Finding Favor

English: God Appears to Noah, c. 1896-1902, by...
English: God Appears to Noah, c. 1896-1902, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902), gouache on board, 8 15/16 x 4 3/8 in. (22.7 x 11.1 cm), at the Jewish Museum, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter-a-Day Genesis 6

But Noah found favor with the Lord. Genesis 6:8 (NLT)

Favor [fey-ver] noun.

  1. something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration; a kind act:to ask a favor.
  2. friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill: to win the favor of the king.
  3. the state of being approved or held in regard: to be in favor at court; styles that are now in favor.

Favor is such a murky thing. There’s no reason given why Noah found favor with God. It never says that Noah was better than anyone else. It doesn’t say he had been faithful or particularly good or honest or deserving. Yet Noah received God’s favor. You see it in other stories across God’s message. Joseph finds favor with God, and Potiphar and Pharaoh. Daniel finds favor with God, and Nebuchadnezzar. Esther found favor with Xerxes and his eunuch. Peter, James, and John found favor with Jesus despite being total boneheads.

I don’t pretend to understand it, I don’t think there’s a formula for it, and I hope that my heart is never misled. Nevertheless, I know that finding favor with God and others can be  an important ingredient in accomplishing God’s purposes. When I pray for my children, I pray that they might find favor with God, with their teachers, and with their employers. I regularly pray for God’s favor and the favor of others. Then, I do my best to live and love so as to be worthy of it and prove grateful for it.

3 thoughts on “Finding Favor”

  1. This is a concept I often reflect on as well. My life has been an example of favor. I don’t deserve for things to happen for me the way they do, yet God has always put things right in front of me when I needed them. Often, I attribute this to the faithful lives of my grandparents, but ultimately, it’s about God’s choices.
    I heard an interesting thing from Alistair Begg recently (although I think it’s an old sermon series). When teaching on the story of Noah, he remarked that people often attribute God’s favor towards Noah to Noah’s righteous living (verse 9). No doubt walking faithfully with the Lord produces a good harvest, but Begg points out that God’s favor/grace is mentioned before Noah’s behavior and that it was more likely the cause of Noah’s righteousness rather than the result.
    For someone who tends toward legalism, it’s a refreshing reminder that God is willing and waiting to equip us to live as He desires. He’s not waiting for us to screw up so He can renege on His blessings.

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