In Genesis 6, the Bible introduces the reader to a man named Noah. The entire world was wicked, but “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”:
Gen 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Gen 6:9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.
Gen 6:10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Verse 9 and 10 are a little complicated. What are generations? It could be saying “Noah was righteous during his entire life.” It could be saying “Noah and his offspring were just.” I have even heard people claim that “perfect in generations” meant his bloodline was not polluted by the angels (per verse 4).
There is reason to think that it is not the second option. Elsewhere in the Bible God uses Noah as an example of a righteous person and then alludes to the fact that Noah’s family was saved due to Noah’s righteousness and not their own:
Eze 14:19 “Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast,
Eze 14:20 even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”
Throughout Ezekiel 14, this theme is repeated. At the time of Ezekiel 14, God is so incensed at Israel that he determines to destroy all the wicked, even those wicked who are close relations to the righteous. This suggests that God at times has saved the wicked relations of the righteous. One of the three examples is Noah and must be the reference. The other two don’t quite fit.
In other words, Noah’s family did not quite find “grace in the eyes of the Lord” as did Noah. Instead they were fortunate enough to be related to Noah.