Verse 8 told us that Noah found “Grace” in the eyes of the Lord. Through God’s merciful grace, Noah was declared righteous in Verse 9. It says, “These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” The opening phrase refers to a shift in the story from the evil in the world to the graciousness of God in redemption. He chose Noah’s line to preserve to fulfill the promise of the one and only coming deliverer mentioned in Genesis 3:15 as the seed of the woman. The declaration of Noah’s “righteousness” is not a reflection of his sinlessness as it is on God’s grace given to sinful people. Paul tells us that “by grace, we are saved through faith.” This is indeed how Noah was saved from the flood and served as a picture of the coming deliverance offered to us in Christ. The writer of Hebrews reviews Noah’s case and concludes that it was by God’s grace through faith that Noah was chosen. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this, he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

Dealing with being blameless in his generation, many commentators observe that the Hebrew phrase might better be translated as “perfect or pure.” Speaking of the lineage of Noah, this could very well be a reference to the fact that it had to do with, as one commentator put it. Noah “Was of pure descent, and in that respect also distinguished from his contemporaries, who were the offspring of promiscuous marriages between the godly and the ungodly.”[1] The earth genealogies of man had been totally corrupted by the inter-marriage of the “sons of God” with the “daughters of man.” Noah, however, had a “pure” genealogy down from Seth without corruption. The flood was God’s act to preserve the purity of the lineage through which the Christ would come as much as it dealt with the sin of mankind. Guzik says, “We could translate ‘perfect in his generations’ as, ‘Noah was pure in his genetic profile.’”[2]

Noah walked with God. This is the exact phrase used to describe Enoch’s relationship with God earlier in Genesis. Abraham will later be referred to as the “friend of God.” There are many ideas about what it means to “walk with God,” but it relates to the reality that He is with you. When someone is “with” you, they are constantly in your awareness. They are present with you in what you say and do. In God’s case, he is with you even in what you think. It’s to be aware of the omniscient, omnipresent existence of God. It’s in this living that Paul is talking about when he speaks of being always prayerful. God is not only with me when I get into trouble or find myself in a foxhole and then realize that I need Him. He’s with me always. All the good things come from God. All the bad things have a purpose, and I trust God to work them out for my good eventually.

[1] Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. 1909. Genesis. The Pulpit Commentary. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[2] Guzik, David. 2013. Genesis. David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible. Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik.