Show Me Your Glory, part 5: Favor in God’s Eyes

“And Moses said to Yahweh, ‘See, you said to me, ‘lead this people up.’  But you did not reveal to me who you were going to send with me.  And you said, ‘I have known you with a name and you have found favor in my eyes.’ And now, if I have found favor in your eyes, reveal to me your ways so that I may know you and so that I may find favor in your eyes.  And understand that your people are this nation.’”

(Exodus 33:12-13)


What is this about “you have found favor in my sight”?  We must be careful when we approach this lest we begin to believe for a moment that a human being is able to earn merit in God’s eyes.  Indeed, aDxDm (matsa) not only can be translated as “to find” but also as “to obtain.”  Thus it is important for us to apply this concept from two angles.

First, we can see from the larger context of the Moses story and the larger context of scripture that it is God’s sovereign choice that determines who he will bless and who he will curse.  From birth, God was ordering Moses’ life to prepare him for just this task of leading the people out of Egypt.  Thus the favor that God gave to Moses was in no way something earned; but rather, it was something that it was God’s good pleasure to give.  God reiterates this in verse 19 of the passage—he will bless those he chooses to bless…

There is a second angle that we need to approach this, though.  Scripture also speaks of us bringing pleasure to God through praise (Hebrews 13:15) and through faithful piety (Isaiah 1:16-20, Hebrews 13:1-5, James 1:27).  It brings God pleasure to see his people acting faithfully in their lives.  In fact, when we endeavor on any project, we must learn to mark our success by the way God marks success.  When I began working with the men at the homeless shelter, I had visions of changing the world from the streets up.  After nearly four years of ministry to those men, I have seen only a handful of lives be really changed and turned around through our work. 

Early on, I became discouraged by this—that is until God showed me that I was judging the success of my ministry by the world’s standards.  My success or failure with those men is based on my faithfulness to doing what God has called me to do there, and it is based on nothing else.  Moses’ success or failure as a leader of God’s people was based solely on his faithfulness to God’s call on his life.  This is the standard that must be set before every believer.  The neat thing is that it is God doing the work through us (Philippians 2:13).  And he is also sanctifying us through his Spirit to make us worthy of that which he began in us and to bring about every good work through his people (Colossians 1:10).  What a privilege it is to be called by and to serve this God.

Thus, there is a sense that through our Godly lives and proper service, we not only bring pleasure to our God, but also build up treasure in heaven (see Matthew 19:21).  This treasure is neither saving merit nor is it honor that is deservedly received.  Our works are first forever polluted by sin and we are unable to please God unless so enabled to please him by the work of the Holy Spirit.  Thus the treasures that God bestows in heaven (like many of the blessings offered to those who overcome in Revelation 2 and 3) are a reflection of the superabundant grace of our Lord and God. 

Thus beloved, why has Moses found favor in the eyes of God?  It is because God, in his Grace, chose him.  Why have you or I found favor in the eyes of God?  Once again, he chose to pour out the abundance of his grace and mercy upon our lives.  Oh, what a wonderful God we have been called to serve—showers of blessing, indeed (Ezekiel 34:26).

“There shall be showers of blessing,”

oh, that today they might fall,

now as to God we’re confessing,

now as on Jesus we call!

Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need:

Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.

-Daniel Whittle

About preacherwin

A pastor, teacher, and a theologian concerned about the confused state of the church in America and elsewhere...Writing because the Christian should think Biblically.

Posted on March 22, 2008, in Expositions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. carmen Garabet

    What if God has not shown us favor?? Why does he choose some faithful and not others? Does God have favorites?


    • Carmen,

      To begin with one must trust the word of God. He promises to bless those who cling to him through his Son Jesus Christ. Thus, if you are trusting in Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing in your heart and confessing with your lips, having repented in your sin and trusting in Christ’s redemptive work, you are saved and Christ has shown you favor…he will not retract that favor.

      If we build upon that idea above and recognize that apart from the Holy Spirit indwelling us, it is impossible for us to be faithful, then your question should not so much be “why does he choose some faithful and not others” but instead, “Why does he choose some to be faithful and not others.” The answer is God’s sovereignty. Paul says that God, desiring to show his righteous wrath has made some for judgment while others for mercy like a potter molds with clay. Many people feel uncomfortable with this language, but when you understand the magnitude of sin and the magnitude of our guilt before God and that not one of us, no matter how good, deserves to go to heaven, then you realize that the very fact that God chooses to show mercy on some is an awesome and almost unimaginable thing. All of us rightfully deserve God’s wrath because we have sinned against God’s perfect law. He is just, so it would be immoral for him to ignore that sin. So, God sends his Son to bear the sins of those who come to him in faith (the elect). It is an act of mercy unlike anything we can experience in life. An analogy would be a massive plane crash with flames and explosions, etc… When two people walk off alive and hundreds lay dead, you don’t typically hear people say, “wow, I can’t believe more didn’t survive” or “why didn’t they all make it off” but we hear people saying, “I can’t believe that anyone survived that crash.” We should be saying, “wow, I can’t believe that God would ever save one of us as filthy as we are in our sin!” That is God’s mercy.

      In terms of favorites, it is not so much favorites as favorites implies that there is something in us that warrants favor and if that is the case, mercy is no longer mercy and grace is no longer grace. God chooses some, in accordance with his own will, that he will work in. The basis of that decision is entirely within himself, not us.

      In a sense, there is a sense of “unfairness” to all of this, but not in the way that most think. The fact that God shows favor to any of us is “unfair”, but thanks be to God for that unfairness! For we call that unfairness the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is God, who bore the guilt of our sins on his perfect head, died in the ultimate payment for the sins of another, and then rose from the dead. I believe that he both chose and knew exactly who he was dying for and thus showed grace to them.

      I hope this helps,




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