The Favor of God
“But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Genesis 39:21
“And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.” Exodus 3:21-22
“And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.” Exodus 12:36
We know that God is no respecter of persons and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He does not change. Bible Scholars have asserted, and for good reason, that the New is in the Old concealed, and the Old is in the New revealed. The Bible itself tells us that the things of the Old Testament are given for our learning, admonition and blessing.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our earning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11
In fact without the Old Testament we have little context for understanding the immeasurable grace of God expressed in the New Testament, in Jesus Christ our Lord. To generally dismiss the Old Testament as the Law and claim that we do not have to regard the things God declared and commanded in it because we are not under law but under grace is to miss the intent of Romans 6:14-17 which clearly refutes that argument.
In matters of blessing and the favor of God the Old Testament gives us much to consider. God extended His favor to Joseph despite his trials and imprisonments. He was committed to His faith in God and never compromised his integrity to win the favor of men or save himself from persecution because of it. As a result God’s favor was on him so much so that he ultimately became the second in command in all of Egypt which uniquely positioned him to save His family from the famine that was throughout the entire nation.
He was also given unusual and supernatural insight to interpret dreams.
Likewise, God’s ways in the Old Testament are still His ways in the New except for those things Jesus has fulfilled for us for all time. Certainly we are not under the curse of the Law and never will be again because of Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection that paid the sin debt for us for all time.
God gave all Israel special favor with the Egyptians on the night of the Exodus to receive all manner of gold, silver and precious jewelry and provisions from their former slave masters for their journey to Mt Sinai. The Scriptures tell us the Egyptians were eager to give them all that they asked for and more in an effort to get themselves free of the plagues that came on Egypt because of Pharaoh’s hardness of heart not to let the people of God go from their bondage.
As for us today God is still looking for those on whom He would so special favor and blessing.
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
God desires that all His children be blessed and that all would desire and know His special favor and blessing. In fact, He takes great pleasure in us receiving the fullness of His Kingdom.
The bondage of Israel in Egypt is a metaphor for our bondage to sin and death in the world. The more of the world we leave behind us through the renewing of our minds, being instead transformed to the image of Christ the more of the favor of the Lord we too will enjoy.
We have a stake in our destiny. We are not merely robots headed toward some inevitable end. Yes, we have definite assurances from God concerning our eternal future, but how that comes about is in large measure determined by what we do here and now in this life. The Commandments were given to us for our benefit. And the first and greatest of them is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. In other words it's a decision to love first, then the feeling will follow the decision. Why? Because God is not a tyrant. He is not a dictator who demands our obedience whether we want to be obedient or not.
Do you know that the person who rejects God's grace is under no compulsion to accept it? Further, the unrighteous, unsaved person is under no commandment from God? In fact, He doesn't know them. Jesus in the Day of Judgment, when those who pretended to be believers stand before Him and plead their cause for their good deeds he will say to them, ”… I never knew you: depart from me...”
“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:19-23
Seems harsh to today’s ears, but it is the righteous judgment of a sovereign God who has given every man the right to choose his or her own destiny. So whatever we receive from Him has been left in our hands to decide — Life or death, blessing or cursing. With blessing comes favor. And that favor, though unmerited is the measure of His grace toward us. In the Old Testament favor from God came to the few who stood out for their extraordinary devotion and faith in Him.
Now for you and me God’s favor is available to us in everything we do by faith in Jesus Christ in obedience to God’s Word. Favor is not just a nice add onto our lives, it is an essential. We need God’s favor and we need God’s pleasure. We need His “at a boy”to sustain our lives in the midst of a world that increasing grows more hostile to the proclamation of gospel because the enemy has seduced so many by the opiate of technology and particularly anonymous social media messages full of evil and hate directed toward God and His people.
We need to know God is pleased with us and that our lives bring pleasure to Him. We please Him most when we believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Without faith it is impossible to please God for they that come to Him must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
“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.” Hebrews 11:6
It also pleases God when we prosper.
“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” Psalm 35:27
It also pleases Him to give us full rights, privileges and ownership of His Kingdom.
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
The more we take ownership and exercise our authority in the Kingdom of God the more we please God. The more we please God the more of His favor is made manifest in our lives.