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.’”
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.