Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 9 2011 - E100.3b – Genesis 6:8f, Noah's Ark

The Bible is full of wonderful "but"s. Here is one of them. God had determined to blot out humankind from the face of the earth, "But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8).

My Hebrew teacher, Alec Motyer, used to say that when we read that "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (KJV), we need to understand that grace found Noah. The Lord keeps back his hand from utter destruction. In grace he determines to make a new world with Noah as a second Adam.

Noah is told to build a great boat that will be the means of saving him, his family and representatives of all the creatures of the earth; they too are to have a new beginning. Noah, we read, "did all that God commanded him" – it's repeated, just in case we missed it the first time (6:22; 7:5).

Just imagine if he had not done all that was required of him – if he had left the ark, this great boat, unfinished, or if he had failed to take the necessary food on board. The world is saved from utter destruction by the grace of God, but it is also through the obedience of this one man.

There is one feature of this wonderful story that I missed for many years. When Noah and all the animals had entered the ark we read, "And the Lord shut him in" (7:16). It is the Lord who shuts the door of the ark; the very act by which many are brought to judgment is also the act by which Noah and all with him are kept safe. The Lord himself secures their safety.

Our salvation has also been secured through the grace of God and the obedience of one man upon whom God's favour rests. The terrible act in which judgment falls upon rebellious humanity is also the means by which we are brought safe to glory. Through the cross of Christ, the Last Adam, the Lord had secured a people for himself, a people recreated in his own image.

Lord God, how can I thank you for your saving grace? I praise you for the perfect obedience of my Saviour in whom I am brought through floods and flames into the life of the new creation. Help me to follow him in living in obedience to all your commandments. Help me to reflect the image of your Son.

Peter Misselbrook