At the time of Noah, people stood against the will of God, lived dissipated lives as they pleased, and worshiped idols. By doing so, they opposed God very hard. Their lives were opposite to the will of God and they lost the value and duty of men. Finally, God judged the world with the flood. Only Noah who was recognized blameless in his time and his family survived. Then, how was Noah recognized righteous?
- Noah the righteous, blameless in his time?/strong>
Genesis 6:5-6 reads, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” This is because the earth was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Here, ‘being corrupt’ means ‘broken and crumbling, and being marked by immorality and perversion; and depraved’.
The same is happening today. How many of such corrupt incidents are happening in every corner of the world! When the world becomes corrupt beyond a certain limit, God cannot but feel sorry and judge. He judged the world with water in Noah’s time, and Sodom and Gomorrah with fire at the time of Abraham. At the Great White Throne Judgment, He will gather His wheat into Heaven and throw the chaff into the unquenchable fire in Hell.
At the time of Noah, only Noah and his family were able to avoid the judgment and survive because he was blameless in his time. Genesis 6:9 says, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.” Noah was a righteous man. He was not stained with sin and evil in a sin-filled world. He kept his heart towards God and lived in the truth. So, he could be protected in the dreadful judgment that swept over the whole world with water.
Then, can we say Noah’s wife, sons and daughters-in-law were righteous enough to avoid the judgment? They escaped the judgment not because they were righteous, but because they obeyed the words of the one who was righteous, Noah, and they followed the will of God. If they hadn’t believed the words of Noah and had just followed the world, though they belonged to Noah, they would have ended up being destroyed as well. But since they were also proper in God’s sight, they could grab the opportunity to enter the ark of Noah that saved them.
Today what kind of person can be recognized as a righteous man like Noah? They are those who abide by the law truthfully, live an honest and diligent life in every aspect though they may look foolish in the sight of men. They don’t live in dissipation for the worldly and momentary pleasure. Since they accepted the Lord, received the forgiveness of sins and salvation, and possessed Heaven, they love God and live according to the Word of God. Such men also serve their wives as they would their own bodies and such women serve husbands as they would the Christ. They raise their children in the Lord and respect their parents and love their neighbors.
When we become such a righteous man who lives according to the Word of God, we can be recognized as righteous and blameless in our time. Then God will prepare the ark of salvation for us and lead us not into difficulties just as God worked for Noah. Even if we meet with hardships, God protects us with His blazing eyes and opens the way to avoid it.
- God protects and saves righteous men
In the Bible, there are many cases where righteous men received salvation and blessings in the help of God. Joseph the son of Jacob was sold as a slave in Egypt because of his half-brothers’ jealousy. But, since God was with him he prospered in everything. He was falsely accused and imprisoned but he prospered even in the prison. All things worked together for good so he finally became the second ruler of Egypt after the Pharaoh. When the apostle Paul was in the prison after he was caught while preaching the gospel with Silas, God caused a great earthquake to happen and opened the gates of the prison and unfastened the chains.
It was the same situation for Cornelius. He gave many alms to the Jewish people, prayed, and he feared God. So, God saved him and his family as well. God showed visions to both Peter and Cornelius and allowed for them to meet in the works of the Holy Spirit and worship God together. God also blessed Cornelius to receive the Holy Spirit and gain salvation. Today it is the time of corruption when God’s judgment is inevitable. How evil are men’s hearts, thoughts, and plans! Some Christians also do things which the worldly people do, even though they say they believe God. They commit sins that they must not commit, and disgrace the name of God.
Unless we avoid the worldly trend, we can’t get rid of evil. The will of God is our becoming righteous in faith. Jesus was crucified and shed blood, and thus opened the way of salvation to save all mankind who became sinners, and help them to live a righteous life. Even if the world is full of sin and evil and the judgment of God is inevitable, we should become righteous men. By doing so, we should not only receive salvation but also shine like the sun in the eternity of Heaven.
- In order to become a righteous man, blameless in his time?/strong>
First, we need to long for the pure milk of the word.
1 Peter 2:1-2 reads, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” Here, the pure milk refers to the Word of God. Unless we listen to, learn, and realize the Word of God, we can’t become men whom God wants. Therefore, ‘longing for the pure milk of the word’ means longing for the Word of God and paying attention to it.
The Word of God tells us to belong to goodness and to throw away evil. To belong to goodness, we should put aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander that are opposite to goodness. When we cast off all malice, long for the pure milk of the word, listen to the right words, put it in heart, and act in faith, our spirits can be renewed every day and we can achieve victory in our lives.
Secondly, we must have blameless hearts that are unstained by worldly temptations
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but all things end up amounting to nothing. It is only the Word of God that lasts forever. Therefore, we should continue to gather in the church, break the bread of life, help the poor, take care of orphans and widows, and live by the Word of God just as the Early Church members did.
1 Peter 3:3-4 says, “Your adornment must not be merely external뾟raiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” That is, we should rather adorn our hidden person of the heart than adorn our appearance.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 reads, “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.”
1 Timothy 6:8 states, “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” Therefore, we should be content with what we eat and wear, and how we are adorned now, as long as they are not blamable. Many good-looking things of the world cause people to love the world, give rise to greed in them, and lead them to the way of death.
Third and lastly, we should become partakers of the divine nature.
2 Peter 1:4 reads, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” To become a partaker of the divine nature is to throw away sin and evil in heart and to become holy and blameless just as God is holy and perfect.
God says in 1 Peter 1:16, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” When we become holy and perfect just as God is holy, we can become a partaker of the nature of God and accomplish the heart of the Christ. Then, we will bear the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit뾩ove, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. By measuring how much we have borne the fruits of the Spirit we are able to discern how much we accomplish the nature of God. Therefore, I urge you to become righteous by throwing away worthless greed and all sins and evil and please God. I hope by doing so you will enjoy eternal glory.