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    Noah Found Grace

    April 5, 2012 by Brandy Vencel

    This year, I resolved to read through the Bible in chronological order using the King James translation. Even though I’ve been using the King James during Circle Time for a number of years now, I’ve never attempted to read through it. But I’m enjoying the adventure, even if it will take me two years {at least!} to get through a “one year Bible reading plan.”

    What can I say? I taught myself the art of reading slowly and now I can’t help myself.

    Awhile back, something jumped off the page at me, which often happens in Bible reading, but I find it especially happens when I’ve switched to a new translation. In high school, I read the NIV and the NCV {I know, I know, but my student Bible was in the NCV–what did I know? I was just a kid!}. It was an adventure to switch to the $5 bargain faux-leather NASB that I purchased all by myself in the college bookstore when I was a freshman.

    But I don’t like to switch up translations very often. I read the NIV for about a decade, switched briefly to the NCV {aforementioned mistake}, and then moved to the NASB in college. I read the NIV long enough to become intimate with it, and the same happened with the NASB which I read for 15 years. I want my own KJV {I’m using my husband’s, so I don’t feel like I can mark it up}, that I might get to know it the way I know my NASB. It’s like a friend. You know where are all the scuff marks are, you know where something is on the page. It’s personal. I might not know all my references, but I know my favorite places.

    But I digress.

    As I was saying, something jumped out at me.

    I think it’s because of the way I always heard the story of Noah in Sunday School. Noah was the Only Righteous Man, right? I always thought that God saved Noah because he deserved to be saved.

    Now, it’s true that Noah was a saint:

    Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

    {Genesis 6:9}

    Before we are told this, though, we are told something else. We are told that the whole earth was wicked and filled with giants {this is why giants must be bad in story books, by the way} and God regretted that He ever made man. God decides to destroy His creation. And then, before we ever learn about Noah’s righteousness, we are told this:

    But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

    {Genesis 6:8}

    Noah found grace. 

    Noah was righteous. Noah was a man who withstood the temptations of his generation.

    But not even Noah could save himself. Without God’s grace, Noah was a doomed man, too.

    He walked with God, but he still needed grace.

    I love reading the stories of the patriarchs. I love knowing that God has made some men who are truly great, and who stand of beacons of light in their own time.

    But I also love knowing that no matter how strong and bold and righteous the man, without God’s grace, he is nothing.

    Even “good” people need grace.

    Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

    And the grace to Noah was also grace to us, for it is through Noah that eventually came Abraham, Isaac Jacob, Jesse, David, Solomon…and Jesus.

    Jesus, Who is God’s ultimate grace to us, but Who, interestingly enough, God chose to bring into the world as a direct result of His past grace to Noah.

    It seems God heaps grace upon grace.

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  • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts April 6, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Apparently I need to go check all of my children’s Bibles to see if the Mystie/Mark test has been passed.

  • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts April 6, 2012 at 3:36 am

    I found myself wondering why I never noticed this in my NASB, and so I checked it out. The word is translated as “favor” instead of “grace.” When someone gets favor with an earthly king, it is usually earned through works, so I think that is why it always came across that way to me in the past.

  • Reply Mystie April 6, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Sara — LOL.

  • Reply sara April 6, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Oh and Mystie feels the same way so that’s even better! 🙂

  • Reply sara April 6, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Mark Driscoll tells a story about how he hates the way certain children’s bibles tell the story of Noah because they make it seem like Noah had righteousness of his own and so God rewarded him and he points to the same verse that jumped out at you.

  • Reply Mystie April 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I love those moments when suddenly I realize what a passage is saying and it hits me over the head like a club.

    The story of Noah has always been my litmus test for children’s Bibles. If it says Noah was saved because he was good, then I won’t have it in my house. No one is saved because they were good.

    And so, we have hardly any children’s Bibles in our house.

    My pastor’s favorite question to ask about OT characters is “Was Abraham a Christian?” 🙂 Of course he was.

  • Reply Go quickly and tell April 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I love reading the stories of the patriarchs. I love knowing that God has made some men who are truly great, and who stand of beacons of light in their own time.

    Ditto ~

    Even “good” people need grace.

    Double Ditto ~

    A KJV was my very first personal Bible, something I requested for my birthday 45 years ago. It’s falling apart, and special for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that is all the proper names contain pronunciation marks!

    I’ve been reading more in the ESV lately, but am probably most familiar with the NASB.

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