What do Noah, Moses, Samuel, David, Mary and Jesus all have in common? The Bible tells us that they all knew God’s favor. Chen (pronounced khane) is the Hebrew word that translates to mean favor, grace. What do all of these people have that merited God’s favor and grace? Here are three traits that Scripture teaches.
1. They live lives of love and faithfulness. Hebrew 3:5 tells us that “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house.” In Deuteronomy 11:1, Moses tells his people, “Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.” Moses lived and taught love and faithfulness. Proverbs 3:3-4 says,
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.”
“Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.”
When we are humble, God can work with us and can trust us because we let Him call the shots.
In 2 Chronicles 33:11-12, Manasseh, the King of Judah, finds himself in a predicament and submits humbly to God;
“So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors.”
“And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.”
Two of the few things that we learn about Mary is that she is favored, and that she is humble.
“‘My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed.’”
Jesus’ humility is evident throughout His life, and in His death. Philippians 2:8 says of Jesus, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death–even death on a cross!” His ultimate act of love required humility.
Like Moses and David, Jesus’ walk with God increased His favor with God.
3. They pursue righteousness. In Psalm 5:12, David says, “Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” The correlation between righteousness and favor is found throughout Scripture. In Psalm 92:12-15 David describes God’s grace and favor to the righteous;
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.’”
The correlation between righteousness and favor is found throughout Scripture.
It may seem that favor is randomly distributed to people throughout Scripture, but closer study shows that this isn’t the case. God bestows favor on those who love Him, are faithful to Him, are humble before Him, and pursue righteousness in pursuit of Him and His ways.
Favor blesses us, but it also equips us to do His work.
If we want to be used of God in powerful ways, there is a way of living that demonstrates our desire to serve Him with all that we are. Favor blesses us, but it also equips us to do His work. Favor gives us what we need and positions us to do more than we could do without it. It is grace for the relationships and tasks ahead. It gives us the opportunities to please Him more. It’s an amazing thing, and He makes it available to us. May you be found worthy to grow in favor with God and man!