I had often heard in Church about the men and women whom God favored and I intuitively knew that their relationship with Him was something special. But how did you define "favor", and what made God single them out for His favor? When I did an etymological study on the word "favor" in the Bible, I was overwhelmed with its implications. It is most heavily used in the historical books of the Old Testament (from Genesis through Samuel), and is best exemplified by the Hebrew words, chén, chánan, châçad.
The first time we read of God's favor is in Genesis 6:8 ... But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. In this instance, the word implies God's grace towards Noah, and according to the meaning of the word cháchan, it is especially seen [in this instance] to be God's deliverance from Noah's enemies and the surrounding evils in his day. Further connotation of the word implies that God extends this favor in His own sovereign way and will, to whomever He chooses. We certainly know from the previous verses in Genesis 6 that the Fallen angels colluded with the wickedness of man on the earth until only evil was evident in their hearts. God was greatly grieved in His heart and was determined to blot both man and animals from the face of the earth.
And then we have that verse ... But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. It is important to recognize that out of all the humans on the earth in that wicked time, God CHOSE Noah to establish a covenant to renew the earth and bless mankind through his descendants. God extended His lovingkindness to Noah based on Noah's characteristics of strength, steadfastness, and love -- God could trust him to be loyal and reliable in their relationship and to be faithful to the covenant. Therefore Noah could be counted on to live a sanctified life within, and in response, to that covenant.
But Noah wasn't the only one who was chosen to receive God's favor. His eight-times great-grandson, Abraham, studied at Noah's feet and recognized the voice of the Lord when He called him out of the land of Ur and promised to bless all the families of the earth through him. [NOTE: there is a rich history of Abram's relationship with the Lord in the Book of Jasher. It fills in all the historical gaps of the Genesis account]. Just like his ancestor [Noah], Abraham displays the strength, steadfastness, fidelity, and love of the Lord that leads to God making covenant with him, and declaring, For I have CHOSEN him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has promised him.
There are others in the Bible worth noting who received the favor of the Lord ... the prophet Samuel: Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man. Interestingly enough, a similar description appears in Luke concerning Jesus: And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. The Bible records that after his removal to Babylon, God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials. Jospeh found favor during his captivity in the land of Egypt: But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Throughout Moses's struggles with the people of Israel, how he must have found comfort in the Lord's words to him: you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name. And there was King David, the apple of God's eye, of whom it is written, So it was until the days of David, who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
This by no means completes the list of those favored by God ... there was Enoch and Elijah, of course; Lot; Sarah; Isaac; the Israelites escaping from Egypt; Joshua, Rahab, the prostitute; Gideon, Barak, the Disciples, and all those who have been martyred for their faith. So, what can we take away from their lives -- what can we do to gain the favor of the Lord? I believe that what all these heroes of the Bible have in common are those characteristics that are mentioned in the Hebrew definition of "favor". God chose them because He knew they would be steadfast in their faith; had strength of character to see their calling through; loved Him without any doubt or hesitancy; were loyal and devoted servants; and would put obedience to their covenant with Him before all else. They understood that His favor was stronger and more enduring than man's. What's more, God's favor is ultimately beyond the covenant He makes with His chosen, because it will not be abandoned even when the human partner is unfaithful and must be disciplined. Moses and David are prime examples.
In recent years, I have come to recognize that God has granted His merciful and gracious favor upon me and my husband. I have shared our testimony many times and the vision that my husband received of being sanctified unto the Lord; with a unique calling that has brought us into covenant with Him. I do not claim to be counted among the aforementioned heroes, but I know that my Lord trusts us to be strong, reliable, obedient and dedicated to sharing the Good News of what He has done in our lives and the lives of others through us. All the Glory belongs to Him, and we are grateful for the protection He provides us as we serve Him. And I will tell you the spiritual attacks are getting stronger, in both body and spirit. But nothing in this world compares to knowing that He will protect us from our enemies and the surrounding evil that seeks to stop us from completing our purpose and assignment.
I want to leave you with this thought ... my husband and I are no more special than anyone else. We have made ourselves available and willing to serve God's Kingdom, no matter the cost. We do not seek the favor of men, but rather the acceptance and delight of the Lord as His righteous servants. You, too, can know the favor of the Lord! You can become His chosen in this hour of the world's need! There are no promises that His favor will come without struggles or sorrow. But the rewards are so much greater! All you have to do is ask Him to use you. Then listen for the invitation and just say, YES!
#favorofgod #godsfavor #whatdoesgodsfavorlooklike
Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.