Exodus 3:21 – “And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed.” NKJV
We all know or have heard the account of the Exodus! Both Jews and Gentiles hold this event as an important event in their faith. However, it’s more than just a cute bible story, or a great miracle of deliverance! It’s also a powerful demonstration of what it looks like, when God favors you!
God favored Abraham. The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about him before God called him to go to a land that He would show to him, but we do see that God’s favor is immediately upon him. It didn’t matter where Abraham went, or what he did or didn’t do, the “chen” or grace of God was upon his life. This favor was extended to Isaac, and Jacob, and then to Joseph. All of their lives are wonderful pictures of the favor of God, but it’s their descendants that I want to focus on today.
Joseph, Jacob’s son, was sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph went from slavery, to prison, because he was falsely accused of attacking Potiphar’s wife. He was put in prison, and while he was in prison, God favored Joseph:
Genesis 39:21 – But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
God caused everything Joseph did to prosper. He ran the prison, even though he was a prisoner. The prison guard didn’t check up on him or tell him what to do. All because God gave Him favor, or chen, which is grace!
God’s favor didn’t stop there! He had bigger things in store for Joseph. Pharaoh sent two prisoners to the prison where Joseph was in charge. They both had a dream and Joseph shared the outcome of the dreams. Later, Pharaoh had a dream, and the cupbearer, who was restored to his position, remembered Joseph. Joseph was sent for and the next thing Joseph knew, he was no longer a prisoner, but he was second in command. That’s how favor looks! Suddenly, out of nowhere, you are favored by man, because God has favored you! It causes people to look at you and wonder, “how did that happen”?
Years went by, and Joseph, still flourishing in the land of his captivity, gets the opportunity to once again be with his family. The favor of God, that was upon him, enabled him to extend favor to his family. They were given the best land in Goshen, and were well provided for until Joseph was no longer a memory in the minds of the Egyptians. Then the descendants of those who sent Joseph into slavery, became slaves themselves.
Approximately 430 years later, God returns to show favor upon the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He sends Moses to tell Pharaoh to let His people go! And then he tells Moses:
“And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed.”
Before the children of Israel are delivered from Egypt, we begin to see the favor of God upon them. There are ten plagues that God puts on the Egyptians. Four of the plagues, the children of Israel endured with the Egyptians, but when the fifth plague hit, God favored His people:
Exodus 9:4 – And the Lord will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel.”’ ”
The word favor isn’t mentioned, but the concept is still there. For the remainder of the plagues, God made a difference between what happened to the Egyptians, and what happened to His people. But He wasn’t finished yet!
Remember, He said that He would cause the children of Israel to have favor with the Egyptians! He surely did it!
Exodus 11:2-3 – Speak now in the hearing of the people, and let every man ask from his neighbor and every woman from her neighbor, articles of silver and articles of gold.” And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.
By this time, they could have asked the Egyptians for anything, and they would have gotten it! Not only did God give them favor with the Egyptians, but He scared them to the point of no resistance! They left Egypt filthy rich! How do I know this? In the wilderness they gave Aaron gold to make a golden calf. When asked to provide for the tabernacle they gave so much to the building of the tabernacle that Moses had to tell them to stop giving. And they still had stuff left!
I’m telling you true, the favor of God is not like the favor of man, although His favor can give you favor with man. His favor, His “chen”, His grace, knows no bounds! It’s excessive! It’s abundant! And when God favors you, you don’t need a tee shirt to announce it! It will be evident!
Now’s the time to dare to believe that God’s abundance of grace is more than for salvation! It’s for living! He is such an amazing God, His grace can only be amazing! I don’t have to be jealous of the children of Israel or anyone else because God has given His grace to me! And you don’t have to be jealous of me, because His grace is extended to you! We just need to trust in that truth and dare to believe God wants to display His grace in our lives. It won’t look like it did for the Israelites, but you will still recognize it; because when God favors His people, others are left gawking!Wonderful Jesus!