God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night. God was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart. God said, “I’ll get rid of my ruined creation, make a clean sweep: people, animals, snakes and bugs, birds—the works. I’m sorry I made them.” Genesis 6:5-7 (MSG)
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. Genesis 6:8-10 (NLT)
I have many opinions. I will defend them, vigorously, if needed. I spend a great deal of time with people who don’t share some of my deepest convictions. Being “the only one” is sometimes difficult. Many times, I listen in silence as a debate rages in my head. Other times, the debate spills out over my lips when my outspoken nature wins.
You may have a more meek spirit, but at some point, you have been “the only one.”
The entire population of the world was, as The Message paraphrases the text, out of control and evil, evil, evil BUT Noah… Talk about peer pressure! Noah, was so different he made the short list of the people who walked with God. Noah, the little speck of goodness in the sea of evil, caught God’s eye.
Since making a list is quick and easy, here it is; Noah was: good, a man of integrity and he walked with God. Three easy steps; how hard could that be? You do that every day: lather, rinse, repeat! Three steps is a cake mix, an instant breakfast, even a young child can follow three steps.
Since it’s three-step-easy, without being too forward, let me ask you, do you walk with God? If it’s so easy, why is the list of people who walked with God so short?
Why do three simple steps seem so elusive?
Maybe because there is one more step. It’s the one that gets overlooked because it requires none of your effort. You’ll find the critical step in verse 8; Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the LORD. (NLT)
Grace; it’s God’s amazing, powerful gift of undeserved blessing. Grace is the intangible gift that gives strength to the weak, power to the powerless, blessings to one deserving punishment, and restores the vigor of youth to the worn out soul. Grace is the oomph that keeps your spiritual legs moving as you walk with God. Grace is the only thing that makes being good possible.
Leave grace out of the formula, and being good is unattainable. Leave grace out of the formula and doing good becomes difficult. Skim over grace and having integrity — that is,flawlessly living out The Golden Rule — is unachievable. God chooses to give His favor, His grace, to the undeserving in order to make them good, upright and able to walk humbly with Him.
Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God. Those three steps don’t come from simple stick-to-itiveness. If you doubt that statement, answer this: how are those New Year’s resolutions coming? The actions God requires don’t spring from the human heart. Walking humbly with God will eventually seem like slogging through the mud if you are trying to keep pace with God using your own efforts.
Find favor in the eyes of the Lord. God didn’t use up all His grace on Noah. His supply is unlimited. He has plenty of grace and favor for you!
Your humble walk with God must begin with the proper first step; find grace in the eyes of the LORD! Let God energize, motivate and direct your walk.
Father, thank you for your gift of grace. Teach me to cling to it! Help me to abandon my own weak efforts in exchange for the power that grace offers so I can walk humbly with you, act justly and love mercy.