Favor with God and manFavor with God
Let us study few people who found favor from God and how they found it.
Gen 6:7-9 So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9 This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.
Three key points to find favor with God: Righteous, blameless and walk with God.
Somewhat similar to Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you. But to do justly, to love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
Noah was in no way a perfect man. Nevertheless he won favor in God's eyes. The key word here is "God was grieved with very one around Noah, BUT Noah found favor". His entire generation was rolling in sin, but he found favor. Same is our situation. Our whole nation, people around us are living in sin – BUT we can find favor if we walk with God.
Walk with God – same word is used for Enoch.
Gen 5:24 – Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
Walking with God means not just having morning devotion, not just limiting God to church worship, personal worship but constant communion with God. Talking to him while cooking, cleaning, showering, driving – listening to His voice – admiring the nature around us and thanking Him for his beautiful creation all mean walking with God. When we walk with God, when we are in constant communion with God, we will be no more – our flesh will be no more. Jesus will be seen in us, through us and around us. Our countenance will change – not that we will become like a Monk. But the transformation takes place only when we walk with God. Transformation is from the inside out. When we are constantly thinking about him or talking to him, He captures our mind. The battlefield is for our mind only. So then God removes our grumbling attitude, our anxious thoughts all come under the captivity of Christ. Our attitude changes – it becomes the same as that of Christ Jesus. We will begin to treat success and failure alike. We will be no more like Enoch. Christ will be seen in and through us as we walk with Him.
When you walk with God you listen to his still small voice. Sometimes we do all the talking and then we leave his presence. We do not wait to hear his still small voice. Noah listened to God's voice – that is how he was able to build a mighty ark with so much specific dimensions. We have to train our ears to listen to God. Our ears must be circumcised. Our ears must be tuned. We must hush all the noises around us to listen to him. The sheep listens to his voice. John 10:3 – If we are His sheep we should know our shepherd's voice. When God speaks it is never against the word of God.
Genesis 4:4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering.
The first –the prime time – the prime portion – fat portion – not remaining – not left over. He is not a beggar for our left overs. He holds our breath in his hands. If the breathe that goes in doesn't come out, we are dead and we will be called a body and not even with our name. With much reverence and awe we must give him our prime time, prime resources. We cannot give the left over money and expect God to bless us to overflow. Like Abel let us bring the fat portions to God.
Favor with man
Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
For Jesus himself finding favor with men was needed. How much more for us? Only if we have favor with God he will grant us favor with man also. Only God must grant it.
Let us meditate from the bible, how these people found favor in the eyes of men.1. Jacob
Esau asked, "What do you mean by all these droves I met?" "To find favor in your eyes, my lord," he said. Gen 33:8
It is not buttering or something but what Jacob did was biblical. He gave his worldly wealth to find favor in the eyes of his brother.
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. Luke 16:9
Jesus himself is asking us to use worldly wealth to gain friends. But most of the fight comes due to the worldly wealth – fight between siblings, between husband and wife.
Rom 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
If peace involves giving away your worldly possessions, so be it. Blessed are the peace makers.But Jacob, before he made peace with Esau he made peace with God. He sought God's favor before he sought Esau's favor. We should not reverse these priorities. He wrestled with God and made peace with him. (Gen 32).
The bible says that we have to make peace with others before we bring our offering to the Lord. Before you take communion, it is good to examine if we have ill feelings towards any one.
15 When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. 16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Esther 2:15-17
Esther won the king's favor "not to like happily ever after" like a fairy tale fable. But it is for such a time as this. God grants us favor in other's eyes, not for our selfish motives, desires to be fulfilled. When God grants favor in your husband's eyes, in your in-laws eyes, we have to thank God and ask him how I can use this favor for His glory. Sometimes, we want to use that favor for selfish motives – to get our work done, our wishes fulfilled. But it should not be so.
The second time also Esther won the King's favor – she used it to save her people.
So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. Esther 5:2
Another example is Nehemiah finding favor with the King. He used it to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem. What broken walls are you planning to mend when God grants you favor. He prayed to God first for granting favor in the eyes of the king.
O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man." Nehemiah 1:11
and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it." Nehemiah 2:5
What are blessings of Favor?
1. God's presence will go for us – Moses Exo 34:8-10
8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. 9 "O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes," he said, "then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance." 10 Then the Lord said: "I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.
2. He will not pass us by – Abraham Gen 18:2-42 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. 3 He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.
3. Our good acts (deeds) will earn favor for our children – David showing favor to Mephioboseth due to Jonathan 2 Sam 9:7; David showing favor to Barsilai's children. 2 Samuel 19:31-407 "Don't be afraid," David said to him, "for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table."