Why did only Noah find grace in the sight of God? Let’s see how the Bible answers this great question.
“So the Lord said, “I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth…for I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Note: This passage is notoriously difficult. Sometimes the stories in the Bible are written intentionally vague. They’re written in connect-the-dots style without any numbers on the dots. This passage is one of those. And you can tell by how many interpretations are suggested for what’s written here. Other views are briefly named at the end of this article. Read on about the question “why did only Noah find grace in the sight of God?”
“When men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them.”
This is Early in Human History
The Bible’s first five chapters have genealogies that trace human origins to two people: Adam and Eve. And according to those chapters, there haven’t been many generations between Adam and Noah. However, people lived extended lives before the flood, so the population increased exponentially. Read on about the question “why did only Noah find grace in the sight of God?”
Angels Chose Human Wives
“The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair and took as wives any they chose.”
The “sons of God” phrase in the Old Testament refers to angels. This verse tells us that some angels left their proper domain, forsaking their original dwelling, and came to earth to mate with human women. This angelic rebellion from their sphere is mysteriously strange. Angels are spirit beings whose proper home is in heaven. We don’t think they can have human bodies that function like ours. But there are other times mentioned in Bible stories where they appeared as men (e.g., Genesis 18; Hebrews 13:2).
Angels Committed Sexual Sin
“Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly (Job 4:18 KJV).”
The Hebrew word translated as “folly” appears in other Bible stories that refer to sexual sin (e.g., Diana in Genesis 34).
Because of the unique sin of these angels, God chained them in an exclusive place while they await judgment.
New Testament References
Jude 1:6-7 mentions these angels who came to earth during the time of Noah:
“Likewise, the angels who did not keep to their first domain, but forsook their own dwelling, He has kept in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities in like manner, gave themselves to immorality and went after different flesh (also sexual sin, i.e., “folly”), they serve as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire.”
2 Peter 2:4-5 also tells us about these angels at Noah’s time:
“For if God did not spare the angels that sinned but cast them down to
hell (Tartarus) and delivered them into chains of darkness to be kept for judgment; and if He did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.”
God Chained These Angels
God chained these angels in a place, maybe a pit, called “Tartarus.” Translating this word as the English word “Hell’ is misleading. In Greek mythology, “Tartarus” is the underworld. “The great day of judgment” is the Great White Throne judgment of all unbelievers immediately before eternity (Revelation 20:11-15). Read on about the question “why did only Noah find grace in the sight of God?”
It’ll Flood in 120 Years
“The Lord said, “My Spirit will not always strive with man, for he is flesh; yet his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
In this verse, God warned humanity that He’d send the flood in 120 years.
Hybrids: Men of Renown
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”
The offspring of this “different (strange) flesh,” i.e., half-angel/half-human, became the mighty men of renown. Many scholars conclude that “Nephilim” means “fallen ones.” These “men” and their actions may explain some of the ancient myths and gods from various ancient cultures, like those in the Greek and Roman pantheons.
“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was continually only evil. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in His heart. “
When God surveyed humanity, He found great wickedness and saw that their every thought was evil. Since “evil” was so widespread, judgment came:
God Destroyed “Evil”
“So the Lord said, “I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the birds of the sky, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
The flood was how God decided to solve this “evil.” There’s no direct connection with whatever the Bible calls “evil” in this passage. Does it mean general human evil, or does it connect with the pollution of human flesh caused by the “folly” of these angels? And if it was because of the hybridization of humanity, how widespread was this pollution?
Noah Found Grace
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Every person born after Adam sinned deserves judgment. Everyone (except Jesus, our Savior) needs God’s grace for salvation. Noah was no exception.
Why did only Noah find grace in the sight of God?
There may have been an additional issue here. Humans were corrupted by angelic/human hybrids. And Noah and his wife were among the few left with pure human ancestry.
Satan’s Plan: Destroy the Messianic Line
The corruption caused by Satan’s angels was meant to destroy the line of the Messiah. After Adam and Eve sinned, God promised a deliverer, a future Savior (Genesis 3:15). The Savior’s ancestry had to be free of angelic contamination to qualify as a human Savior. Future Bible stories describe other efforts to destroy the Messianic line. (See, for example, King Herod’s order to kill all infants under two years old when Jesus was born).
Noah Walked with God
“These are the generations of Noah. “Noah was a just man and blameless among his contemporaries. Noah walked with God.”
Was Noah blameless because he was purely human? And was he purely human because he walked with (obeyed) God? Or did God graciously choose him out of many possible pure humans God could have chosen?
“Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more because God took him (Genesis 5:24).”
Enoch walked with God, and God took him to heaven without dying. Noah also walked with God, and God saved him from dying in the flood. That may be one reason Noah found grace in God’s eyes.
It probably had never rained on the earth before the flood. Noah’s obedience took faith.
A Fresh Start
“Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
After the flood, the entire earth was populated with the offspring of Noah’s three sons and their wives.
“The earth was corrupt before God and filled with violence. God looked on the earth and saw it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”
The corruption of the flesh was because humanity was now hybrids. These crossbreeds became the men of legend.
“So God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. Now I will destroy them with the earth.”
God’s destroyed the hybrids so humanity could start fresh as a purely human race. It would also keep the Messianic line pure.
“Make an ark of cypress wood for yourself. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.”
Noah’s ark illustrates our salvation through the Messiah, the Lord Jesus. The pitch that sealed the ark is the same pitch that will be used again. They used it to build the Tower of Babel and to seal the basket baby Moses was in (Genesis 11, Exodus 2:1-10).
Summary of this View
Sons of God (angels) left their domain to mate with human females, which produced a hybrid race that corrupted humanity. This was a satanic plan to destroy the Messianic line. God sent the flood to purify the race through an uncorrupted Noah. Noah also, like Enoch, walked with God and found grace in God’s sight. Noah’s family gave humanity a fresh start.
Other views in brief:
- Human sin and evil were so rampant that God decided to start over with just Noah and his family.
- The godly line of Seth married the ungodly women outside the line of Seth. Those ungodly women were an evil influence on their husbands, so the line of Seth also became corrupt.
Accept the Free Grace of God in Your Own Life
You can be saved and receive absolute forgiveness for every wrong you have committed. Receive the promise of eternal life in Heaven. Please watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU video on this page to find out how you can receive the free gift of salvation today!