Favor of God: Being Highly Favored
Definitions of “Favor”
In order to find the favor of God, we need to study someone who found favor of God and ask “Why did he or she find the favor of God?” The favor of God cannot be earned; but it can be attracted. Before we look into that let’s look at how the word “favor” is understood in the Bible. In the Bible there are five words that have been interpreted as “favor”; three of the words are Hebrew and two of them are Greek.
1. Saah – To gaze upon with interest
2. Hen or hanan – To stoop down to someone inferior in order to do an act of kindness
3. Ratsah – To be pleased with, to accept.
4. Epeidon – Similar to Saah, means to gaze upon with interest (Luke 1:25).
5. Charis – The more popular word. It means to freely give, endow, enrich, and give in overflowing abundance.
In Luke 1:28, we see that God sent His angel Gabriel to Mary who greeted her with the words “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” We see that Mary was astonished and greatly troubled because the phrase “The Lord is with you!” in the Hebrew world carried the notion that the one to who it was spoken had a divine assignment from the Lord. But, Mary was called “highly favored”. Let’s look at some reasons why Mary was “highly favored” before God. We can try to find that out by looking at Mary’s response to the angelic annunciation that she would give birth to the Child who would be called the Messiah.
In Luke 1:46-50, we can see Mary’s view about God. Her view of God brought favor in her life. To her
1. God was the Lord (verse 46). He was the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY in her life.
2. God was the Savior (verse 47). He was the ULTIMATE LOVE in her life.
3. God was the Mighty One (verse 49). He was the ULTIMATE POWER in her life.
4. God was Holy (verse 49). He was the ULTIMATE HOLINESS in her life.
What was her view of herself? She saw herself as a maidservant of the Lord (Luke 1:38) and she submitted to the will of God. She was willing to be and to do what the Lord willed. And, so she was highly favored; she got the highest favor of being assigned with the role of being the one through whom the Messiah was born.