Gen 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (ESV)
What do you “see” when you read that verse? Want some “light” to “see” more clearly? First let me show you a few more translations:
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (KJV)
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (NASB)
And Noah found grace in the eyes of Jehovah. (YLT)
OK, that should be enough. Now let’s take a look at the word “found.” Here are a few verses with the same word for “found.”
Gen 31:35 And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods. (ESV)
Gen 36:24 These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah; he is the Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness, as he pastured the donkeys of Zibeon his father. (ESV)
So how is this word used? Every time it is used someone is finding or discovering something. So let’s make the substitution in Gen 6:8.
And Noah discovered or found or saw or recognized grace in the eyes of God (LLT)
Wow! Can you see it now?
Our fallen nature is what drove Adam and Eve running for hiding in the bushes. When they ate the wrong fruit they discovered shame, guilt, condemnation and self. They ran from the only source of goodness in the universe. God is love. They ran from love with fear. Who were they afraid of? A distorted form of God. They ran from an angry God that was a product of their own fallen thinking. Our fallen Adam way of thinking will default to this image of God unless we have a revelation of God’s goodness and love. Jesus is that revelation. Check out these verses:
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (KJV)
Jesus is God. He is the revelation of the true nature of God. In our fallen thinking we see an angry and vengeful and temperamental God. This distortion injects a fear of punishment and pain. Wrong teaching reinforces this deception by telling us Jesus keeps God from hurting us by taking the blows for us. God actually says this about His nature:
1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. (ESV)
That same God was there with Noah. How about another Lance Literal:
And Noah discovered grace, love and goodness in the face of Jesus (LLT)
Now are you amazed? It wasn’t Noah’s actions or behavior that made God favor Him. God favored all of them just like He favors us. Look you probably know these verses:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (ESV)
Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (ESV)
Same God, same Jesus, same good and loving favor towards mankind. Noah saw something that the others did not. As a result, this is what God says about Noah:
Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. (ESV)
Remember the word righteousness is a relational not a behavioral expression. Noah lived before the Law of Moses. He wasn’t righteous by the law, but by relationship. He had a right relationship with God because He saw God had a right relationship with Him. It is this same as Abraham here:
Rom 4:4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, (ESV)
God’s favor towards us has always been the same. We ran and hid in the bushes because our view of God had been completely distorted. Jesus came to bring the revelation of the true nature of God. Man’s perspective of God has been all messed up since the fall, so much so that we killed God as Jesus. This is why we need Jesus. We need Him in our lives. We need Him in our selves. We need to be born again. Only then will the truth of God become apparent. We need His revelation from Himself.
I love finding these little nuggets like Noah. Doesn’t it completely change the way you see God? Isn’t it amazing, encouraging and liberating to see a loving God gazing at a wonder-filled Noah? The more I see of the love of God, the more I am blown away by how awesome He is. When He is revealed, it is finding favor in His eyes.