Thursday, January 10, 2008

But God Remembered Noah

The story of Noah always makes me sit back and read it as a little child. I mean, there is so much in this story that the scale alone makes me want to catch my breath. Perhaps it is just me, but when we see the whole earth as wretched and vile and that it deserved to be wiped out completely, it makes me sit back and marvel at God’s favoring Noah. If Noah’s heart, just like all men everywhere for all time, was only continually evil from his youth (cf. Genesis 6:4; 8:5), then when Noah found favor in God’s eyes, it must have been because of God’s desire to have mercy on Noah.

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (Genesis 6:8)

God would have been justified in wiping out Noah and the rest of his family that were saved when He destroyed the rest of humanity. I think that it would be extremely detrimental to gloss over this fact or not to address it when reading and meditating on the story of Noah and the flood. And that Noah found favor in God’s eyes must have been attributed only to God’s mercy and grace. Furthermore, for anyone to find favor before God happens despite anything and everything that the person says, does, or thinks.
But God remembered Noah (Genesis 8:1a)

The fact that God remembers His own is an astoundingly glorious truth. Even amidst the destruction of literally everything else on the planet, Noah could have (and should have) had the uttermost peace and felt completely than safe and secure in the ark. One of the truly great things about God’s favor in salvation that we learn see clearly from the New Testament is that once God has saved you, once you have found favor with God based on His grace and mercy alone, we have no need to fear even though the world comes crashing down around us. As a practical note, this doesn’t mean that Christians won’t endure hardship, persecution, torture, or violent and horrible deaths, but it does mean that this is the extent at which we can be tormented or suffer (cf. Matthew 10:28). But Noah had the expressed promise of temporal delivery from this maelstrom (cf. Genesis 6:18ff), and so he could confidently wait for God to deliver him even though he was on the ark for over one year.

Regardless of the time between the promise and the deliverance, God is faithful. If anyone has trusted in Christ alone for salvation, whether they did that at 5, 55, or 105 years of age, God will remember the saving work that He has done when death comes and we have nothing to fear.
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; The LORD hears when I call to Him. (Psalms 4:3)

Praise God that He sets apart those in whom He favors, and He then hears us when we call to Him.

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