Posted by: dhkrause | May 27, 2013

Living in the Favor of God

In Psalm 90:17, Moses prays, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands— establish the work of our hands!”  The Hebrew word for “favor” includes the meanings of kindness, beauty and grace.  The first use of this word in the Bible is in Genesis 6:8 which declares that Noah “found favor in the sight of the Lord.”  In Isaiah 54, God refers to the days of Noah in affirming his covenant of peace with Israel:

Future Glory for Israel
“For this is like the days of Noah to Me: when I swore that the waters of Noah would never flood the earth again, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you. 10 Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says your compassionate Lord.

Others found God’s favor at an early age, such as the boy Samuel, about whom it is said in 1 Samuel 2:26, “the boy Samuel grew in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.”  Esther found favor with God and with the King, enabling her to help save her people from destruction.  David is another example, about whom God declared, “My servant David … kept My commands and followed Me with all of his heart, doing only what is right in My eyes.” (1 Kings 14:8)

The boy Jesus also found favor with God as described in Luke chapter 2:

The Family’s Return to Nazareth
39 When they had completed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
40 The boy grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God’s grace was on Him.
In His Father’s House
41 Every year His parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. 42 When He was 12 years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival. 43 After those days were over, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know it. 44 Assuming He was in the traveling party, they went a day’s journey. Then they began looking for Him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. 46 After three days, they found Him in the temple complex sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all those who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers. 48 When His parents saw Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.”
49 “Why were you searching for Me?” He asked them. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what He said to them.
In Favor with God and with People
51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.
– Luke 2, Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

In Romans 2, Sha’ul (Paul) declares that God’s kindness is intended to lead us to repentance:

God’s Righteous Judgment
2 Therefore, any one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. Do you really think—anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same—that you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Finding God’s favor begins with repentance and faith.  Peter declares in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”  In the keynote verse of the renewed covenant, Yeshua (Jesus) declares: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (HCSB)

In Luke 15, Yeshua, Jesus, tells this story about a prodigal son to illustrate how God is ready to forgive and give favor to all who repent and believe:

The Parable of the Lost Son
11 He also said: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. 14 After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. 15 Then he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to eat his fill from the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one would give him any. 17 When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.

In Philippians 3:16, Paul exhorts, “we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.”  He concludes, “20 our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.”

We are released to live in God’s favor by the sacrifice Yeshua made for us: “…God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” – Romans 5:8

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/


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