Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

9:22 AMHeather

I don't know about you, but I was so inspired by my Make it Monday post that I spent my Monday making something.  Ah.  Guess it was just the grace I needed to pour on myself--because once I picked up those kidlets at 3 different times and 2 different places--there was much need for grace to be shown to those little darlings.  Suffice it to say, it was an evening capped off by a huge sigh of relief once they were tucked snug in their beds.  

So, back to our journey of grace.  To recap--in case you've just joined in--the Wycliffe Bible dictionary showed me that grace first appeared in Scripture as the word favor.  And, we have been plodding through each Scripture that includes the word favor to see what we can learn about this foundation and starting point of grace.  After taking a peek at Cain and Abel last Friday, we move on to Noah.

Did you know that Noah, he built him, he built him an arky arky?  Built it out of cedar barky, barky...children of the Lord?  Couldn't resist.  But, hey--the story of Noah in relation to God's favor tells me one very important yet simple truth.  

Genesis 6:8 tells us that "Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD." Well, that sounds pretty good.  I'd like to be described that way.  But, wait...there's more.  In the very next verse, we see this description of Noah.  

Noah was a righteous man, blameless 
among the people of his time, 
and he walked faithfully with God.

Wow, if we back up a few verses, we see that being blameless among the people of his time was quite a feat.  'Cause here's what we know about those people from just a few verses back.

The LORD saw how great the 
wickedness of the human race 
had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart 
was only evil all the time. 
6 The LORD regretted that he had 
made human beings on the earth, 
and his heart was deeply troubled. 

Ya know, I have to say as a mom who dearly loves my children--I too have moments when I wonder what I got myself into?  Please don't mishear me--I wouldn't trade being a mom to these children for anything.  But just like my Father, my heart can be deeply troubled. 
If we look closely--even if you've read this a million times and can even sing the song--we learn some very important things.  Just how on earth was Noah able to choose a righteous path and narrow way among such an evil people?  Just how was it that he was able to walk with God and be called blameless among all that bad influence?  How was it that he found favor in the eyes of the Lord?

Lean in closely as I whisper this great truth.  Noah was able to find favor in the eyes of the Lord because he looked for it.  Crazy, I know.  I believe that Noah was able to seemingly stand alone for God in a perverse generation because he was not looking for love in all the wrong places.  Instead, he was LOOKING for God's favor.

Glimpse of grace:  Sometimes I find that the simple truths and directives are the hardest to follow.  The beautiful and simple truth of Noah's integrity is, I believe, that he looked for God's favor.  I believe he got up each day and said, "Lord, I want to please YOU.  My eyes are focused on YOU.  Not all these evil distractions and fleshly pleasures around me.  No excuses.  I am looking for YOUR favor--not anyone else's."  I believe day by day, that is how he managed to walk with God and be found righteous and blameless.  It couldn't have been easy.  I mean, he had no idea what was coming.  He didn't know that all those wicked men and women who surely taunted, tempted and misunderstood him would soon be destroyed.  For all he knew, he'd spend the rest of his days going against the flow.  He was just focused on looking for God's favor for that day.  And, in the long run--what did finding that favor mean?  What happened when Noah's heart was bent on pleasing God alone?  

It meant that God spoke to Noah.  It meant that God gave Noah specific instructions and commands.  Oh, these weren't easy commands.  That arky arky was quite a task.  And, remember--these people had never seen rain.  Up until then, God caused the water to spring up from the earth to water the plants.  Two of every animal?  God promised to bring them to the ark.  Noah need only to trust and believe.  And, finding God's favor ultimately mean this.  Noah and his family were saved from destruction.  God provided for them and made a covenant with them.  He got personal in their lives to show His faithfulness.  Oh, yes, looking for God's favor led to finding it in ways that Noah and his little family could never have imagined!

I love this challenge.  May I too look and seek God's favor--not man's.  May I be bent on pleasing Him--not myself.  Even if I don't know that a rainbow might appear in the storm, may I make it my heart's mission to stand--even if it's alone--for the love of my God!


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