This is the story of Noah. He had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. Noah had no faults and was the only good man of his time. He lived in fellowship with God. (v 9-10)
We see a reference here which says that Noah had no faults but we know from reading further that Noah on a least one occasion got drunk and surely could not have been perfect and sinless.
The NIV version translates this as righteous and blameless among the people of his time, and that he walked with God.
There are many people that we read of in the Bible who are spoken of as righteous, walking with God, and yet we know that they did things wrong.
Abraham was deceitful: he mislead people about his relationship to His wife Sarah (Genesis 12 v 13 & 20 v 2)
David implicated murder to try and cover up his adultery. (2 Samuel 11) and yet later was able to say:
He knows that I am faultless, that I have kept myself from doing wrong. And so he rewards me because I do what is right, because he knows that I am innocent (2 Samuel 22 v 24)
Moses too was a murderer (Exodus 2 v 12) and yet was called by God, but he disobeyed God when he struck the rock at Meribah (Numbers 20) and so was not allowed to enter the promised land.
Job was blameless and upright (Job 1 v1) and yet God had strong words to say to him in Job 38-39 and Job then repented.
The pattern we see here in comparison to Cain killing Abel in Genesis 4, is that they acknowledged their failures, repented and sought forgiveness and to be obedient to God afterwards. God sees this as righteousness and although they all had to suffer the consequences or punishment for their actions, they accepted and received it with reverence and humility whereas Cain remained conceited and complained that his punishment was “not fair” and therefore was banished.
God only asks us to:
Be completely faithful to your God. (Deuteronomy 18 v 13)
Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22 v 37)
Noah was faithful to God in a world that no longer cared and was intent on evil. There were no other people who were considered righteous by God.
It was faith that made Noah hear God’s warnings about things in the future that he could not see. He obeyed God and built a boat in which he and his family were saved. As a result, the world was condemned and Noah received from God the righteousness that comes from faith (Hebrews 11 v 7)
Noah tried to tell people of the impending judgement, but they did not listen to him and just mocked him;
God did not spare the ancient world, but brought the flood on the world of godless people, the only ones he saved were Noah, who preached righteousness, and seven other people (2 Peter 2 v 5)
This is the only reference we see in the Bible of Noah “preaching” but there are similar descriptions in other documents that were well known to the Jews such as Josephus and 1 Clement 7 v 6 (Noah preached repentance, and as many as hearkened unto him were saved) and 1 Clement 9 v 4 (Noah, having been found faithful, preached, by his ministry, regeneration unto the world, and by him God preserved the animals that entered with one consent into the ark)
It appears from this that only his immediate family listened. We saw in Chapter 5 that Enoch had prophesised when naming his son Methuselah that the judgement would come when he died (Methuselah means : his death shall bring judgement) so by this time there were none of Noah’s righteous ancestors still living and the rain started at Methuselah’s death.
We know that we have all sinned (Romans 3 v 23) but if we acknowledge our failings and follow God, he will forgive us and make us righteous (blameless) in his sight (1 John 1 v 8 & 9)
O LORD, you are faithful to those who are faithful to you, and completely good to those who are perfect (2 Samuel 22 v 26)
All quotes from the Good News Bible