God, is the God of all grace
1 Peter 5:10 “But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect (complete), stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
Grace is spoken of, for the first time, in Genesis.
It is seen in Noah. “He found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
The world had become so wicked, that God saw that every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was evil continually. “All flesh had corrupted his way…”
Romans 1:21, 23 “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”
Men knew God, yet they chose to worship animals..
Adam had lived nine hundred and thirty years to tell to all his children of the Eden he knew, and the sin which drove him from it. Also to tell of the promise of a coming Savior. (Genesis 3:15)
Yet….”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.” (Genesis 6:5)
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8)……it was the grace of God, not the graces of Noah that God saw.
But notice it says, “Noah found grace”….as though he had been searching for it….grace is the unmerited favor of power….power, to help Noah live in, but not of, the world around him.
And he sought it from God… Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord…..for only The Lord can give grace.
This was a terrible time…sin had reached a height that could not be ignored….
Noah lived around it everyday…..
Got married…..had three sons….and he felt the contamination surrounding himself and his family….
Then when the sin of man had reached it’s worst….God speaks of grace….
….grace given to Noah, for a special ministry and work.
Where grace comes, God is obeyed. For grace brings the creature to rely solely on the Creator.
Grace is the power of God to change men’s hearts…..and in the middle of the worst wickedness….Noah is just…speaking of his faith.
Genesis 6:9 “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”
A walk with God, means a walk against the ways of the world….and the people of the world….and their sin.
Hebrews 11:7 “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.”
Faith and grace go together…..Faith shows us God, and keeps Him before us…..
….grace enables us to persevere…..under varying trials, mocking, and persecution.
Noah, even before he began to build the Ark….had set his heart against the opinion and actions of the rest of the world.
The ground of faith is on God’s Word….and Noah had heard Him…”being warned of God” (Hebrews 11:7)
He was going to hear and obey God….no matter what others did…..or thought about him, for doing so. That is faith.
For one hundred years, while the ark was being built,….and the animals (seven pairs of the clean animals, and the unclean animals by two….one pair) were being brought….
….Noah preached to those who would gather around, looking at this strange sight….a large boat on dry land….telling of the judgement of God to come…..and of something which had not yet happened…..rain.
(Till that time, a mist had come up and watered the ground. Genesis 2:4-6)
2 Peter 2:5 “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;”
One thing I want to mention here,…..the people had turned from worship of God to the worship of animals…..
So God, had Noah, His servant…..bring all the animals,……following him….the man that follows God….toward the ark! The ark that God said would be built to save those that believed Him!
What a testimony of the worthlessness of worshipping these creatures, that should have been.
What a showing of the real power of God to them all……if they had wanted to turn and believe.
Genesis 6:22 “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”
“Faith, if it hath not works is dead, being by itself” (James 2:17).
This faith believed God…..and prepared an ark,……gathered the animals,…..preached to those all around him as he went and did these things…..
…these were hard things….expensive things….yet, Noah did these hard things, by faith…in grace…
…..and in doing so, left a witness which condemned the rest of the world….
….but also won for him the blessing of God, and the peace of God, in it all.
Seven days before the rain began, God told Noah, to begin moving in the animals (Genesis 7:9)…..it took seven days.
On the seventh day…..the rain began:
Genesis 7:11, 13 “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the dame day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”
In the selfsame day entered, Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;”
Everything was ready, and they had heard God say, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark;…” Genesis 7:1
There was just one door into the ark….and one window. (Genesis 6:16)
Now the door was wide open to get every thing in…..along with Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives.
It had begun to rain…..and I am sure, at the start of this, people became convinced of their judgement…..and started to run either higher in their buildings….or toward the ark….
But Noah did not shut the door…..the Lord did.
Genesis 7:16 “And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him:….
(In the beginning God had made male and female, man and woman….so now, God again stresses His Way, and has the animals go in two by two….and Noah and his wife, the sons with their wives, together, into the ark….the only place of safety, against God’s judgement.)
….and the Lord shut him in.”
The door had been opened to all who would come and repent and believe;…..but now the door was shut…..by the Lord….and would not be opened till the Lord gave the Word.
All outside became a watery grave….cries became quiet…..the rain was the only sound….till after forty days it stopped.
The ark continued to float and move at God’s Will for almost a year
But God’s grace continued on through it all.
The work and preparation,
The moving of everything in,
The new earth….one year later Noah and his family were told to….”Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons and thy son’s wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing…” (Genesis 8:16-17)
And the first thing done by Noah, was an altar: “And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord;…and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” (Genesis 8:20)
Genesis 9:1 “And God blessed Noah….”.
This is the first time, since Adam was in Eden, before his sin…..that God is said to bless anyone.
The flood was not Noah’s idea….but he took his place in God’s Will for it.
The ark was not Noah’s design….but he did all God’s Will for it.
The animals were not Noah’s thought….but he went to wherever they were and brought them in, according to God’s Will.
The time to return to the earth was not Noah’s time….but he went out when God said, and built an altar of worship and thanksgiving.
Faith always shows us God….and keeps Him before us.
Where grace comes….God is obeyed.
And this same grace lives within each of our hearts, if we are born again by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
This is how everyone is born again….by grace (the unmerited favor of God’s power)….through faith (given by the Holy Spirit to all who come to God in Christ Jesus).
And we are “His workmanship”….for His good works.
We have no flood ahead….or ark to build…..but we all have a world around us that we are to live in….but not of;
….and God’s Will to do.
Let us receive His grace….all we can get, and be obedient….today.