Righteous Living in a Corrupt Generation


Pundits have always labeled the generations, and a large majority of us fall into one of the following categories. The Silent Generation has a strong sense of values and is self-sacrificing. Baby Boomers, often characterized as the “me” generation, were the first to enjoy rock ‘n’ roll. Generation X is described as an individualistic and self-absorbed group who find that values are relative. The youngest group, the Millennials, are the biggest technophiles, tending to access information and socialization through the Internet. Interestingly, a Barna Group survey noted that none of these generations were particularly likely to say they aspired to read the Bible more as a means of improving their spiritual lives.

  • How would you describe the spiritual state of your generation?


These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What characteristics typified the generation of Noah (vss. 11-12)? How was Noah different (vs. 9)?
  2. Why was God going to destroy all flesh on the earth (vs. 13)?
  3. In what ways did God provide for Noah (vss. 14, 18, 21)?
  4. Out of an entire generation on the earth, why did God preserve Noah and his family?
  5. What does it mean to be righteous and blameless before God? Does this seem daunting? Inviting? How will you be different in your generation?


Every generation lives with the tension between righteousness and corruption, and today’s passage confirms that righteous living matters. A righteous person hates and turns from his or her sin, trusts God, pursues obedience, and enjoys acceptance by grace. Scripture confirms that, as in the days of Noah, judgment is coming, but “the Lord is… not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Just as he gave time for repentance while the ark was being built, our gracious God still tarries: for you, for your family, for the nations. God graciously preserves his own while justly destroying the corrupt. Will you take a stand in this generation?

  • Praise God that he is just. Ask him for compassion for your generation.
  • Thank God that you belong to him and that, in Christ, you are righteous and blameless.
  • Ask him to give you a hunger and thirst for righteousness.