Monday, February 12, 2024

          Favor is a word that appears well over a hundred times in the Bible.  It is often associated with the actions and ways of God toward His people.  Leviticus 26 is one place in the Bible where the favor of God takes focus.  God assured Israel that His favor would linger with and among them.  But there was one condition—the people were expected to walk faithfully and obediently with Him.  God began Leviticus 26 with a warning against an old and problematic temptation for Israel.  The message reads, “Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 26:1).  God’s favor rests upon His people being yielded and surrendered to Him.  God does not share His glory or His worship with anything else.  To know God’s favor, Israel was expected to walk unconditionally and undividedly with Him.  The same expectation rests with us today.  We are not to share our love or loyalty for Him with anything else.  One recurring theme that we find in Leviticus is God’s constant and consistent reminder that He is the LORD.  Or, as Leviticus puts it, “I am the LORD your God.”
            God promised His favor to Israel in practical ways, “I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.  I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Leviticus 26:9-12).  We see four powerful lessons from these three verses.  First, God promises to bring favor and fruitfulness to those who walk with Him.  These blessings may come in a material way.  God may choose to prosper us with tangible things and in tangible ways.  But God’s favor could come in spiritual ways or relational ways.  God may favor you with friendships and family.  God may give you opportunities to serve Him.  God may favor you with incredible seasons of spiritual growth.  God may deepen your walk with Him.  God may speak more clearly and assuredly to you through Scripture and your prayer time with Him.  God may deepen your worship times and strengthen your faith to trust and serve Him in greater ways. 
            Second, God will provide for our needs.  He promised a harvest to Israel.  That same promise to us would mean shelter, food, water, rest, security and contentment.  God does not necessarily give us everything we want but He delights in meeting the needs of His people.  Remember the words of Jesus that we trust today.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus offered these promises and assurance to His people, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:25-33).  If we ever doubt the faithfulness of the Lord, His words bring us back to simply trusting Him.  The world will often tell us there is no reason to trust God.  Numbers, expenses, calculations and our own anxiety may push us to want to take things into our own hands.  But we place our faith in the Lord and what He has said and promised.  He is a promise-keeper. 
            Third, God promised to leave us amazed at the power and pervasiveness of His blessings.  He told Israel that if they remained faithful to Him that they would still be eating and enjoying the previous harvest when the next one came ripe.  We often find ourselves amazed by what God has done.  We find ourselves thinking and saying, “only God could have done such a thing.”  If we begin to count our blessings and examine how God has blessed us, we will likely be amazed by His goodness and generosity.  We never outgive God and God is a debtor to no one.  He keeps His promises.
            Finally, the best experience of God’s favor is His vow to remain with His people forevermore.  God promised Israel that He would put His “dwelling place” among the people—His people.  We are thankful today that God dwells and rests with us each day.  His presence stays with us in refreshing and rewarding ways.  God dwells with us through His Holy Spirit.  We are neither forgotten nor forsaken by Him.  He is good—always good and faithfully good.  You are not alone today.  You can enjoy the Lord’s favor and presence. Relax and see how the Lord makes Himself known to you.  Be on watch for ways that His favor is expressed to you.  And rejoice when you see it.  Have a great Monday!  Remember you can share our worship any time at 

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