By Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke.
Very little is revealed to us about the parentage of Noah, yet enough is given to inform us that he was the descendant of godly ancestors. He was the grandson of Methuselah and the great-grandson of Enoch. His great-grandfather was the man who was translated to heaven by God. His father, Lamech, gave Noah his name, saying, “This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed” (Gen. 5:29).
This shows us that Lamech was a man of faith and attributed their struggle in life to the Lord’s “curse.”
Further, he viewed Noah as one who would bring some “comfort.”
The times in which Noah lived were very dark and sinful. However, they only serve to bring into vivid contrast the life of one who was called “perfect in his generations,” and one who “walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).
Just imagine the terrible scene displayed before the Creator as He looked upon His creation. He had proclaimed everything “good,” only now to find it corrupted by sin.
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). When God looks again, He sees such unimaginable disobedience. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).
Even in such dark and disconcerting times there is a special word that appears for the first time in the Bible. That word is grace. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Gen.6:8). When viewing the world of sin, God “saw.” However, when Noah was brought to our attention, he found grace “in the eyes of the Lord.” This seems to me to infer a deeper look into the character and personage of Noah. He has been described as an “oasis in the midst of a dreary desert” (Pink).
Three things are told us about the character of Noah. First, he was “just.”
He was not the first “just” man, but was the first to be so called. This can only exist in a person of faith (Rom. 5:1,9), and Noah is listed in Hebrews 11, the chapter of faith heroes.
Secondly, he was “perfect in his generations,” probably meaning that he and his family kept themselves apart from the evil around them. The Hebrew word is “tamim” and is translated 44 times in the OT as “without blemish.”
The root is probably the word from which we get our word contaminated. Noah and his family were uncontaminated by those things around them. Thirdly, he “walked with God.” This is the only way to be kept from the evil around us.