Anchor Scriptures: Rom. 9:10-16; Eccl. 9:11-12
Introduction: Favour is from the Hebrew word “chên”, meaning grace (-iousness), acceptance, charm and favour, and the Greek word “charis” (khar’-ece), meaning favour, acceptable, grace (-ious). It is a must for every man to fulfil destiny. It should be noted, however, that in life you are either a carrier of God’s favour or a contender with people carrying divine favour.
There quite a number of Bible characters who were favoured over and above others. These include Jacob, Esther, Mary and John the Beloved. A number of things distinguish a man or woman God favours. One of such trademarks is they are unmatchable. Another is that life’s contests critical to their destiny are resolved in their favour. You can check this assertion with the characters mentioned above.
For instance, consider Jacob in his contests with his twin brother Esau (Gen.25:21-26, 29-34; 28:1-5; 33:1-4) and his uncle Laban (Gen.31:6-10, 41-42). Most astounding, perhaps, is what we read in Rom.9: 10-13, 15-16:
“And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated… For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So, then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
May you and I be enrolled as candidates of God’s favour like no others in this month of favour.
It should be noted, however, that while it is great to experience God’s favour it is quite exciting to live in favour. Interestingly, it is our heavenly Father’s wish that whatever blessings He showers on us we should have for the keeps. Consequently, when He opens for us the flood gates of favour He intends that we live in it, so much so that we individually become a habitation, dwelling place of favour. For this to be, however, there are terms and conditionality.
First to be considered is what is called in Ecc.9:11 “time and chance”:
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
Timing and circumstances or opportunities are critical factors in making a lifestyle of enjoying divine favour.
The impotent man by the pool in Bethesda remained at the location for several years for his inability to take advantage of divine timing and opportunity for a favour, no thanks to non-availability of destiny helpers. According to Joh.5:4, “For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” His story changed only when Jesus came around.
General Amasa is another example of the importance of time and change as vital elements for a favour.
King David had promised to appoint Amasa the chief commander of his army in place of Joab (2Sam.19:11-13). The king assigned Amasa to marshal an army within a specific time frame to deal with Sheba’s rebellion. Unfortunately, Amasa “delayed longer than the set time which David had appointed him.” (2Sam.20:4-5). The consequence of this was an untimely cruel death in the hands of deceptive Joab, the same man he was to replace (2Sam.20:8-10).
King Felix is our final example of people who failed to utilize the elements of time and chance in enjoying divine favour. We read in Act. 24:25; “And as he (the apostle Paul) reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Nothing shows that the king ever got saved. Procrastination was his undoing.
The Bible enjoins; “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” Pro.3:27-28.
The second term is consistent obedience, and Samson is a typical example here.
Samson’s major problem was the inability to keep the terms of his calling. Conversely, he observed them in the breach (Jdg. 16:1-6, 16-22). The consequence of this is stated in verse 21; “But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass, and he did grind in the prison house.”
We must take heed to the exhortation in Phi.2:12 to avoid Samson’s pitfall:
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Conclusion: To become a habitation of favour we must constantly guard against delays, procrastination and violation of the terms of our calling, but rather watch out for and take prompt advantage of time and opportunities, and live by the word of God.
A sermon delivered by Rev’d Jonathan Adeboye, President of Total Missions Network Global Ministries on May 5th, 2019.