Friday, September 3, 2010

Old Testament Grace: Genesis 6:8

This is my contribution to Hillary McFarland’s Journey to Grace project. I’ll be looking verse-by-verse at “grace” in the Old Testament. Since the New Testament was written by those who were familiar with and constantly referring to the Greek Old Testament, that seemed to be the best place to begin a study about how charis was understood during the first century. The Septuagint’s first instance of the form charin, translated as “favor” or “grace” in the NT, appears at the end of in Genesis 6:5-8 (ESV):

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

What was so special about Noah? The following verse, Genesis 6:9a (ESV) says:

Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.

Noah’s faithfulness to God, made evident by his righteous behavior (James 2:14-26) in the midst of deprived humanity, resulted in him receiving the saving grace of God (Hebrews 11:7, 2 Peter 2:5), setting him apart from the rest who were destroyed (1 Peter 3:18-20). Although the world might tempt us to turn from God, it is our responsibility to remain faithful, continually following His Word. Learning from Noah's example, we shall not be ashamed in our confession of Christ (Mark 8:38, Luke 9:26).