Sunday, July 9, 2017

Who Does God Favor?

In this lesson we look at 7 things the bible says bring on the favor of God.

  • Proverbs 22:1
  • Psalms 37:16-17
  • Psalms 5:12
  • Romans 4:5-8
  • Proverbs 11:27
  • Proverbs 12:2
  • Exodus 33: 13
  • Psalms 37:4
  • Isaiah 66:2
  • Proverbs 3:3-4
  • Proverbs 18:22
  • Malachi 2:11-13

The favor of God can be described as “tangible evidence that a person has the approval of the Lord.”

This doesn't mean that everyone who is prosperous or healthy has found favor with God.
  • Nor does it mean that those whom the Lord favors will never suffer difficulties.
  • Many people in the Bible had God’s favor but also suffered hardship.

Are all Christians favored?  Can non-Christians be favored?

What is the benefit of being favored?
  • Wealth
  • Health
  • Success
  • Relationship
  • Family
  • Lack of drama
  • Access to God (God’s ear)

Proverbs 22:1
1 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.
  • A good reputation is better than wealth
  • Do you agree?

What’s better on a job interview: favor or experience?

Example: interviewed Anthony for job at Adobe
  • Talked to him before the interview and told him what we were looking for
  • He was favored because of his relationship with me
  • That's the type of relationship we'd like to have with God

We will look at 7 ways to gain favor from God...
  1. Righteousness

Righteousness is being in good moral standing...behaving morally.

Psalms 37:16-17
16 Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the LORD sustains the righteous.
  • A little is better than an abundance
  • Goodness isn't measured by the amount of stuff
  • Are you measuring favor by abundance?
    • Prosperity/ Monetary possessions
    • God isn't
  • Why is the little of the righteous better?
  • God will eventually take away the source of the wicked man’s abundance

Psalms 5:12
12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.

A Shield

  • Job had a hedge of protection around him
  • God prevents harm from happening to you

Example: growing up
  • no childhood disease  
  • no broken bones
  • never beat up

Are Christians Automatically Considered Righteous?

The righteousness get favor from God.
  • Does that automatically include Christians?

Last week we talked about the doctrine of predestination which claims that God chooses us and not vice versa
  • This implies that God favors Christians.

Romans 4:5-8
But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Credited As Righteousness

  • What does it mean that “The person who doesn’t work... is credited as righteousness”?
  • What kind of work?
    • “The law” is the works
      • Your deeds
    • They didn’t follow the law
    • They committed lawless deeds
  • Who “justifies the ungodly”?
    • Jesus
  • Yet they were blessed
  • Because his sins weren't taken into account
  • Since we are Christians our sins aren't taken into account
  • Our faith is credited as righteousness

Example: buying a car- your job is your credit
    • Even if you have bad credit, they will treat you as if you have good credit
    • Even though your credit is bad you still qualify for the loan
    • Treats you as if you qualify
    • You still get the outcome as if you had good credit

Who are the righteous?

  1. Positionally righteous
    1. Christianity
  2. Relationally righteous
    1. Behavior

You can be positionally righteous and have a strained relationship with God because of sin.

Example: son that hasn't taken out the trash
  • He still has son status
  • But he has a strained relationship status
  • That might not be the time to ask for a new bicycle

It's not a requirement to be a Christian to have favor.
  • Abraham achieved righteousness
  • Moses had favor.
  • Mary was blessed and highly favored before she was a Christian.

These 7 characteristics that bring God’s favor are for Christians and non-Christians alike.

2. Seeking Good

Proverbs 11:27
27 Whoever seeks good finds favor,
but evil comes to one who searches for it.
  • Those who always want good things to happen get favor from God.
  • Those who want bad things to happen get bad things happening to them
  • It’s not just wanting good things to happen for yourself.
    • It’s wanting good things to happen for others too

  • someone dropped a piece of paper when I was with a friend

What does that look like?
  • Do you want the best for everyone?
  • Or do you intentionally start trouble?
  • Do you spread gossip?
  • Are you happy when your co-workers get a raise?
    • Do you withhold information that could help someone else?
  • Do you set people up to fail?
  • Are you happy when your friends get married before you?
  • Are you happy when you see others succeed?

If you want bad things to happen to people then evil will come to you.

Proverbs 12:2
A good man will obtain favor from the LORD, But He will condemn a man who devises evil.
  • A good man gets favor from the God.
  • God will condemn the man that devises evil

3. Knowing God’s Ways

Exodus 33: 13
13“Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.”

