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B'resheet/Genesis 7:1 "... for you alone in this generation are righteous before Me" (CJB)
Comparing this verse to 6:9, Rabbi Jeremiah ben Eleazar said, "Only a part of a man's praise may be said in his presence, but all of it in his absence" (Eruvin 18b). G-d is able to speak to Noah because he is righteous, that is, he acknowledges and seeks to please G-d; G-d describes him as "righteous and wholehearted" (B'resheet 6:9, CJB). By the time that G-d calls Noah to "come into the ark", He has seen that only Noah is righteous. Even Noah's sons are a mixed bunch, as the story of Ham is later to show.
The word 'generation' is often used by the Bible to describe all the people living at a particular time or period rather than just one family. So we see Yeshua speaking to those who pestered Him for proof that He was Messiah when He said, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign?" (Matthew 12:39, CJB) Again, as in the days of Noah, the people of the time were showing themselves not to be righteous, not to be prepared to engage with G-d on His terms but only on their own.
Now, again, in our generation we see the people and leaders of the world intent on pursuing their own affairs without reference to G-d. The picture painted by Yecheczk'el HaNavi (Ezekiel the Prophet) seems to be appearing before our eyes: "The leaders ... are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain ... the people of the land have practised oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice" (Ezekiel 22:27,29, NASB).
Today, the voice of G-d is still calling, "I searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it" (Ezekiel 22:30, NASB). G-d is still seeking His people in this generation who will be righteous, who will not compromise, who will stand before Him and intercede for the land that He should not destroy it. It is a tough call and a demanding role - are you up to it?
Further Study: 1 Tim 2:1-3, 2 Peter (Peter) 3:8-11
Application: Ask G-d how you can 'stand in the gap' for those whom you come into contact with today. Whether praying, helping, leading or serving, we must engage with and for the world.
© Jonathan Allen, 2004
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