‘Favor’ is a word that everyone is fond of right? Who does not like being in favor with the right people at the right time? No one! ‘Favor’ is a precious gift from God, and ought to be received with utmost gratefulness just like any other gift.
‘Favor’ in the Bible:
If I said the word ‘Favor’, who in the scriptures would come to your mind? We may have many answers, ranging from Joseph to Daniel to even Jesus!
“Jesus grew in stature and in wisdom and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
For me personally, it is Queen Esther. I simply adore this scripture:
” And Esther found favor in the sight of all who saw her…” Esther 2:15
Basically anyone who met her, just loved her. From the chief eunuch to the servants in the palace to even the king of Persia – everyone just saw something unique in this woman and loved her.
It is plausible to believe that Esther was beautiful to behold and carried such grace with her that everyone just loved her. But that could not be it all! I believe that there was the hand of the divine, behind all of this.
‘Favor’ for a divine purpose:
When God grants ‘favor’ to someone, there is usually tied with it a divine purpose.
Quite evidently God is not interested in making you and me be immersed with the approval of men. Infact we read in the scriptures that “Jesus did not entrust himself to men for he knew what was in a man”. John 2:24.
So then, what is the purpose of favor / approval with people?
We read in the book of Daniel that Daniel found favor in the sight of the chief eunuch. (Daniel 1:9). If we go on to read the book of Daniel, we will see that there was a ‘purpose’ behind that granting of favor.
Similarly with Queen Esther. When Queen Vashti fell ‘out’ of favor, Queen Esther stepped ‘into’ favor in the sight of all. Here again we see that there was a divine purpose behind it all.
In our world today, we usually consider that finding favor with peer group, friends and families is a good-thing! And falling ‘out of favor’ is disdained.
In our world of social media, young people have even gone to extremes, just because they fell “out of the favor zone” with a bunch of people. Why? What has happened to this world we wonder!
Our perspectives must change. Yes, if God gave favor for a season, praise God! But, if for any reason we have fallen ‘out of favor’, still praise him!
‘Out of favor’ still has a purpose:
Because, just as much as there is a purpose in being in favor with men, many times, there is also a purpose that will be accomplished when we fall ‘out of favor’ with men.
When you fall ‘out of favor’ with men, the place you rush to for solace and comfort is not to another vulnerable man…but we ALL run to the feet of JESUS, the Almighty God. Those are the moments when we realize the vulnerability of men and the constancy of God.
The psalmist said, “When my Father and Mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” Psalm 27:10.
It brings out a brutal truth with such honesty.
It’s impossible for all of us to visualize such a scenario where we are forsaken by our parents, right? But the Bible teaches us that, even if we fall out of the favor zone with our dearest circle, we will still be received with open arms by our unchanging God!
When Zacchaeus was forsaken by the people of the town, Jesus welcomed him to the Kingdom with open arms. When the elders of the synagogue rejected the blind man, Jesus went looking for him and revealed himself as the Messiah to him.
Also, if Jesus had not fallen ‘out of favor’ with the priests and leaders of the day, we would not even be having the great salvation we have today!
I know we all hunger to be loved by people and accepted by men. But I wanted to remind us all today that it’s okay even if we “fall out of favor” with men. There is a purpose that will be accomplished through that phase of loneliness. God meets with men and women in their wilderness phases. Doesn’t he?
Hagar lost favor with Sarah. When God told Abraham to send Hagar away, he just obeyed. Not that Abraham was not torn in his heart to make that decision, but as a woman I try to imagine what it must have felt like for Hagar. She just had to pack her bags, take her son and simply go, not knowing where she was even going. And in that place of loneliness people cry out to him. So did Hagar.
Hagar looked UPWARD! And God showed up!
When Hagar lost favor with Sarah, God stepped in and directed her steps and blessed Ishmael greatly. When Esther lost favor with the king albeit for a brief season, she and her maids cried out to God with fasting and prayer. And God delivered her from the jaws of death. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego lost favor with King Nebuchadnezzar, God visited them in the fiery furnace and not even the smell of fire was on them. When Joseph lost favor with his brothers, God exalted him to the second highest place in the kingdom of Egypt. When Jabez was disdained by his parents and he cried out to God, God granted his request. The scriptures say, “he was more honorable than all his brothers.” 1 Chronicles 4:9
So, when you fall out of favor with men, take heart, be patient…. although it maybe painful for the moment. Your God surely will show up with HIS Favor at the appointed time! In all the above examples the latter end was far greater than their beginnings. But it did not come without trials and tests.
God will indeed bestow favor and honor, when you trust him and him alone. Put your Hope in him, O Israel!
“…the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:11
Blessed month ahead!