Judgment and Grace

Judgment and Grace

Today’s Scripture Selection: Genesis 4-7

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

One of the most dramatic stories in all of Scripture – and one with which many people have had trouble – is that of the great flood that destroyed everything and everyone on earth, at God’s hand.  Many have used that one Biblical account as excuse enough to give up on the entire Bible.  “How could a loving God do such a thing?” With that one question, often without being willing to enter into genuine dialogue for a possible answer – they dismiss thousands of years of faith and billions of believers worldwide.

I can appreciate their dilemma though.

It isn’t an easy idea – a comfortable one – that suggests that God can be righteous, just, judgmental, and still be full of love and grace.

And yet, that seems to be exactly what Scripture says.

At the beginning of Chapter 6 of Genesis we read these two seemingly conflicting ideas:

“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry I have made them.”

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

How can both be true?

Still, in my own life – I have experienced both – many times.

On the one hand, I have had to accept God’s righteous judgment; God’s sorrowful grief and disappointment, and my own, at some of my most unholy and sinful actions.

On the other hand, I have “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” as well – thank God, I have found grace in His eyes.  Where would I be without it?

So, while I guess theologians will argue the point for years to come, I know it’s true.  Somehow, mysteriously, the same God who is righteous and holy accepts and loves me and showers me with grace – not because I “deserve” it – but even (and especially) when I don’t.

That is, after all what grace is.  It is a free, undeserved, but wonderful, life-saving gift.

I know it may be confusing to some.  But in Christ I stake my life, my eternal life, on it.

How about you?

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