Exodus 33:11-14 And Jehovah spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he turned again to the camp; but his minister Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the Tent. And Moses said to Jehovah, See, you said to me, ‘Bring up this people; and you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Now, therefore, I pray, if I have found _ in your sight, show me now your ways, that I may know you, to the end that I may find favor in your sight, and consider that this nation is your people.’ And he said, ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.’
Psalms 5:12 For you will bless the righteous, O Jehovah, you will compass him with favor as with a shield.
Psalms 30:4-5: Sing praise to Jehovah, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy memorial name. For his anger is but for a moment, his favor is for a life-time. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Proverbs 12:2: A good man shall obtain favor of Jehovah, but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
Proverbs 11:27: He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, but he who searches after evil, it shall come to him.
Proverbs 14:35: The king’s favor is toward a servant who deals wisely, but his wrath will be against him who causes shame.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, favor is “a friendly attitude, an act of kindness, an indulgence, friendly regard shown by a superior, approval or support.” In the Strong’s Concordance, the Greek translation is “graciousness of manner or act; the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in life.”
So, what does it mean to be ‘favored of God’?
A good example of this is Noah. Genesis 6:8 says that Noah found grace—or favor—with God. And because of this favor, Noah and his family were the only ones saved and left to inhabit the earth after the flood which destroyed the world.
Another example is Joseph. Remember the guy who was favored by his father with the famous coat of many colors (yeah, parental favoritism), thrown into a pit by his jealous brothers, then sold by them to a group of Mindianites and taken to Egypt where he was made a slave? Doesn’t sound like favor, does it? But read on.
This same Joseph had so much favor with God because of his positive, Godly attitude that even those for whom he worked prospered. Read it in Genesis 39-42. He was made overseer in his master’s house until his master’s wife got a crush on him, and when he did not respond favorably, she accused him of rape and had him thrown into jail. There God gave him favor and he was put in charge of the other prisoners.
After more than two years when the King had a very disturbing dream someone remembered that Joseph had interpreted dreams in prison, and he was called on to interpret the King’s dream. Recognizing the Spirit of God on Joseph, the King placed him as Governor over all Egypt, with the King only over him in authority.
Because of widespread famine, surrounding countries came to Joseph for help, and the day came when his brothers bowed before him asking for food. His brothers did not recognize the one whom they had sold many years before, but Joseph recognized them and forgave them. Do you see why Joseph was so favored? He kept the ways of God.
Moses was also favored by God. The Lord spoke to him “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11). Moses intervened between God and the Israelites when God was so angry with their rebellion that He intended to kill them and replace them. Moses said to God, (paraphrased), “See, you told me to take the people and you have not even told me who you will send with me. Yet you say you know me and favor me. If you favor me, show me what you are going to do, and remember, these people are yours, not mine.”
Was Moses being brave or stupid here?
Neither, really. He just had the kind of relationship with God that he could do that. God listened to Moses and gave him what he asked because Moses found favor with God. And Jehovah said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that you he asked; for you have found favor in my sight and I know you by name (Exodus 33:17).
Is favor with God a ‘man’ thing? Definitely not!
A young Jewish girl, Esther, was in the running for the position of Queen when the presiding Queen rebelled against the King and was to be replaced. The scriptures say of her, Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the King, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her (Esther 2:15). When she was taken before the King, Esther was chosen above all the young women. And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained favor and kindness in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti (Esther 2:17).
Later because of the favor given Esther, the Jews were saved from Haman, one of the King’s own men who planned to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire kingdom. She was willing to risk her life for her people by approaching the King unbidden, which could have resulted in her death should he have not wanted to see her at that moment. But again, she found favor with him and he heard her request and ultimately hanged Haman.
According to Luke 1:28-31, Mary, the mother of Jesus was also “highly favored” when she was chosen to bear the Christ child. God didn’t/wouldn’t choose just any woman to bear His son. Mary listened and did as she was told without hesitation. No wonder God chose her to be the mother of his only begotten Son!
See what favor can do? So, how do we get favor?
Listen to God, hear instruction, seek God.
Proverbs 8:32-35: Now therefore, my sons, hearken unto me, for blessed are that that keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso finds me finds life and shall obtain favor of Jehovah.
Proverbs 3:1-6 My son, forget not my law; But let thy heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and years of life, and peace, will they add to thee. Let not kindness and truth forsake thee: Bind them about thy neck; Write them upon the tablet of thy heart: So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding: In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths.
Get understanding and live right
Proverbs 11:27 He that diligently seeks good seeks favor; But he that searches after evil, it shall come unto him.
Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding giveth favor; But the way of the transgressor is hard.
Psalms 5:12 For you will bless the righteous; O Jehovah, you will compass him with favor as with a shield.
Serve one another, be in unity.
Acts 2:44-47 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,
praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved.
Ask for it.
Psalms 90:17 And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And establish thou the work of our hands upon us; Yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
Be grateful for it!
Psalms 30:3-5 O Jehovah, thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol; Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Psalms 30:4-5 Sing praise unto Jehovah, O ye saints of his, And give thanks to his holy memorial name. For his anger is but for a moment; His favor is for a life-time: Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
How can favor benefit me?
Look at Joseph. He was promoted time and again because he had favor. Favor will bring success and blessings to your life. In Esther’s case, favor won her a position as Queen and later saved her people. Abraham was chosen to father the nation that was to be God’s chosen people because he found favor with God. James 2:23 says that he was a friend of God.
Can you imagine having such a relationship with almighty God that He would call you His friend? Favor can help you in relationships, in your job, financially, and in many other ways. Just as those in your life are affected by the choices you make, favor also trickles down on those around you. Joseph’s favor affected his family and ultimately the whole Jewish nation.
The favor we attain is not for us as much as it is for others and for the Kingdom of God. Nothing can be more rewarding that having the favor of God.