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What Does the Bible Say About..God's Favor?

I need to give a class on God's Favor. Could you please send me some information the class will last about 45 minutes? The Favor of God (1 Samuel 2:26). The grace of God and the sacrifice of his son for our sins.


I don't intend to write you class for you, and certainly won't give you 45 minutes worth, but here are some thoughts for you to build on.

And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men. (1 Samuel 2:26)
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. (Luke 2:52)

What does it mean to find favor with God? Interestingly, why does God use the exact same description for Samuel and Jesus? Perhaps the latter question can be answered with the idea that both came at a time and place in order to save their nation or the world. But what does the Bible say about finding favor with God?

A psalmist said that the favor of God was the difference between life and death. "For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled." (Psalm 30:5-7) In other psalms we find that the favor of God is the same as his mercy and, importantly, God's salvation of man. "I entreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word." (Psalm 119:58) "Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation." (Psalm 106:4) So it is important, even vital, that we find the favor of God.

So how do we find that favor with God. The book of Proverbs tells us how. Somewhat surprisingly, considering the verses from Samuel and Luke, one way to find favor with God is to find a wife. (Proverbs 18:22) Obviously that was not the method used by the young Samuel or by the young Jesus. But it is one way.

One of the things Solomon emphasized in his treatise on growing up that makes up much of the book of Proverbs is finding wisdom. Chapter 8 is all about wisdom, and concludes with the relationship to finding wisdom and finding God's favor. "For whoso findeth me [wisdom] findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death." (Proverbs 8:35-36)

Further, Solomon says we find God's grace by following his mercy and truth. "Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man." (Proverbs 3:3-4)

That is what the Bible says about the favor of God, particularly in relationship to 1 Samuel 2:26. None of that, however appears to have much to do with the last part of what you wanted, the grace of God and the sacrifice of his son for our sins. Other than the similarity in wording between the passages in Samuel and Luke, the favor of God in 1 Samuel and the grace of God in salvation through his son seem to be two totally separate concepts. One is about individuals finding some undefined favor with God and man. The other is about what God has granted to man with no consideration for man earning or doing anything to obtain it. God sent his son as a sacrifice for sin in spite of man being sinful. That is, he sent Jesus Christ to save us even when we weren't worthy of that salvation.

To find what the Bible says about the grace of God, look up "grace" in a good concordance. Keep in mind, though, that when Paul is writing to the Galatians and Ephesians he is contrasting grace to legalism. When he says, for instance, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast," (Ephesians 2:8-9) he is not saying that man has no part in accepting that salvation, but rather that God's grace is a free gift in contrast to the idea that man can earn his salvation independent of that grace. Man certainly has a part in accepting that grace; we must believe, repent, and be immersed. But those are not works that we do in order to earn salvation without the sacrifice of Jesus.