Sunday, January 10

Lone Righteousness = True Righteousness

Then the LORD said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation." (Genesis 7:1)
Several features of God's loving care jump out at me in this line, ". . . for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation."

FIRST, God takes notice of just ONE righteous person. "I have seen that . . ." While we accept that God is omniscient, it is still a boon to our soul to know that He sees just one righteous soul.

SECOND, God minds the QUALITY of the soul, looking only upon their righteousness. "For I have seen that YOU ARE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE ME." Noah's righteousness was in quality both CLEAN and NON-HYPOCRITICAL (which is to say the same thing from the positive and negative side).

THIRD, Noah was righteous BEFORE God told him of the threat of punishment (see 6:9). Many may seem to be righteous who are so only because to their minds there is nothing better. But Noah was righteous without props, without threats. Truth is, that is not  righteous at all which is not righteous for God's sake.

FOURTH, Noah was righteous AFTER God warned of the coming flood. "For I have seen that . . ." In the midst of controversy and antipathy, he still stood by God's word. In other words, controversy and antipathy likely mounted as over the years, Noah (and sons-in-law) built the ark. Still, he maintained his integrity. Righteous in the cauldron of competing desires! That's valid.

FIFTH, Noah was alone in his righteousness. ". . . for I have seen that you are righteous before me IN THIS GENERATION." True righteousness does not thrive via the "buddy system." Find someone else to join with you and you'll go to church. May be. But one cannot discover true faith, a valid righteousness in a group. Noah personally, and without the aid of others believed God. Faith is like that. Originating in the heart, it manifests itself in the life.

Pray that we may exhibit such isolated righteousness, so that even within the larger group we may be marching to the beat of the Heavenly Drummer!


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