But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:8)
The Meaning of Grace
It is easy to define the word grace but it is not always as easy to understand it. In large part the religious world views grace in a broader sense than intended by God and oft times within the body of Christ it is narrowed down to have little meaning. Paul affirms we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) and outlines the necessity of faith with the gift of God. But how do we understand the deep meaning of grace?
My good friend Paul Blake explained it best when he described the story of Noah. The early world had become so wicked it was the heart of God to destroy all things that had the breath of life. As the Creator scanned the mass of humanity he saw no hope save one man and his family. Noah was not like the world about him. He believed in God facing a world that was wicked as no one can understand today. Because of his trust in God we find God blessing Noah with His grace.
Grace is two parts. First, the decision to destroy the world was only in the mind of God. Noah may have tried to change his world through preaching but there was nothing more he could do. God decided to destroy man. When the Lord comes to Noah He tells him the world would be destroyed (Genesis 6:13). Noah would have not known that save the Lord telling him – grace part one. At this time Noah knows what will happen to all mankind but he does not know what to do. Here grace part two comes from God – build an ark. The second part of grace is when God tells Noah what to do to be saved. Even with the first information Noah would not have known what to do to be saved. Salvation would only come from the word of God. Grace is the judgment of God and the message of salvation.
Today we know what will become of this world. It is coming to an end. We would not know that save the word of God. But armed with this information we would not know how to be saved if it were not for the grace of God – Jesus Christ. We do not have to build an ark; the ‘ark of safety’ has been provided by the Son of God. Grace is the gift of God where we could not save ourselves. God saved us! As Noah could not boast of his knowledge of what God told him and how to be saved nor can we.
Thank God for the grace of God that saves me. “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7).
The grace of God transcends all our feeble efforts to describe it. It cannot be poured into any of our mental receptacles without running over. (Vance Havner)