favor sustains me.
Somehow, when I envision God’s favor, I imagine God’s eyes … scanning, skimming the expanse of humanity, and then pausing over me… peering deep into my character and actions and habits… and smiling. Not because I have no faults, but because He sees Jesus over me; He sees Jesus dying in my place and is pleased.
…but Julie found favor in the eyes of the LORD… let it be, because of Jesus (Col. 1:10-14)