“Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:8
The term “covenant” is frequently found in the Old Testament. The first use of the word in the Old Testament is found in the account of Noah (Genesis 6-9). The covenant that was made with Noah reveals a great deal about God’s character and view of humanity.
In this account we see that Noah is called “a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9)
The Scriptures reveal, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.” (Genesis 6:11-12) But the next verse reveal something about God’s character. “So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth…” (v. 13)
Can you imagine what this would have been like? Noah didn’t know he had found favor in the eyes of the LORD. The first conversation was “I am going to put an end to ALL people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both THEM and the EARTH.” This kind of language doesn’t indicate that Noah isn’t part of “them.” At least not until verse 14, “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it…”
I would imagine that this was the greatest news Noah would ever hear after the pronouncement of destruction!
But the account continues with God saying “But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark–you and your sons and your wife and your sones wives with you…” (v. 18). But it doesn’t stop there either, ” You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, make and female, to keep them alive with you…” (v. 19)
Why am I rambling on about this?
There are a couple of very interesting characteristics about God’s character I want to point your attention.
- God cares for humans the were created in His image, even when they are corrupted.
There is nothing in this account that suggests Noah was not corrupt. The Scriptures states, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time…and he walked with God.” This suggests there was a contrast between the way Noah was living his life in comparison to the other people of his generation, not that Noah was sinless, or perfect. God chose to acknowledge Noah because God’s defining attribute is love.
- God cares about the rest of creation also. The Scriptures reveal that God would save all the species of animals. This is an indication that God cares for the part of His creation that is NOT created in His image. There is a different value placed upon them, but there is value nonetheless.
God is the CREATOR, humans and animals are the CREATED. God did not have to display another of his attributes, MERCY, but He did. God’s love and value of His creation resulted in His decision to display mercy. He would have been justified as CREATOR do deal with the CREATED anyway in which His wisdom would have been carried out in action.
This shouldn’t make us haughty, arrogant or prideful. This should allow us to see God’s character of love as strength, not weakness.
Hence, God entered into a covenant with mankind based upon his character. However, covenant by it’s very nature requires a response by faith.
“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.” Genesis 6:22