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Since the dawn of time, humanity has sought ways to secure God’s favor. God, in His infinite wisdom, meticulously examines the motives of our hearts before bestowing His favor, a favor meant to endure a lifetime (Psalm 30:5).

Why did God favor Abel’s sacrifice but not Cain’s?  (Heb. 11:1-3). By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. (Heb. 11:1-3).  It is possible that Cain brought his sacrifice in penance, having nothing to give, only faith in God. While Cain brought his gift to show his self-importance, to boast, his self-righteousness.  

Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector: Luk 18:9-14 (NIV): “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 

Murderous heart: “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.” 1 Jn 3:12; 

Warning: “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain.” Jude 1:11.  

Cain’s unbridled anger revealed itself instantly. Furious wrath blazed out, displaying the spirit that was lodged within the heart. Cain became an enemy of God and hostile to his brother. Thus, wounded pride produced envy and a spirit of revenge. And these brought forth the burning hatred and violence that made murder possible. [1]

Age-old Enmity 

There has been age-old enmity (persecution) between those who have been filled with God’s Spirit, who walk in His favour and those who have not.  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. (Gal. 4:28-29) 

Intriguingly, God extends favor even to those who may not use it wisely. Ishmael and Hagar received His favor, yet their choices determined the outcome (Gen. 21:17-20). Esau, though initially favored, traded his birthright for momentary relief of hunger in Gen. 25:32.

Note Jesus’ answer: For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:35) 

“But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared and worshiped [with submissive wonder].” (Ps. 130:4 Amp).

A comprehensive study of the 114 verses depicting individuals who have found favor both with God and their peers reveals a common thread — the attainment of favor through grace-conscious right living. There exists an undeniable allure in attributes such as faith, kindness, goodness, mercy, patience… – character “fruits” of being entwined with the Holy Spirit.

When one fails to act righteously from the heart, the instinct for survival and the innate desire for blessings often lead individuals down an alternate path — that of independent, pretentious righteousness. This involves presenting an outward appearance of goodness and righteousness while concealing the true nature within.  

This is why God TESTS the heart so we may realise what He sees. 

It is noteworthy that favor and blessings are not universally experienced by those who strive to do what is right. Paradoxically, we witness instances where the righteous endure suffering. In such cases, I propose that the dynamics at play involve God’s covenant blessings and curses.

Blessing and Curses

Blessings tied to faithfulness to God are outlined in Leviticus 26:1-13, Deut.y 4:32-40, and Deut. 28:1-14. These blessings encompass aspects of life, health, prosperity, agricultural abundance, respect, and security. It is crucial to note that blessings come with a solemn warning of curses or consequences should Israel deviate from obedience and faithfulness to the covenant. The curses are detailed in Lev. 26:14-39, Deut. 4:15-28, and Deut. 28:15-32:42.

Broadly speaking, these curses can be categorized under ten “Ds”:

  • death
  • disease
  • drought
  • deprivation
  • danger
  • destruction
  • defeat
  • deportation
  • destitution
  • disgrace

Israel’s historic journey serves as a timeless reminder that adherence to the covenant brings forth flourishing and fruitfulness, while deviation invites challenges and hardships.

But we should not place God “in a box” of CAUSE and EFFECT dualism.  It is so that God’s favor is attracted to certain character qualities, like Job, for instance:  There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evilJob:1:1. God is proud of Job’s righteous standard and almost challenges satan to test him: Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”  And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” (Job 1:8-12) 

After a lengthy divine process, Job was restored; coming “forth as gold” (Job 23:10). He also received doubleNow the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:12). 

The conclusion is that RIGHTEOUSNESS is an ETERNAL unshakeable position of blessing and favor seen from the perspective of a lifetime.  Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire(Heb 12:28-29). 

So, the question certainly now arises; ‘Can one obtain God’s favor?’

Favor Alliances 

We also see examples of remaining with the one who has obtained favor, is also a way of benefitting of God’s goodness.  And Laban said to him, “Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake(Gen 30:27) 

God’s Elect Commissioned

God has chosen the elect (favored) to fulfill His Word, and promise.  Like Joseph “The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him.” Gen 39:2-3) In the same way God has given Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther favor in the eyes of the Rulers of the time, to bring redemption for His people.  

Heart Condition

  • For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield. Ps 5:12. 
    He who earnestly seeks good finds favor: Prov 11:27. 
  • The king’s favor is toward a wise servant: Prov 14:35 .
  • He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward: Prov 28:23.
  • Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Prov 3:3-4. 

Two Distinct Worlds 

Grace and Judgement can be seen as two worlds.  Imagine the landscape of “Grace Country” and “Judge Country” – distinct realms with different languages and principles.

In Judge Country, it’s a land of rigid boundaries, where justice and judgment reign supreme. It operates on a black-and-white scale of right and wrong, guilt and innocence, good and bad. 

Now, picture Grace Country, a realm bathed in the soft hues of compassion and forgiveness. Here, the landscape is marked by love for enemies, giving mercy to those who do not deserve it.  It’s a place where the weak are empowered, and the last find themselves leading the way.

Living in Judgement Country means navigating the harsh terrain of vindication and justice, but in Grace Country, one discovers a different way of existence—one marked by unmerited favor, understanding, and the transformative power of love.

Attempting to dwell in both lands simultaneously is impossible, for one cannot receive Grace Country benefits while living and abiding in Judge Country.  

Two Natural Laws

Paul explains these two worlds in Rom. 7 and 8.  In Rom. chapter 7, Paul explains “Judgement Country” and how, although the law is perfect, holy and spiritual, it lacks the transformational power to change behavior.  For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (Rom 7:14) The chapter ends with a desperate outcry for help and salvation!! 

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom 7:24) 

Instead of giving us any methods, programs, laws, rituals and things to do he gives us a PERSON – JESUS CHRIST! Therefore, Chapter 8 explains the world of one who has received Jesus as His means to right living! (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 5:21; Mat 6:33)  

How does “GRACELAND” deal with sinners and bad people?[2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2 speaks of two laws of nature: Gravity and Helium.  Gravity will always pull and force you downward. Helium, on the other hand, naturally gives you the ability to defy the law of gravity and float upward.  The way Graceland deals with sin is to repent and be filled with Holy Spirit! The more we are full of His meekness, gentleness, patience, kindness, peace, love and joy we no longer think of sinning! 

A New and Living Way

This way of the Holy Spirit becomes the way we overcome our sinful nature! Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Gal 5:16) The fruit of the spirit becomes our new consciousness and our motive and purpose in life.   

The way of the Holy Spirit is also the means by which the favor of God is received – to be His child, living only to glorify Him, obtaining favor also with man, and even rulers and kings.  The ultimate way to obtain God’s favor is to immigrate to GRACE LAND! 

In Conclusion, we as righteous believers by grace need to awaken to the Favor that rests on our lives.  The devil relentlessly wants to deceive you by letting you focus on all that is wrong, what is due to you and what you lost so that you will forget what you ALREADY have.  As we contentedly continue to live by His enabling GRACE we obtained favor with God: “as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet bestowing riches on many; as having nothing, yet possessing all things.” (2 Cor 6:10) 

“Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus, By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies), that is, through His flesh.” Heb 10:19-20.

[1] Pfeiffer, C. F. (1962). The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: Old Testament (Ge 4:5). Chicago: Moody Press.