And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So, the Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground … I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:6-8)
Yesterday we read about the first murder ever recorded in the Bible. A man killed his blood brother because of envy. This was just the beginning. Wickedness had grown so much in the hearts of people that it grieved God and He regretted having made man in the first place.
Let us not forget that from the beginning, God said that humans were “very good.” (Genesis 1:31). The question is: “How come all that goodness had now turned sour?” Did man really stop being good? The answer to this question is Noah. Yes, even in the midst of all that wickedness and evil that dominated the hearts of humans, God was able to find one good man.
Noah stood out! Noah chose to remain good even when evil was more popular. Noah refused to be cajoled by public opinion. Noah wasn’t a people-pleaser; he was a God-pleaser. Noah found favour with God. Noah was proof that God did not make a mistake by creating man and that there was still something good in man.
The story of Noah teaches us one lesson: “If you cannot beat them, do not join them!” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus basically told us that as Christians, we are called to be Noahs of the world. He said: “You are the salt of the earth… (and) You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13-14). Salt preserves. Noah, by his goodness, preserved the entire world from going extinct. Be good! Be different!
It is easy to talk about the pervasiveness of corruption and evil in our world but it would be a great mistake to just write off everyone or conclude that there is not a good man left. What about you? Yes, must you be like everyone else? Must you do evil because everyone seems to be doing it? Why not be the last man standing as far as holiness and Christian morality is concerned?
Jesus told his disciples in today’s Gospel passage to avoid the yeast of the Scribes and Pharisees. In simple terms, Jesus was saying: “Do not be hypocrites who deceive people forgetting that God sees everything.” It is so easy to be a hypocrite in our world, so easy to publicly condemn evil while secretly partaking in it. Noah was not that type of person; otherwise, God would have found out. If God decides to destroy this world again, will He find favour with you?
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, grant me the courage to always stand out for good. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Genesis 6:5-8,7:1-5,10, Ps. 29:1-4,9-10, Mark 8:14-21).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu