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As stated in Genesis 6:8 (kjv) But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

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  • I find it interesting that Noah is not the only person in Genesis who "walked with God". It says nothing unique re: Enoch. However, both he and Noah had their lives saved. Enoch “walked with God” (Gen 5:24) and had his life saved permanently Noah “walked with God” (Gen 6:10) and had his life saved, temporarily. Feb 11, 2020 at 19:07

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It is answered in the next verse, as well as the first verse of Genesis 7:

Gen. 6:9:

9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Gen. 7:1:

1 And Yahveh said to Noah, “Come, you and all your house into the ark, for I have seen you righteous before Me in this generation.”

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He also was a "preacher."

2 Pet. 2:5 Noah, the eighth person spared, a PREACHER of righteousness,..

This would be pleasing to God.

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We cannot be sure if Noah was the only righteous man left, but still:

The sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves. And the Lord said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men. When the Lord saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time,
Genesis 6:2-5 Holman Christian Standard Bible

  • All peoples' lives were eventually shortened, not just some who were wicked

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with wickedness. God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on the earth.
Genesis 6:11-12 Holman Christian Standard Bible

Translations of Genesis 6:9

This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a just and righteous man, blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked [in habitual fellowship] with God.
Amplified Bible, Classic Version

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
King James Version

  • "Perfect in his generations" likely meant that there was no "sons of God" pollution in his line

This is the family history [2:4] of Noah. Noah was a ·good [righteous; just] man, the most ·innocent [blameless; Job 1:1] man of his ·time [generation], and he walked with God [5:24].
Expanded Bible

  • The Job 1:1 reference for "blameless" is: that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil -KJV

So it is likely that Noah's "Walked with God" relationship, blameless and righteous character, and genetic history free of the evil that plagued others caused him to find (not earn) grace in God's eyes.

There is a very thorough analysis of this idea at
https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/genesis-6/

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I think the bible is clear; Noah pleased God because, just like Abraham, he believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.

Hebrews 11:6-7 (KJV)

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

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other people "feared the Lord and escheweth evil" perhaps this is one way to describe it.

Belief preceeding obedience. noah believed God and did what he instructed

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Although there is no written text that says Murder is wrong but there are text that indicates there are rules/laws established.

He told him, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, Genesis 2:16 GNT (permission given)

Then the Lord said, “Why have you done this terrible thing? Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground, like a voice calling for revenge. Genesis 4:10 GNT (murder is wrong)

but everyone else was evil in God's sight, and violence had spread everywhere. Genesis 6:11 GNT (all violent acts is wrong)

Now you can eat them, as well as green plants; I give them all to you for food. Genesis 9:3 GNT (cant kill animals for food)

But because the king had taken Sarai, the Lord sent terrible diseases on him and on the people of his palace. Genesis 12:17 GNT (do not take wife belongs to others: no adultery)

and there are some other such examples (further reading) that indicates there are already laws in place to govern how human beings treats each others. After that Noah teaches his children (some follows some not) and their children passes on...

So it is clear that Noah did follow certain sets of laws that God see him as Righteous. If without such laws, there isnt a guide to differentiate who is righteous, who is evil.