  • Why did Moses want to know God’s ways?
    • So that he could obtain favor in God’s sight
    • Favor is the result of knowing God’s ways
    • Understanding God’s character
    • He wanted to understand who God is
    • Knowing God's ways give you favor

Example: two nephews or nieces who:
  • Tries to find out about you
    • Want to get to know you
    • What makes you happy
  • vs ignore you unless they need something
    • Doesn’t really care about you as a person.
  • Which would be your favorite?

Not For Himself

Why did Moses want favor?
  • Moses didn’t want favor in order to gain something for himself
  • He used his favor to aid the Israelites
  • He didn’t use it for any material gain or happiness for himself

If I have found favor

  • Moses wasn’t sure that he had favor
  • This implies that you can still talk to God even if you don’t have favor

Moses cared about what God cared about.

Psalms 37:4
    4Delight yourself in the LORD;
           And He will give you the desires of your heart.
  • Are you delighted with your relationship with God?
    • Does it bring you happiness
    • Let that be sufficient

Which is better:
  1. Having God give you what you want?
  2. Having God change what you want to what He wants?

4 & 5. Humility and Fearing God

Isaiah 66:2
2Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord.
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.
  • Those who are humble and contrite
  • Those who tremble at God’s Word
  • Those who revere God

Humble and Contrite

Humble [ani] =  poor, afflicted, humble, lowly
Contrite [nakeh] =  smitten, stricken or literally maimed, or figuratively dejected

Humble and contrite references a state of feeling of lowness as compared to God
  • It is the opposite of pride.  
  • It’s a state where you see God as higher than you.
  • It’s where you believe God’s ways are better than your ways

Fear God

Trembling at God’s word is to see them as holy
  • To revere God’s word
  • You highly value God’s commands
  • Having respect for God
  • Esteeming Him as worthy of your worship

If you think you know better than God then you won’t receive favor.

Those who view God’s ways as better, wiser, and more important than their own will receive favor.

6. Love and Kindness

Proverbs 3:3-4
3Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
  • Love and faithfulness or love and truth or mercy and kindness
  • Love and truth to whom?
    • To other people
  • Favor and a good reputation

The pulpit commentary describes it as:
  1. mutual outward help
  2. forgiveness of offenses
  3. sympathy of feeling, which leads to interchange of thought, and so to the development of the spiritual life

Those who are loving and kind towards other people will receive favor from God
  • They will also receive favor with men

7. Marriage

Proverbs 18:22
 22He who finds a wife finds a good thing
        And obtains favor from the LORD.
  • Being married brings favor

A Good Wife

  • Some say it implies “a good wife”

There are many places where the bible warns of negative consequences from obtaining a bad wife.

Marrying an Unbeliever

Malachi 2:11-13
11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves by marrying women who worship a foreign god. 12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord remove him from the tents of Jacob —even though he brings an offering to the Lord Almighty. 13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.
  • Judah was considered unfaithful to God because they married women who worshiped other gods
  • Marrying an unbeliever can cause you to lose God’s favor

We saw last week that God was going to kill the Israelites for worshiping a foreign God.
  • This is an abomination to God
  • When you marry you “become one” with the other person
  • So part of you is now worshiping another god
  • Part of you is an abomination to God
  • This would be true of anyone who is not a Christian
    • Jew?

Being married brings God’s favor, but we see that there are exceptions based upon the person you marry.


We see that the favor of God is brought on by:
  • Being Righteous
  • Seeking Good
    • Seeking to do good
    • Wanting good for others
  • Knowing God’s Ways
    • Understanding how God acts
    • Understanding God’s character
    • Not for the benefit of yourself, but to get to know God
  • Being humble and contrite
    • Viewing God’s ways as better/holier/wiser than yours
  • Fearing/Revering God
    • Having respect for God
    • Esteeming Him as worthy of your worship
  • Being Married (to the right person)
  • Showing love and kindness to others

Favor comes directly from God

Favor gives you God’s attention

If we want favor we should:
  • Seek to understand God’s ways.
  • Seek His face not His hands.
  • Pray for a heart to know His heart.
  • Pray that you don’t hold yourself in high esteem
  • Treat people with love and kindness
    • especially those who don’t have any ability to benefit us
  • Pray for a heart that breaks for what God’s heart breaks for.
  • Pray that you seek His will and not your own.

Pray that your desire is no longer to pray for favor for yourself.


What is the favor of God, and how can I get it?

The Power of Favor by Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr.

Favor--Walking In The Favor Of The Lord - Part 1




Proverbs 14:9
     9Fools mock at sin,
           But among the upright there is good will [favor].
  • Those who don't mock sin

Philippians 3:8-9
8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith
  • We are righteous because we are Christians

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