WORD STUDY – THE EYES OF THE LORD
Genesis 6:8: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
The Lord came down and look around a spell,
There he saw Mr. Noah, behaving mighty well
That is the reason the Scriptures record,
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
– Robert Schmertz –
As a small child I used to listen to Tennessee Ernie Ford sing the song “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord.” My first theology lesson was that you found grace from behaving mighty well. Then one day I learned that grace was unmerited favor. That blew apart my first theology lesson for if grace is unmerited, then you can’t get it by behaving mighty well.
If you can’t find grace by behaving mighty well, then how can you find grace? What did Noah do to get this grace? I mean do we (I) really understand what grace is?
I think first we need to more beyond our Sunday School definition of grace and really get a picture as to what grace really is. That is not to say that unmerited favor is a bad definition, in fact it is an excellent definition, we just need to expand on it a little.
The word grace in the Hebrew is kun. Ok, a little more Sunday School. Actually the word Noah is spelled with a Chet (ch or k sound) and and not a Hei (H sound). Hence his name is Noach. I mention this because it is important. It is a play on the word grace. Noach is grace or kun spelled backwards in Hebrew. Ok, I guess that doesn’t mean much but you can wow them at your next Bible if grace or Noah is the topic.
The root word for grace is Chet, Nun, Nun. The Chet represents a new beginning. The double Nun represents productivity and faith. Noah found a chance for a new beginning in faith and productivity in the eyes of the Lord. Grace is unmerited favor and that favor is God offering us the opportunity for a new beginning that will be productive.
This raises another issue, what are the eyes of God. God does not have literal physical eyes. Of course this is a metaphoric statement similar to ours in English. Often in the Olypmics you have athletes perform solo and they are judged by judges. I watched the figure skating one time and they all looked good to me, but the judges watch very closely and I heard a commentator say: “In the eyes of the judges.” The judges had carefully observed the performance of each athlete and gave their opinion as to a proper score based upon their insight and discernment.
The word eyes in the Hebrew is ayin like the Hebrew letter Ayin and means insight and discernment. In the insight and discernment of God, God found or judged Noah to be worthy of a new beginning..
Finally, my original question, what made Noah worthy of this grace, why did he find grace in the insight and discernment of God? The word find is masa’ which is spelled Mem, Sade, Aleph. The Mem represents the revelation of God, the Sade represents humility and the Aleph represents God. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord when he humbled himself to the revelation that God gave him. Keep in mind that humility is giving yourself completely to the will and revelation of God. We learn in the book of Genesis of another man named Moses was the most humble man alive because he gave himself totally and completely to the will of God.
In the 17th Century there was a man named John Newton who was such a sinner that he challenged others to find one sin that he had not committed and he would go out and commit that sin. That included murder for he murdered and tortured many people as a slave trader. One day when he brought a load of slaves on his slave ship to an auction, God opened his eyes to let him see the depth of his sin (Mem). Upon seeing the depth of his sin he humbled himself completely to God (Sade, Aleph). In that act he found (Masa), Chet, a new beginning in Nun faith and Nun productivity in God or as we call Chet, Nun, Nun Chanan grace. He found this grace so amazing that part of his new productivity in God was to write a song he titled: Amazing Grace. He lived his life in amazement that God would take a wretched sinner like him and give him grace a new beginning in faith and productivity for God.
No matter how much we have blown it, or have made a mess of things, if we humble ourselves to God’s revelation to us, He will always give us a new beginning in faith and productivity in Him. That is amazing, an amazing chanan (grace).