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The Contrast to Flourishing Wickedness

line The Contrast to Flourishing Wickedness

Pause and Consider

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07.19.17

The Contrast to Flourishing Wickedness

 

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (9)  These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.  (10)  And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 

We are considering the world as it was prior to Noah’s Flood.  We are not talking about fairy tales or allegories.  This is real-time history.  It was a time of great wickedness.

The wickedness commenced, or began, when the godly married the ungodly; when those who knew the LORD chose to intermarry with those who did not (1-4).  There was a loss of purity on the part of humanity, and a loss of patience on the part of the LORD.

The character of this wickedness is clearly stated— And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (5)  In the face of all of God’s goodness, mankind had rejected his Creator.

The consequences of this wickedness are two-fold: God showed his displeasure with the situation, and He promised disaster to the world (6, 7).

Today we wish to focus on the contrast to this wickedness.  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (8) “This brings us to the point in history where there is only one man left in the godly line, Noah, who had experienced salvation.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Notice that the basis of Noah’s salvation is grace.  This is the first mention of ‘grace’ in the Bible.  Salvation is always by grace.  Grace comes from the LORD.  Grace isn’t God’s reward for a good life; it is God’s response to saving faith.  We must exercise saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, His work on the cross, and His resurrection.  An enlightened mind and a stirred heart are not enough—there must be saving faith.

Note that the product of salvation is righteousness.  These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, (9a).  This is also the first time the word ‘just’ or ‘righteous’ is used in the Bible.  This righteousness was a gift from God (6:8) on the basis of Noah’s faith.   By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Heb 11:7).   He heard the message from his father Lamech, who heard it from his father Methuselah, and he heard it from Enoch…and back seven generations to Adam!

What are the fruits of salvation?  Our text mentions three.  First, there is good character.  ‘Noah was perfect in his generations.’  (9b) This does not suggest perfection.  It suggests wholeness, completeness, integrity, in the genealogical line.

The second fruit is consistency.  And Noah walked with God.  Only he and Enoch were said to have ‘walked with God.’  We are told in the NT that this involves walking in light (Eph 5:8), in love (Eph 5:2), in the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 25) and with care (Eph 5:15).

The third fruit of salvation mentioned in our text is children who believe—Shem, Ham, and Japheth (10).  Did Noah have other children who did not believe?  We don’t know.  Did his three sons not have any sons of their own?  Yes, after the Flood.  Did the three sons help Noah with the work of building the ark?  We are not told, but very likely they did.

Next week we will complete this section of God’s Word as we consider the consummation, or the end, of this wickedness.


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