As God looked upon the people of Earth, He saw nothing that brought Him pleasure. The wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11). And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart (Genesis 6:6).
We have a serious blind spot. We don’t see sin as God sees it. Oh yes, we are aware of the growing violence and ungodliness around us, but we still don’t see the sin within each of us for what it truly is: the violation of the very nature and character of God.
Genesis 6 records the announcement of God to destroy mankind from the face of the earth because of sin. He was going to destroy the earth with a great flood of water. This serves as a reminder to us that God punishes sin and no one can escape His wrath – not animals or birds, men or women, or even children.
Yet in the middle of this prelude to the Flood, we find the amazing statement: But Noah found grace [favor] in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). Why did Noah find God’s favor? Was Noah better than everyone else? No, he was a sinner like everyone else. God showed Noah grace before he ever built the ark or did anything else for God. Good works didn’t bring favor. He found found the favor of God for the same reason you receive His favor if you are one of His chosen ones:
to the praise of the glory of His grace … to the praise of His glory … to the praise of His glory … (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).
If you are of His elect, He’s given to you His grace – apart from who you are or what you’ve done – for the pleasure of His own will and glory of His name.