(Gen 6:9-14) These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth. And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make you an ark of gopher wood; rooms shall you make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch.
Through the reading of these passages, do you get a general idea of the man Noah? What kind of man was Noah? The text says: “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations.” According to the understanding of the people today, what kind of man was a “just man” in that time? A “just man” should be a perfect man. Do you know this perfect man was a perfect man in men’s eyes or a perfect man in God’s eyes? No doubt, this “perfect man” was a perfect man in God’s eyes rather than in men’s eyes. This is certain! For men were blind and could not see that, and only God searched the whole earth and searched everyone, and only God knew that Noah was a perfect man. So God launched his plan of destroying the world with a flood at the very moment when Noah was called.
When it came to that time, God wanted to call Noah to do a very important thing. Why did God want to do it? Because God had a plan in his heart then, and his plan was to destroy the world with a flood. Why did he want to destroy the world? Here it says: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” What have you seen from the word “The earth was filled with violence”? When the world and mankind were corrupt to the utmost, there was a phenomenon on the earth, that is, “the earth was filled with violence.” To put it in modern language, “being filled with violence” means that everything was in a muddle. In man’s eyes, all walks of life were in disorder, very chaotic, and not easy to manage. In God’s eyes, the mankind in that world was too corrupt. To what extent were they corrupt? They were corrupt to such an extent that God could no longer bear to see them and could no longer be patient with them and to such an extent that God was determined to destroy them. When God was determined to destroy the world, God planned to find a man to make an ark. Then God chose Noah to do such a thing, that is, he commanded Noah to make an ark. Why did he choose Noah? Noah was a just man in God’s eyes, and moreover, he would do everything just as God commanded him, that is to say, he would do whatever God told him to do. God wanted to find such a man to cooperate with his work, accomplish his commission, and accomplish the work he would do on earth. Then besides Noah, was there any other man in that time who could accomplish such a work? Certainly not! Noah was the only possible man for it, the only possible man who could accomplish God’s commission, so God chose him. However, are the scope and the standard of God’s salvation of man in that time the same as those of today? The answer is that certainly there is a difference between them! Why do I ask this? Although in that time only Noah was a just man in God’s eyes, which implies that his children and his wife were not just men, God left them alive because of Noah. God did not make requirements of them according to what he requires of man now. Rather, he left all the eight members of Noah’s family alive. They were blessed by God because of Noah’s righteousness. Without Noah, none of them could possibly accomplish that commission of God, so Noah was the only man who should be left alive when the world was destroyed that time, while others were just favored specially. It can be seen that in that time when God had not formally carried out his management work, the principle and the standard by which God treated man and made requirements of man were comparatively “lenient.” In the eyes of the people today, God treating the eight members of Noah’s family in that way, he seems to be not “just and fair.” As far as the great many works God does on the people today and the great many words God speaks to them are concerned, God’s “treatment” of the eight members of Noah’s family was only a principle of working God adopted under the background of his work at that time. In comparison, who of the people today and the eight members of Noah’s family have gained more from God?