Finding Grace

by Mark McCrary
via Biblical Insights, Vol. 8, No. 11, Nov. 2008.

Man fell because he rejected God. Rejection is a painful thing, isn't it? When others push us away, they are really saying we aren't what they want; that we do not satisfy them. And, when we are rejected, aside from being hurt, we may even want to hurt those who reject us. We may want to "get them back" somehow.

In Genesis 6, we see the ultimate destination of man's behavior. What began with Adam and Eve in the form of a lie and deceit gave way to "every intent of the thoughts of his heart were on evil continually." Man rejected God. However, such behavior on man's part didn't prompt anger from God, but sorrow (Genesis 6:6). Because God knew how destructive sin was and how much He longed to bless, it hurt God that man didn't follow Him. The only choice God had was to punish man for his rejection.

"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8). Sometimes people think that grace is a New Testament concept, but it isn't. Anytime God acts toward us in a way we do not deserve, that is grace. Every action of God in the Bible of a positive nature toward man is an expression of His grace and love. What did Noah do that caused God's grace to shine upon him? Genesis 6:9 tells us he was righteous and that he "walked with God."

God's grace is never arbitrary. "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13). God gave His mercy to Noah because Noah was trying to do right. Does this mean Noah earned God's favor? No, Noah was still, like all men, a sinner, but because he had a heart of service for God, He extended His grace and provided salvation to Noah and his family when He wiped out sin from the world by the flood.

What about you? In this sinful world, in which we now live, have you found grace and mercy in God's eyes? Does He look upon you with mercy, and long to give to you what you don't have, but so desperately need?

In reality, while all of us need His grace, all don't seem to find His favor. What separates the two? The same things that separated Noah from the antediluvian world: righteousness and a desire to be with God. For us, this righteousness is not our own, but only comes to us through Jesus Christ, "And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is through the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Philippians 3:9). When our sins are washed away, we can have a relationship with God -- impossible while we were sinners. We can then "walk" with God, which speaks of an ongoing relationship, a desire to be with Him and never without Him. It is to worship, honor, respect, and yes, obey Him as our Lord and King.

Have you "found grace in the eyes of the Lord?" Have you sought to be forgiven and then to live a righteous life through Christ? Can it be said that you, like Noah, are walking with Him?