Noah might be one of the most famous people who has ever lived. Most know the story but why did God save Noah? The short answer is that people are evil and they forced God’s hand. Parents read this story to their children. The name is recognizable and instantly associated with the flood, the boat, and all the animals. The Ark that housed Noah and all the animals is famous in its own right. The complete genetics of life on this planet saved in one container is an amazing thought. Deep dive by clicking here into how the world was flooded. It is more real than you might imagine.
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. Genesis 7:1 ESV
Everyone was Evil
What amazes me is that God could not find any people other than Noah and his family on the entire planet worthy of being saved. God tells us that every person on the planet, except for Noah, Noah’s wife, Noah’s sons, and their wives were evil. God states that “every intention of the thoughts of [people’s] heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5 ESV). Every thought, every move, every fiber of their being was evil and only evil “continually”. God says that the result was violence. Imagine every person on the planet being Hitler.
What does it mean that Noah was righteous in that generation? The word used here צַדִּיק (ṣadîq) means just and lawful and Noah was the first person in the Bible where this adjective is used. The next time this adjective, righteous, is used in the Bible is another famous moment of destruction when God has had enough. This time Abraham is negotiating with God to save the cities of Sodom and Gamora.
23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” Genesis 18:23-25 ESV
Righteous People are Hard to Find
Abraham after a moment of reflection knew that he has asked for too many righteous people so he starts to negotiate down until finally he says even for ten righteous people? Imagine searching inside two large cities where ten just and lawful people can’t be found. There were a few people again a single family and once again just like Noah God saves the one remaining family from a sea of corruption. If you don’t believe how evil the cities had become the description of what they wanted to do with the angels in the form of men that came to take Lot out of the city is proof enough.
4 But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!” 6 So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. Genesis 19:4-7 NLT
Wicked People = Morally Wrong
If few are righteous before God then most are wicked. The word here רָשָׁע (rāšāʿ) means morally wrong. Lot tells the people of his city to not do this morally wrong, “wicked” thing. Abraham when negotiating with God can’t find even ten people who are not morally corrupt. (Fast forward to the Tower of Babel and we see more of the same)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 ESV
The just and lawful, the righteous, like Noah live by faith. Noah spent 120 years building an Ark for something he probably could not comprehend or fully understand. Noah obeyed what God wanted from him and that faith made him righteous.
7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Hebrews 11:7 ESV
Trusting Jesus is the Answer
Do you dear reader trust God? Is Christ the rock upon which you are building your life? God saved Noah not because he was perfect or because he built a boat. God saved Noah because he trusted God. His relationship with the Creator allowed him to morally sound in a morally corrupt and evil world. Nothing has changed. Everyone around you, even in your own family, might be corrupt but you don’t need to be. You can trust that God will pull you out of the fire and set you on a sturdy foundation. Like Noah in the days of old God has provided an Ark in the form of Jesus Christ to make us righteous by faith. Do you trust him? Call on Jesus. He is waiting.