|How does one grow in favor with God and man? “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Proverbs 3: 3)
How do we let “love and faithfulness” never leave us? Let “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” (Psalm 85: 10)
This vivid portrayal of their meeting and embracing offers one of the most beautiful images in all of Scripture of God’s gracious dealings with His covenant people.
Love + faithfulness = covenant.
Here’s why they will never leave us: A covenant is a binding agreement.“Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.” (Psalm 85: 11)
Can you see the imagery? When love, faithfulness, and righteousness merge–God’s covenant blessings will abound till cup overflows. When the God of Heaven, in His righteousness, looks down upon us and releases heavenly blessings–His faithfulness will spring forth.
How could it not? When heaven meets earth, “Our land will yield its harvest.” (Psalm 85: 12b)
Desiring a harvest? Finding favor with God will produce it.
The writer of Proverbs says to wear these two attributes (love + faithfulness) like a necklace. That necklace is an adornment. Those who wear these will add beauty and honor to their lives in the rich favor of the Lord.
What’s written on our hearts? When we write love and faithfulness on our hearts, we are in covenant. The prophet Jeremiah explains the depth of this covenant. He says: “This is the covenant I will make, I will put my Law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.” (Jeremiah 31: 33-34)
God wants His covenant to govern our lives, not to be just an ineffective covenant presented only in writing, even though it was inscribed on durable stone! When we receive Him into our hearts, we are receiving His covenant.
When Jesus was growing in favor with God and man, He was governing the lives of mankind. “The government shall be upon His shoulders.” (Isaiah 9: 6)
The favor of God and man will be upon our lives when we are in covenant with Him. Why not choose this? It’s a guarantee of His faithfulness to us. He always keeps His promises and His covenant.
BENEFITS OF FAVOR
FAVOR WITH GOD: “Whoever finds Me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 8: 35) There is no better favor. Have you found Him?
FAVOR WITH MAN: “Do not repay evil with evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12: 17-18)
I love the Lord’s humor by saying, “If it is possible?” He knows how hard it sometimes is to be at peace with everyone. People are people.
He gives us another way to achieve this “favor with man.” The apostle Paul says, “We are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of men.” (2 Corinthians 8: 21)
Again, the writer is indicating that it is painful and difficult to do what is right. It’s easier to compromise, isn’t it?
FINAL ANSWER: Do what is right even when no one is watching. This will produce favor in and upon our lives. God is always watching for “His gaze is always upon us.”
Amazed By His Gaze,
Mary Beth Pecora