In my Hebrew III class we’ve just reached the account of Noah (which struck me as fitting considering my recent post). We were asked to write a short reflection on why Noah stood out from the rest of humanity.
Noah stood out because he was righteous, blameless in a wicked generation. But I think the key reason why he stood out was that he “walked with God.” He was distinct because he lived his life to follow the path God laid out for him. I think that’s why he was considered righteous. He believed in and trusted in God in a way that none of the other people alive at that time were.
I mean, sure, Noah was probably also a pretty good guy, and he probably sought to do good. But the story of the Bible says that we are not counted righteous by the things that we do, but by what Jesus has already done. Now, it was different for people in the OT because they didn’t have Jesus’ sacrifice to look back upon, but there was an established understanding of how man related to God through sacrifice, even as far back as Cain and Abel. Noah, and probably the other people alive, knew what God expected (I’m sure the story of the expulsion from Eden was shared from generation to generation, as well as guidelines and examples for how to relate to God). Yet Noah stood out because he chose to try to follow those expectations.