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Favor in the Eyes of the Lord

Genesis 6:8 (ESV) – But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Have you ever been on a team, in a class, or job where you seemed to garner the favor of the leader? The coach, teacher, or boss may have been inclined toward you. We don’t always know why some people are drawn to others or develop soft spots for them. But this is a reality. In fact, we’ve developed nicknames to make fun of the people who win this favor. We call them “teacher’s pet” or “golden boy.”

Our passage today talks about garnering favor. But the favor in our passage is the favor of God toward a man. It is special when someone favors another person, but it is incredible to consider the God of the universe giving favor to individuals. This is especially true when you consider the sinfulness of every single human. 

We read in Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” Why is this so incredible? Because before we read these words we hear about the wickedness of man on the earth. All of his thoughts and intentions of the heart are only evil all the time. This is an indictment on mankind’s high calling to bear God’s image and reflect it accurately to the rest of creation. But Genesis 6 tells the story of rebellion and sin. However, in the midst of this wickedness, God shows favor to Noah. This isn’t because Noah was perfect, though he was a righteous man in his generation. Far from it. We see the sinfulness in Noah’s heart shortly after the Flood recedes and he winds up naked and drunk in his tent. 

Why does God give Him favor? The answer is profound, yet simple: for His own glory and by His own good pleasure. God doesn’t owe Noah grace. He gives him grace. Noah’s family will be preserved from the coming judgment. God will use Noah’s family to repopulate the earth and keep His promise to send a redeemer to crush the serpent (Genesis 3:15). Noah will be the instrument through which that redeemer will eventually arrive. So God keeps His word and demonstrates grace to the undeserved. 

If you are a Christian today, it is because of this same favor shown to Noah. He could have left us with the same lot of the wicked. Instead, He chose to save us. He made us His own.

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This favor is greater than anything a coach, teacher, or employer could give you. It is the greatest gift in the world. 

Reflection & Journal: 
- Why does God give Noah grace? Was it because he deserved or earned it?
- What is the state and condition of the world at this time?
- How does this passage teach us about God’s grace today in our own lives?

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