Last night I finally (don’t know why it took me so long) looked up the word’s meaning.
Instead of justice, goodwill.
Excessive kindness-beyond what is due.
To be approved.
Um. Wow. How have I never realized that we are highly favored? We’ve been lavished with what we do not deserve. We are favored. Just like Moses and Mary and Esther and the list goes on and on and on. Jesus came proclaiming favor. Proclaiming freedom and liberty and recovering sight and good news. He should have come (as the first definition alludes to) with justice and judgement. For we deserve that. But NO! He came with favor. He came to lavish goodwill (remember what the angels sang to the shepherds?) upon us lowly sinners. To lift up our heads and to set us right with God again.
Now, think about the others who were favored.
Ruth. Great-great-great-great-great-GREAT grandmother of Jesus, our Savior. She left everything she knew to follow a God she barely knew of and a mother-in-law who had nothing.
Esther. Went to the King to save the Jews from complete annihilation. She risked her life to save her people.
Nehemiah. Went to a war-torn Jerusalem and rebuilt the wall in 52 days. He too risked His life, but trusted God to keep His covenant.
Joseph. Kept himself from temptation. He got thrown in jail. His brothers meant to harm him, but God worked it all out for the good. He had faith God had a plan for his life.
Moses. Led the people out of Egypt to the promise land. He was counted as a friend of God.
Mary. The mother of our Savior, who gave up everything to be the Lord’s servant and to let His will be done instead of her own.
Jesus. I think you know that.
They didn’t just sit around and bask in favor. The AROSE and did something about it. A step further…
Ruth had favor in Boaz’s eyes and therefore went to him, and asked him to be her kinsman redeemer. If she hadn’t, we wouldn’t have Jesus.
Esther had favor in the King’s eyes and therefore went to him to save her people. If she hadn’t, the Holocaust would not have happened, but again, we wouldn’t have Jesus.
I’m not going to go through all of them. But think about it. I especially wanted to focus on the “no Jesus” ones. These people who had favor were people of action. They were also people of prayer and fasting and weeping over the burdens God had given them. They didn’t give up or give in. If they had, where would we be?
The same thing goes for us. We are highly favored. I will say it again, we are highly favored. God no longer looks and sees sin, He looks and sees Jesus. But what are we doing about it? Think about our own calling. No, we may not have a wall to rebuild or in need of a kinsman redeemer. But there are billions, billions of people who do not know Christ. Thousands are dying every single day without hope, without Christ. And we have been called to go and make disciples of all nations. Are we? We are not to sit around in our favor, we are to be using that favor to share Christ. Telling them who can set them free, who can redeem them, who can shine favor upon them. There’s only one who can. Jesus. And we have Him. In God’s gracious favor, we have Him. Let’s share Him.