1.   A review of favor or grace

I thought it was necessary to explore the meaning of favor or grace in the Old Testament in order to understand the Doctrine more clearly.  We actually began with Mary who was chosen to be the mother of Lord Jesus and learnt that she was “highly favored” by God.

Few people in history were described as being in high or great favor with God.  We discovered that these individuals are rare and precious in the eyes of God and also walk with God.

Today, let us explore the meaning of favor or grace in the Old Testament, using Prophet Noah as a springboard.

2. What was the “grace” that God showed to Noah?

Prophet Noah was the first with whom the word “grace”  (H2580/chen) was used in the Holy Scriptures:

But Noah found “grace”  (H2580/chen)  in the eyes of the LORD – Gen 6: 8.

Chen occurs 69 times in 67 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the King James Version.  Synonyms for   “grace”  in the Old Testament  include favor (25 times), well favored (1 time) and pleasant (1 time).

I asked these questions:

  1. Would the usage of the word “grace”  would help us to understand the meaning of the grace of God?
  2. Are there texts in which grace directly refers to God showing favor to a human?

3. Texts in which  “grace”  directly refers to  God

a. When humans asked God for a request to be granted

It is important to pay attention to the fact that while the members of the God family granted both requests, they enjoyed a deep and close friendship with Abraham.  The city that Lot begged to escape to was one that had been included for destruction. Although God granted his request, it was not good for Lot to have gone there.

This meant that more of the wickedness remained there. Lot eventually left Zoar out of fear and went to the mountains, anyhow, showing that God was accurate all along, as always (Genesis 19: 15 – 30).

Abraham asked the members of the God Family to visit him rather than going on their way:

My Lord, if now I have found favour (H2580/chen) in thy sight, pass not away – Genesis 18: 3.

Lot asks the members of the God family who rescued him from Sodom and Gomorrah to allow him to escape to one of the cities rather than to a mountain:

Behold now, thy servant hath found grace (H2580/chen)  in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy – Genesis 19: 19.

b.  Favor is the evidence of the Presence of God in the lives of His children which causes them to be outstanding and favorable to others

We learn from Joseph’s experience in Egypt that the favor of God is the Presence of God on the lives of His children. The Presence of God caused Joseph to become an outstanding business manager.  God caused him to prosper both in the house of Potiphar and in the Prison.

Genesis 39: 21 reveals that the Lord showed mercy or kindness to Joseph while he was in prison. This is the favor of God.

As those in authority saw that God was with him, they  began to see him in a favorable light and promoted  God’s servant into top leadership positions:

And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous/tsalach 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 that he did to prosper in his hand

And Joseph found  grace (H2580/chen)  in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all [that] he had he put into his hand.

And it came to pass from the time [that] he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

 And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was [a] goodly [person], and well favoured (Gen 39: 2 – 6).

c. Favor means that God shows mercy or kindness to His beloved

But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy (kindness), and gave him favour (H2580/chen)  in the sight of the keeper of the prison (Genesis 39: 21).

Blessings. More to come!