The Significant Exception

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood… – Genesis 6:9-14 [ESV]

East Texas Ranch Panorama | Timpson, Texas | March 2021

Perhaps you know someone like Noah. I do. His name is Don, and I like to think of him as a true Lutheran in whom there is no guile (cf. John 1:47). He is not a Lutheran Flag Waver. He makes no big deal of it. He doesn’t go about announcing his bona fides. But he is faithful and true in his walk with God. Don is the kind of person you would want to know and hang out with. There are not many people like Don. Too many people are either bragging about their faith, or they profess no faith at all. Present readers excluded!

I’m not sure Noah was exactly like my friend Don. Noah might have been more outgoing and obvious in his faith. But God saw into his heart. He was considered faithful. And God will use him for a major exception to the diluvial catastrophe that was to come upon the earth. He and his sons and their wives would be saved. God has identified him as a significant exception to the rebellion, waywardness, erring, and violence that was foisted on God’s creation in those days. 

I’m wondering now about the difference between today and the days of Noah in terms of the rebellion, waywardness, erring, and violence that is being foisted on God’s creation. There is plenty of evil everywhere you turn. Whether it is violence in the streets, abuse in the dark alleys and secret places people hide, subterfuge in the halls of power, or deceit in cyberspace: evil lurks, prowls, and too often spills its caustic venom on God’s world. 

O for the righteous to prevail! O, if only evil would be kept in hell – the place it belongs!

Maybe we who wish to be like like my friend Don should look for opportunities to serve the cause of God’s reign and rule. We are the exception. That becomes more and more clear every day. Whether it’s the latest accusations against an NFL quarterback, the death of a convicted shyster, or the latest ravings of a foreign dictator: evil is easily found. What of faithful righteousness?

Noah will be given the specific plans, dimensions, and specs for building the ark. The kind of wood. The length, height and breadth. The number of floors. The provisions for doors and food. It will take years of faithful work to complete his assigned task. He who was found to be faithful will be given the opportunity to prove his faithfulness. 

We have been given some more general – but no less important – ways in which we are to express our faith. Surely prayer, obedience, public worship, and brotherly love would top that list. So would bringing Jesus into our relationships with others – believers or not. And if Jesus is there, God’s reign and rule is present. Faith not only grasps the gifts of God’s grace in Jesus, it expresses itself in a life of righteousness. 

And one other thing; when we falter in that expression, faith returns us to Jesus where we find him to be the perfect exception to the corruption and evil that surrounds us and all too often invades even our own hearts. Thank God for Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith! 

Click here or on the podcast player below to listen to an audio version of this blog post.

God has grand plans for the world he created. As long as life goes on, let's not miss the divine appointments he has set for us.
  1. As Long As…
  2. Seasons of Life and Rhythms of Living
  3. Why Not Harsher Treatment?
  4. What Noah Did Not Do
  5. Coming Home

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. – Genesis 6:9-22 [ESV]

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