A Short Study of Genesis 7:1
“And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.”
God’s call to Noah and his family to enter the ark was:
(1) THE CALL OF GRACE – “And the LORD said unto Noah” – The first thing said of Noah in the Bible is “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). Noah was a sinner saved by the grace and mercy of God in Christ. He had already been effectually, powerfully, and sovereignly called to faith in Christ and repentance of dead works. The call to enter the ark is a picture of God’s elect being invincibly called by the Holy Spirit to faith in Christ. Everything in Noah’s life as far as salvation, safety, and blessings from God, was of pure sovereign GRACE (Genesis 6:8-9).
(2) TO THE PLACE OF GRACE – “Come thou and all thy house into the ark” – The ARK is a type of Christ who is every believing sinner’s ARK OF SAFETY from the flood of God’s wrath. As Noah was called into the ark, all of Christ’s sheep are called to HIM as their only salvation, righteousness, and refuge from the justice of God’s law against sin. This call is not simply a call to believe. It is a call to believe IN CHRIST and submit to Him – His blood for the forgiveness of all our sins, and His righteousness imputed for our complete justification before God.
(3) FOR THE PEOPLE OF GRACE – “for thee have I seen righteous before ME in this generation.” God calls only those whom HE sees as righteous. The calling does not make them righteous. Those who are called have been justified before God based on the obedience unto death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are called are not righteous within themselves, but IN CHRIST. It may be asked, “How could God see Noah as righteous in Christ before Christ came in time to bear Noah’s sins and establish righteousness on the cross?” The answer is that God sees all things at one time, and this includes the justification of His people by the work of Christ on the cross even before it happened in time. This is how God could forbear in justice and mercy with the Old Testament believers (Romans 3:25). Christ’s great and necessary work on the cross in time did not change God’s mind towards His people. It revealed the eternal mind of God as both just and Justifier of all His elect people (Isaiah 45:21; Romans 3:26). God’s justification of Noah, and all other Old Testament believers, did not render the cross unnecessary, but proved the cross to be necessary for our justification before God.
The first man spoken of by God as “righteous” was the man Noah. We know by everything else God says about Noah that he was not righteous in himself, in his person or works. God says that He had “seen” Noah “righteous.” God does not say that He had seen or knew that he would be righteous but had seen and did see him righteousness then! How could that be? He had seen Noah (and all God’s elect) as righteous in the Righteous One, Jesus Christ the Righteous. He saw the sinner Noah and all His saints righteous in Christ and blessed them accordingly in the everlasting covenant with “all spiritual blessings.” The righteous must be blessed as such and with all that righteousness deserves and requires. Therefore, righteousness, the gift of it and the blessings afforded by it, are and have been from eternity, only in our Lord Jesus Christ. Because God saw Christ righteous, He calls all His house to glory! Will we make it? Yes, safe in the Ark Christ Jesus!