In contrast to the wickedness and evil of the rest of the world, Genesis 6 introduces Noah by saying,
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
What’s interesting to note is that although Noah is described as righteous and blameless, we’re not given any insight into what Noah did that was so righteous and blameless. Those adjectives are not followed by a list of good works that Noah did. We aren’t told what Noah did to earn the titles of “righteous” and “blameless”. What we are told is that Noah “walked with God”.
I don’t typically walk with strangers. In fact, when I think about walking with someone the people who come to mind are my wife and kids. We often go for evening walks together. Sure, we do it to get the dog his exercise but we also do it because we enjoy spending time together and it gives us a chance to connect and talk.
When we’re told that Noah “walked with God” what we’re learning is that Noah enjoyed intimate fellowship with God. He had a relationship with God. He had regular communion with God. He enjoyed God.
But we should’t focus too much on Noah. We shouldn’t get caught in the trap of thinking that Noah was a special person who did special things and if we would just be like Noah, we too can find favor with God. The main point of the passage is not that Noah is good but rather that God is gracious.
When we’re told that Noah found “favor” in the eyes of the LORD, we’re being told that Noah found “grace”. And He didn’t go looking for grace. It was extended to him by the LORD.
In the midst of a wicked and evil world that deserved punishment and condemnation, God decided, in His sovereign will, to show grace to Noah and preserve for Himself a remnant.
A beautiful foreshadowing of the gospel of Jesus Christ.