We have here Noah distinguished from the rest of the world, and a peculiar mark of honour put upon him. 1. When God was displeased with the rest of the world, he favoured Noah: But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, Gen. 6:8. This vindicates God’s justice in his displeasure against the world, and shows that he had strictly examined the character of every person in it before he pronounced it universally corrupt; for, there being one good man, he found him out, and smiled upon him. It also magnifies his grace towards Noah that he was made a vessel of God’s mercy when all mankind besides had become the generation of his wrath: distinguishing favours bring under peculiarly strong obligations. Probably Noah did not find favour in the eyes of men; they hated and persecuted him, because both by his life and preaching he condemned the world. But he found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and this was honour and comfort enough. God made more account of Noah than of all the world besides, and this made him greater and more truly honourable than all the giants that were in those days, who became mighty men and men of renown. Let this be the summit of our ambition, to find grace in the eyes of the Lord; herein let us labour, that, present or absent, we may be accepted of him, 2 Cor. 5:9. Those are highly favoured whom God favours. 2. When the rest of the world was corrupt and wicked, Noah kept his integrity: These are the generations of Noah (this is the account we have to give of him), Noah was a just man, Gen. 6:9. This character of Noah comes in here either, (1.) As the reason of God’s favour to him; his singular piety qualified him for singular tokens of God’s loving-kindness. Those that would find grace in the eyes of the Lord must be as Noah was and do as Noah did; God loves those that love him: or, (2.) As the effect of God’s favour to him. It was God’s good-will to him that produced this good work in him. He was a very good man, but he was no better than the grace of God made him, 1 Cor. 15:10. Now observe his character. [1.] He was a just man, that is, justified before God by faith in the promised seed; for he was an heir of the righteousness which is by faith, Heb. 11:7. He was sanctified, and had right principles and dispositions implanted in him; and he was righteous in his conversation, one that made conscience of rendering to all their due, to God his due and to men theirs. Note, None but a downright honest man can find favour with God. That conversation which will be pleasing to God must be governed by simplicity and godly sincerity, not by fleshly wisdom, 2 Cor. 1:12. God has sometimes chosen the foolish things of the world, but he never chose the knavish things of it. [2.] He was perfect, not with a sinless perfection, but a perfection of sincerity; and it is well for us that by virtue of the covenant of grace, upon the score of Christ’s righteousness, sincerity is accepted as our gospel perfection. [3.] He walked with God, as Enoch had done before him. He was not only honest, but devout; he walked, that is, he acted with God, as one always under his eye. He lived a life of communion with God; it was his constant care to conform himself to the will of God, to please him, and to approve himself to him. Note, God looks down upon those with an eye of favour who sincerely look up to him with an eye of faith. But, [4.] That which crowns his character is that thus he was, and thus he did, in his generation, in that corrupt degenerate age in which his lot was cast. It is easy to be religious when religion is in fashion; but it is an evidence of strong faith and resolution to swim against a stream to heaven, and to appear for God when no one else appears for him: so Noah did, and it is upon record, to his immortal honour.
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