But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Flood waters are horrible. They destroy both in the initial rush of catastrophic motion and after as they linger in place, beginning to recede. They rot and damage and soak and ruin. In the Biblical account, they are much like the people of the time: moving and wrecking and defiling everything they encounter.
Wesley’s Notes on the Entire Bible tell us that when we read this verse in Genesis, we might note that Noah having found grace indicates that God had searched every other heart and in this one determines a reason for preservation, for regeneration. It is in this moment that we find God’s willingness to continue a relationship that had become hopelessly corrupt: there is one small piece of high ground, one parcel of righteous activity, in a flood of humanity that hates and despises and defiles – and God intends to preserve it, to use it, to use Noah and his family to unfold the redemption plan in the world.
God had planned on relationship with the created persons; in Noah we see the hopefulness of that plan. Noah’s obedience to God’s direction and his faithfulness in carrying out the building of the ark, further demonstrates that God knew who met the selection criteria and who did not: God asked, Noah did.
After the flood, God promised never to destroy the earth and the living creatures that way again, even though humanity might be destructive and horrific and evil. Instead, God has worked through the hearts of those who would seek righteousness, even though they might fail, to demonstrate what it means to find grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Through Christ, we are now the high ground of righteousness. We are his image-bearers in the world, living out the grace we’ve received in a world that often seeks evil. We are called to live lives that are different enough to be visible witness to the grace that we have found – the grace that God has given. Not because we deserve it, but because God made a way. Let’s live like we’ve found that grace today.