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.
Righteous (tsaddiyq) to my face (paniym) in this generation (zeh dowr). ‘dowr’ not ‘towl@dah’ , implying a particular time rather than ‘generations’. Why was he righteous? Well, the obvious answer is:
And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him
So, obedience. But obedience to what?
to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
Very interesting. The parallel is highly suggestive – that preserving continuity of life on the earth’s face is at least one reason why he’s righteous to God’s face. The menagerie in the ark sounds very parallel to that in Genesis 1:
They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
Again, male and female (zakar n@qebah), which is necessary for them to reproduce their kind, but also for us to reproduce the image of God, in fulfillment of his command (tsavah). Which is a good thing, since everything outside seems to be toast:
And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
Now, I still can’t find the English qualifiers (‘every’) in the Hebrew, so its hard to say whether this is a global or a local flood. But clearly something nasty is going on, and Noah is doing well to be out of it.
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that [was] with him in the ark:
Thank God He remembers (zakar) us, even when the world itself is desolate.
God, in wrath remember mercy. For you take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desire that all be saved. Just as you commanded Noah to preserve life upon the earth in a day of wickedness and judgment, help me to save, nurture, and protect all those that you place within my care, or sphere of influence. Amen.