Favor can be defined as approval, support, and preference [both] with God and man.
Favor can never be separated from God, it begins with God, then overflows to man. If we have favor with man and not with God, it will not last.
Favor is sometimes referred to as the grace of God; sometimes these two are used interchangeably. It is also said to be undeserved and unmerited. meaning we cannot earn or deserve it, it’s something God gives to us for free.
Let us look at what the bible says favor is,
Favor comes from God
Favor is a blessing on the righteous. It is a covering God puts on the righteous. The psalmist likens it to a shield. A shield has the purpose of protection. When God favors a man, he puts His protection over him through favor.
For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
Favor brings good into our lives. When God gives us favor, we have access to every good thing in Him.
Who is the person whom God favors?
These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word. Isaiah 66: 2
The person who receives God’s favor has to do two things: come before him with humility and brokenness over sin, and tremble at His word (quickly and hastily obeying it).
Favor, therefore, has a condition, a repentant and obedient heart.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. so you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:3-4
Through love and faithfulness, also called loyalty and kindness, mercy and truth in other translations. we find favor and good success both with God and man.
A good man obtains favor from the Lord, Proverbs 12:2
Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard. Proverbs 13:15 NKJV
Good understanding can be defined as having good sense, the ability to make sound judgment, or having insight.
For those who find me (godly wisdom) find life and receive favor from the Lord. Proverbs 8:35
Favor comes through knowledge
Now if I have indeed found favor with you, please teach me your ways, and I will know you I may know you and find favor in your sight. Exodus 33:13 CSB
Moses understood that favor with God came through our knowledge of Him. It’s not just any knowledge its specifically through the knowledge of God, as we get to know Him we access His favor in our lives.
What does favor do for us?
It establishes the work of our hands
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17
Without favor, we cannot be established in what we do. But when the favor of God rests on a man, it will be seen in his work.
It increases us
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52
As we increase in wisdom and stature, we also increase in favor with man because we have increased in favor with God.
Now the young man Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man. 1 Samuel 2:26
Stature here doesn’t mean growth in height but an increase in reputation gained through ability. Meaning both Jesus and Samuel grew in their ability to do what God had called them to do, thus increasing in favor with God and man.
It inclines people to bless us
And I will grant these people such favor in the sight of the Egyptians that when you leave, you will not go away empty-handed. Exodus 3:21
The people of Israel had done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. Exodus 12:35-36
God said I will give them such favor that the Egyptians will give them whatever they asked. Without God’s favor, the Egyptians wouldn’t have given them jewelry and clothing. God was restituting to them the wages for their enslavement and labor to the Egyptians.
It gives us high regard with men
And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Exodus 33:17
Moses said to God if indeed I have found favor with you…God replied you have found favor with me.
And Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people. Exodus 11:3
The favor of God on a man makes him to be esteemed by people. We don’t win people’s high regard through our gifts or abilities. We depend on the grace of God.
It makes people give us preference
His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord had caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. Genesis 39:3-4
God didn’t just give favor to Joseph; he also gave him the ability to be competent in everything he did. There are people who will not look at us until they see the value we bring because God has favored us. Favor gives us an edge that no one else in the room has.
But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the one who did it. Genesis 39:21-22
In an unfavorable circumstance, Joseph still finds favor. The keeper of the prison gives Joseph preference over all the other prisoners.
And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight and held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. Esther 5:2
Because Esther had first found favor with God, she had favor with the king. In a circumstance where she needed to be given special preference,favor was able to grant her just that.
There was just but one rule for approaching the throne unsummoned-death! But favor was able to give Esther preference before the king, thus sparing her life.
Favor makes people like us
Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Esther 2:15-17
God had made her likable before everyone. Everyone who saw her automatically liked her. She needed people to like her if she was going to be queen. Even though she was beautiful, Esther needed something more to stand out over all the other women. God’s favor on her enabled her to stand out and be chosen as the next queen.
Sometimes we are gifted, but our gifts may not be enough. Sometimes we may be competent but it might not be enough. Sometimes we may be beautiful but beauty may not be enough. The favor of God marks us out and places us above others, to the point where people give us preference over others.
May the favor of God rest upon you and make people bless, highly regard, prefer, and like you! May it be the thing that makes all the difference in your life. May it bring you blessings that you wouldn’t otherwise get, open doors that wouldn’t have opened, and give you opportunities that people wouldn’t have given you.