In the middle of pervasive corruption, “Noah alone remained righteous and lived according to the will of God.”
The struggle of salvation is the struggle to abide in righteousness. Righteousness here meaning right relationship – true identity.
The struggle is with the pervasive corruption of the world. That world is not just around us (external to us) but inside us (internal to us).
Noah was righteous. I do not, personally, believe for one instant that Noah was “struggle-less-ly righteous.” I believe he struggled with the world both externally and internally. What set him apart was his perseverance to the end in the struggle.
I hold the story of Noah to be our story – the story of living out our baptism – successfully abiding in the death of unrighteousness and the victory of righteousness (false identity vs. true identity): “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit…” (1 Peter 3.18)
Noah struggled faithfully in living an “ark life.” The actual hard work of cooperating with God in the building of the ark, entering it, and being preserved is the icon of how he lived his whole life. He lived in reference to the future not the past. He lived the future in every present moment. He struggled to live heaven (right relationship — mutual abiding/indwelling in love) in the midst of hell (wrong relationship — alienation/separation in fear).
All my days are the days of Noah. Today is intended to be live as the “end of days” if it is to be truly lived as today as the Lord has prepared it.
I claim no wisdom. I may be “all wet.” These are my convictions, however.
I welcome your reflection on this matter.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2.15-`7)
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1.26,27)
Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9)
To be righteous among the righteous is a great and praiseworthy deed, but how far greater and more praiseworthy a deed it is to be righteous among the unrighteous. Noah lived among men who were filled with unrighteousness and evil; he lived among them for five hundred years and remained righteous before God: Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). The Most-high Judge, who looks at all the works of mankind and evaluates them without prejudice and without error, valued the labors of Noah because, in the midst of a corrupt and perverse generation, he remained in the righteousness of God; and God rewarded him with His grace. Assuredly, Noah endured much misery and bitterness from his evil neighbors. Assuredly, he was unable to have a friend among them. The greatest satisfaction for a sinner is to drag a righteous man down into his own mire and to share his sin with him. But Noah did not allow himself to be dragged down or misled. Noah favored God’s friendship over that of unrighteous men. It was dearer to him to walk with God without men, than to walk with men without God. Fear of God, the Creator and Judge, preserved him from the worldwide corruption; and he was not only righteous but also perfect in his generations. That is, he did not allow himself, even in the least, to be contaminated by the common evil, but rather he cleaved to God’s righteousness. The allurement of sin and the ridicule of the sinners: everything merely served to separate him all the more from them. When the universal flood befell the human race, God did not abandon his faithful Noah to perish with the others. Instead, He saved him and glorified him, making him the progenitor of a new generation of men. Brethren, this shining example of Noah teaches that each one of us can please God even in the midst of sinners, if only we want to.
O Righteous and Long-suffering God, uphold us on the path of Thy righteousness.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen. Source The Prologue of Ohrid