This Day in History: 0000-10-31

October 31 – Genesis 6:5-9

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry He had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke His heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing – all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor with the Lord. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.

Every now and then there are a few words in Scripture that carry a disproportionate amount of weight.  Like here, the words, “But Noah found favor with the Lord.”  Can you imagine how different things would have been if Noah hadn’t found favor with the Lord?  What a different story there would have been!

The first part of this passage has been special to me for a long time. They are the verses God used many years ago to shatter my pride, and bring me face to face with my own depravity.  I had been reading through Genesis (NIV at the time) and as I read the words, “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time,” it was as if I had been punched in the face.  I could see with perfect clarity that these words described my own heart.  Everything I ever did on my own was motivated by selfish, impure intentions.  Even the good things I often did weren’t done out of righteousness, but rather, out of a desire to appear virtuous in the eyes of others.  Not because I wanted to please God, but because I wanted to be better than others. And then the next part hit me right in the gut.  It says that God was sorry he had ever made humans, because this behavior “broke His heart.” Ouch!  I don’t ever want to break God’s heart!  Deep down I really do love Him.  Thank God for those amazing words, “But Noah found favor with the Lord.”

If Noah had somehow been able to find favor with God, then it was possible.  I didn’t have to brake God’s heart.  It says that Noah was a righteous man, blameless!  Why?  “He walked in close fellowship with God.”  I’ve found this to be the answer for me too.  When I’m walking in close fellowship with God, He becomes a part of who I am.  Everything I do is motivated by that relationship.  The Holy Spirit takes over my heart and suddenly the good things I do are actually good;  because it is His righteousness IN me, not some false purity from within myself.  My motivation is simply to please Him; no matter what others think of me.

So let’s take a cue from Noah.  Let’s resolve to live in close fellowship with God.  Let’s spend time with Him daily.  Like, lots of time!  Let’s act like we really are His dearly loved daughters and tell Him everything.  Let’s respect him and find our safety and comfort in walking with Him hand-in-hand. Let’s live in such a way that if the world went to pot God could look down upon the earth and say, “But His dearly loved daughter found favor with God!”