The Power of a Simple Word

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Genesis 6:9

The story of Noah in Genesis 6 illustrates why but is one of the most powerful words in the Bible.

In the centuries that followed the fall of Adam and Eve, the world became a very wicked place. Genesis 6:6 says, “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” Sounds pretty hopeless, right?

Then comes verse 8: “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” “Found favor” doesn’t mean that Noah was walking alongside a creek one day and stumbled on a box full of God’s grace. Noah isn’t the “doer” of the action; he’s the “receiver”—God reached down and showered His grace on Noah.

Why? Verse 9 tells us. First, Noah was “righteous.” That’s a judicial term—God had declared Noah righteous in His eternal court of justice. Paul makes a similar statement in Romans when he says that Abraham believed God and “it was credited to him as righteousness” (4:22).

Noah was also “blameless.” That means his reputation was unblemished. People knew that Noah “walked with God” because his conduct and character matched his words.

Noah responded to the gift of God’s grace with obedience. First he cultivated a relationship with God. The strength of that relationship enabled him to do “everything just as God commanded him” (6:22). That included the construction of an ocean liner—even though there was no ocean. Not yet.

We should also respond to God’s grace with obedience no matter how bizarre His instructions may seem: Put the needs of others ahead of our own. Forgive those who wrong us. Wait for His timing. Praise Him in the midst of all circumstances.

Our culture may seem as wicked as Noah’s was. But God still sees and rewards those who walk with Him. Are we willing to follow Noah’s example?


Read Romans 4:13-25. What does Abraham’s example teach us about the righteousness God gives us and the faith He expects of us?

But is a powerful word throughout Scripture. Meditate on the truths of these verses: Genesis 39:21, 45:8; Exodus 13:18; Psalm 73:26; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 10:13. (Not all versions use but in these verses, but the contrast is evident. Use the KJV to see the buts).

Read Paul’s testimony in Galatians 6:14. What is his desire? What is your chief desire?

Denise K. Loock


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