Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekend Wish

"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord..." Genesis 6:8

What exactly was the favor (or grace) that Noah found? Was it the opportunity to build a monstrosity of a boat? Was it the privilege of witnessing to a lost community with no converts? Was it the joy of living on the water with your family in close proximity along with thousands of animals? Was it living nearly 350 years after the earth was destroyed?

We find the answer to this question in the very next verse: "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God." Because of God's grace extended toward Noah, he no longer identified with the sinfulness of his society but was separated from it - set apart from it - and was declared righteous. Here is the first consequence of his finding favor with God. Was Noah a really good guy? Did God look down at man and decide that Noah was the best option? We are actually told that when God looked at man, what He saw was that "every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." So Noah fell in that category.

But God, in His gracious mercy and wisdom, reached down, removed the blinders of sin from Noah's eyes, revealed Himself to him in a mighty, life-changing way and applied the righteousness of His Son to Noah's account. From Noah's perspective, it was the promise of a payment, but that promise was made in eternity past, given in the garden and fully applied to Noah's life. Therefore, Noah was a righteous man because of God's favor.

Noah was also blameless in his time. What in the world does this mean? Again, this points to the righteousness of Christ. God did not prepare His wrath to pour out on Noah because when God looked at Noah, he saw a blameless record. It was as if he had never sinned. It was as if he had always obeyed. How can a man be blameless? Was Noah sinless? Of course not. He was blameless before God because he was covered with the righteousness of Christ. Noah was justified through the future sacrifice of Jesus, which God applied even before the fact because of the nature of who He is - if Jesus says He'll do it, it was a done deal.

And finally, Noah walked with God. This was another facet of God's grace in Noah's life. He didn't have to go through this life (or the next) alone. He walked with God. "Walked" implies fellowship, relationship, intimacy. We are given some of their conversations in the next few chapters and we see immediate obedience on Noah's part to the instruction of God. But don't you wonder if there were conversations that weren't recorded? Noah didn't have the whole of scripture like we do...but what we are given of their relationship, we see a loving Father instructing an obedient son. Noah could have been stubborn and made the process a lot harder, but when he came into an eternal relationship with the Almighty Creator, he chose immediate and complete obedience.

Are we so caught up with life that we neglect to see the difference between the life that finds favor with the Lord and the life lost from His touch? I think it was pretty obvious to Noah that he was alone in the world. Do you ever feel alone? Do you ever look at what the Lord has called you to do and wonder how this could be considered "favor"? Do you ever feel that your witness is rejected so much that it's not worth trying anymore? Noah lived this life, but it didn't produce bitterness or even weariness. It produced obedience.

My weekend wish for you is that you remember that you have found favor with God. You are righteous and blameless in your time. That's what justification does for you - that's what the blood of Christ accomplishes for you. But as His child you have the choice of obedience. You can struggle with God, or fight with God, or wrestle with God, or you can walk with God. What does God's favor in your life produce? Struggle or obedience? Discipline or blessing? Remember that His favor includes His involvement. May Noah be a witness to us thousands of years later of a righteous man, who was blameless in his time, who walked with God.

Have a great weekend, gals!



  1. I've been thinking about your question - "What does God's favor in your life produce?" I think a lot of believers don't understand God's favor or meditate on it enough. Because of our depravity and blindness, we don't have even the ability to seek God. He gives us that ability, that desire even to seek Him. When we started having our email conversations regarding the sovereignty of God in salvation, it was a doctrine to which I adhered, but didn't comprehend to the extent which I do now. When I began to truly grasp the grace of God in my totally depraved life, wow, WOW! Obedience has become more of a joyous act of thanksgiving. The struggle remains because we remain encased in these sin-encrusted bodies, but when I set my mind on God's undeserved favor and grace, the Lord enduring the wrath of God, being forsaken by the Father because of my sin...then His dragging my wretched soul to Himself when I would have had nothing to do with Him on my own, His giving me the ability and desire to seek Him, that obedience comes quicker. Obedience should be instant and absolute and utter should be an act of devotion and worship because of His marvelous gift of grace. And when it's not, when I choose to please myself, when I am guilty of presumptuous sin, He still looks at me as if I'd always obeyed.

