GENESIS 6:9: “This is the account of Noah and his descendants. Noah had God’s approval and was a man of integrity among the people of his time. He walked with God.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Does my “walk” match my “talk”? As I read about the life of Noah I am challenged with this question. Noah had three things going for him. Noah had God’s approval. Noah was a man of integrity among the people. And Noah walked with God.
Why did Noah have God’s approval? Although the full details of Noah’s life are not given, we can assume from this statement that Noah was a true worshipper of the Lord. Noah was also obedient to the Lord. His life was a stark contrast to the backdrop of his culture.
- “The LORD saw how evil humans had become on the earth. All day long their deepest thoughts were nothing but evil. The LORD was sorry that he had made humans on the earth, and he was heartbroken.” (Genesis 6:5-6 GW)
In the midst of this evil stood Noah. God called him to build an ark to prepare for the coming flood. We do not have any account of Noah’s objection to God’s command, just his obedience. The Bible never whitewashes the story of God’s people, so we must assume that Noah simply obeyed. God spoke – Noah obeyed. While the world around them lived in disapproval because of their wickedness, Noah lived in God’s approval because of His obedience.
Noah was also a man of integrity. The easiest way I find to understand integrity is to think of the difference between solid gold and plated gold. Solid gold is the same inside and out. Plated gold appears bright and shiny on the outside, but it simply covers something quite inferior on the inside. Jesus gives us this illustration when he rebukes the scribes and Pharisees.
- “How horrible it will be for you, experts in Moses’ Teachings and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed graves that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and every kind of impurity. So on the outside you look as though you have God’s approval, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-28 GW)
Noah was the same when he was worshipping God, as he was when he was walking in the midst of his crooked and perverse culture. With Noah – what you saw is who he really was, both inside and out.
This challenges me deeply. I want to be a true worshipper of the Lord in spirit and in truth. I want my words to match my life, and my life to match my words. I want to be the same when I am in church as I am when I am in line at the local Walmart. I want my life behind closed doors to be consistent with my life in public. I want to live a life that gives glory to God in all things and at all times. I want to please God and be a man of integrity! – Yet, I am not perfect.
I sometimes say the wrong thing. I sometimes do the wrong thing. Does this negate my integrity? Does this make all my efforts meaningless? How can I grow in integrity when I am not perfect? Noah was not perfect either. However, Noah discovered the power that comes from His presence! Noah walked with God! I can walk with God! I can walk with God’s people! I can abide in His Word! As I do this something wonderful happens.
- “But if we live in the light in the same way that God is in the light, we have a relationship with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from every sin. If we say, “We aren’t sinful” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.” (1 John 1:7-9 GW)
Lord, I want to be a man of integrity! I want to be a true worshipper in spirit and in truth! I want to please you in all that I do! So this morning, in this New Year, help me to walk in Your light. Help me to abide in Your Word. Help me to follow after Your Spirit. As I do, help me to deal with any sin that I discover quickly, confessing it, turning from it, and receiving Your forgiveness and cleansing. Grant me the grace to live a life that reflects You in all that I am, and in all that I do!
In Jesus Name!