Genesis 6:8 English Standard Version (ESV) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
The King James Version uses the word grace where the English Standard Version uses favor.
Every teacher I have ever sat under has taught us that grace is God’s unmerited favor. This I will not dispute but I would ask more in viewing God’s gracious blessings. This is the first use of grace/favor in the bible and as such holds some vital information which can be easily overlooked.
Number one is that Noah found favor. The issue of favor or grace is meaningless if those who receive it cannot identify with it. Something has to accompany favor to set it apart from normal life. To be favored by God is a sign that we are different in some way than others in a good sense. What is the good in favor if there is no accompanying sense of being special?
Secondly we must accept that Noah saw the eyes of the Lord. This is a clear indication of a close personal relationship.
Psalm 27:8 English Standard Version (ESV) You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
The third and most difficult point to understand about this relationship with Noah is related to the use of the name Lord. This name was given to the nameless God of Israel by Moses in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the bible. The name Jehovah, Yahweh, had no vowel sound until 1520, and was unpronounceable. God was seen to be pure spirit and the concept of His having a face was beyond them.
In Psalm 27:8 the phrase “Your face, Lord, do I seek” has a footnote that says “The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain”. They still did not understand how God could have a face to look upon.
John 14:9 English Standard Version (ESV) Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Now we have been given a face to look upon.