    "Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the LORD, or can show forth all His praise?" Ps. 106:2

  2. Hi, Kathy,

    Always happy when you throw in your two cents! This week I am having the women poll friends, family, neighbors and strangers of whether they think the story of Noah is true and if they do, was it a local flood or world wide flood. I am looking forward to hearing the responses. Yesterday Beth, her husband and I were at a restaurant and we asked our waiter what he thought. He enthusiastically endorsed the literal view and then proceeded to discuss eschatology with us with the intensity of Tim Arsenault! Beth looked at me about 25 minutes into it and said, "Wouldn't you love to put this guy and Tim in the same room!" We invited him to church and I think I'll sick Clarence on him...


  3. How 'bout all three in the same room?! Pass on those responses. Sounds interesting! Heard from Ben, long, newsy email. It was a really good email.

  4. oh my..all 3 in the same room...I think we would have to watch from behind glass!

  5. Hi Beth...

    Was the waiter prewrath?

    25 minutes?

    Were there no other customers besides you guys?!

  6. The restaurant was packed and at one point, Beth looked at me and said something like, "Do you think his other customers miss him???"

  7. Ummmm..prewrath, no....pretrib, I think. It was a bit hard to decipher just where he stood because he was jumping from one subject to another. He was fairly certain something was going to happen at the end of the Mayan calender in Dec. of 2012 (is that right K?) But then he changed directions and started talking about the Holy Spirit being a force. It was odd, but a very fun encounter since he was so intense and animated. He'd go grab someone's order and then stop back at our table and say..."Ok..what about this"... and off he'd go for another 5 minutes. I looked all over at church for him this morning, but couldn't find him....maybe next week.

  8. Shoot...I was hoping he'd come...if he was there, I am pretty sure he would have spotted Paul on stage and found you, Beth! He said he had read all the Left Behind books, so we thought he was pre-trib, but then he kept talking about the mid-point, as if it was something we would see...he was really (like Beth said) all over the place! We'll have to keep an eye out for him and if I see him first, I'll point him to Paul!!! (Just joking!) He really was a hoot!

  9. You mean you didn't ask him if he was prewrath? Or if he'd heard of the position?

  10. Hey Kristen,

    Maybe you should go back and take him a copy of THE SIGN! I have an extra if you want it (just kidding - I'm already praying for God's wisdom in who will receive my copies).

    By the way Rachel is sold out and is talking about Pre-Wrath to her friends at Cedarville. Her roommate's response was skeptical, but a couple other friends are listening. One of them (Jenny) is coming home with her for Thanksgiving. Will you be here for the holidays? Could we visit you for coffee while she's here?


  11. We asked but he had never heard of prewrath. Not sure if he even understood the label "pre-trib" - I tried to explain but he was too animated and aggressive to hear. I told him if he came to church we'd give him a copy of The Sign, so we'll see if eh shows...

    Yes, I am home for Thanksgiving - at least that's the plan for now - give me a call!


  12. As I thought about this this weekend, I just continued to be in awe that Christ was obedient in what He did on the cross for me and yet, I struggle with obedience. He gave me His record so that God could see me as righteous. He obeyed, knowing that it would bring Him pain. VERY HUMBLING! When you think of the record that you have and then you think of Christ....WOW!

    It just makes me love HIM so much more. And when you love, you obey. Amazing concept if only we could get the concept BEFORE the struggle that brings pain as oppossed to after....but even afer we sin He doesn't give up on us.

  13. I was also hit with that thought as we were in worship Sunday morning. I had failed more than a few times in previous days, and was humbled that not only does he not give up on me, but that he calls me to repentance, and PROMISES to continue working in me until the day of his return! My desire is to please Him, and yet I often fail. I long for the day when we are without sin, and at the same time, have often feared his going over my past record. What a joy to know he has CHOSEN to forget it. It should make it easier to obey. If only I could keep my "self" out of the way and KEEP my eyes on him. I woke up this morning with the words of "Justice and Mercy" going through my mind! No way to avoid that - I had to get up and pray and praise him for who he is!

    I was challenged by what James MacDonald said about "no one should have to make you do your job." I took that to mean that even in my home, I should be glorifying him: sharing him, showing him, and displaying him. Where is the evidence that he exists if I cannot even do that where I am planted every day! I feel like I have never truly displayed "the fruit of the spirit." There is always something lacking. Am I looking at the list again? Instead of who he is? Because, from all I'm hearing lately, when He sees me, He sees Christ's record, not mine. What a blessing! My hope lies in Him, not in me! I hope that is what people see when they see me fail and keep on keeping on! Perfect love casts out fear. Maranatha!

  14. Laurie,
    Great words today and a great reminder to be a missionary in your own home.
    i miss you!!