2013-02-08 - Grace
I have had grace on my mind lately so tonight I was searching the Bible for grace. The first occurrence of it is in Genesis 6:8.
Genesis 6:5-12 (NKJV)
As I read this passage, God helped me realize the grace in the middle of it all. Walk with me through these verse tonight and I hope you'll see something truly amazing about this grace.
In verse five, God sees the wickedness of mankind. The last half of that verse in the Amplified Bible is translated as "every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually". Every. All. Continually. These are very broad general words repeated in inspired scripture. All of mankind was so wicked that verse six God regrets having made humans at all. It is so bad that God decides to destroy all life and start over. That seems bleak for us all.
And in steps grace. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. The verses before say nothing about Noah that indicates he deserved to be shown favor. Noah is in fact a man and that lumps him into the whole of mankind that God had just pronounced as abhorrently wicked. See that's what is amazing about grace. He doesn't give it because we earn it. He gives us grace precisely because we don't deserve it. It isn't about us. It is about him. He loves us just because he wants to and just because he wants to Noah found favor in his eyes.
And then comes verse nine. Noah is described as just and perfect after grace comes in. He walks with God because grace had already come. He didn't get grace because he was just and perfect and walked with God. Those came after grace.
Verses eleven and twelve reiterate that the earth and all flesh was corrupt. When I read this the order gets confused and maybe you are in the same boat as me. Too often I say the earth was wicked except for Noah. He was good and perfect and all that. He was so good that God spared him. But that's not at all what it says. I don't read any except in that passage. All the earth including Noah was corrupt but God chose to give grace to Noah. Then Noah became perfect and just and walked with him. Grace then the clean-up came.
God extends his grace to us because of unconditional love not because of what we do. What we do comes out of gratitude for his grace being given first.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
Dwell in the grace of our great God.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted