Rabbenu Bachya offers a more positive view. He quotes the verse, “No’ach was a righteous man, perfect in his generation: No’ach walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).
Says Rabbenu Bachya: “No’ach was good because he was constantly working on himself, elevating his spirituality. How did he begin? By being righteous, doing good deeds and avoiding injustice. What did he do next? He reached the top level available in his generation.
“And then? He walked with God, reaching the stage of communing with the Creator, which few people ever do.”