God has no favorites
This may be true but he does approve of people that seek His counsel and
ways -- that are walking in His Spirit. There are those that He gives power
to because they want what God wants. So in this sense He may not have
favorites but he does give more to those who want to do His will.
God does not necessarily have to use the word favorite to express this sentiment. There are those whom God calls beloved whom He places hand upon, and gives the power of His Spirit for a particular task so that they may be equipped to accomplish it, because of obedience prior, they have grace for obedience today.
Even Jesus showed us the need to obey “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him”
(Heb. 5:8-9) By Jesus being faithful ‘by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19).
God decided when it came time to judge mankind’s sin he chose men He could trust because of how they lived. Grace is his favor.
Gen. 6:7-8 So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
Clearly by Noah’s obedience God carried him through any opposition and the incredible task to build the first boat to rescue whomsoever would come. The animals came but men did not.
We need to understand that God does not see all the people the same way. Scripture says he loves the world, but it also says he hates the wicked, those who deny good, refuse to hear the truth, disobey and plan harm to others. This is more than just sinning by those who work and practice evil; they come against righteousness intentionally, aware of what they are doing. The coming Tribulation will separate those who are righteous, because they repent from the world who will receive judgment and raise their fist toward God (Rev.6:16).
Moses asked for God’s grace. Exod. 33:13 " Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people. "
God explained to Moses:
Exod. 34:6-10 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, "keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation." So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. Then he said, "If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance." And He said: "Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD. For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you. ”
Moses was the leader of Israel that brought them out of bondage to become the first and only nation to be ruled by God, a theocracy. This was completely different than the other nations who served other Gods.
God does not see all nations the same way, they are not all equal in his sight. First and foremost to Him is Israel, whom he formed. Exod. 19:5-6 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
Deut. 7:6 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your
God has chosen you to be a people for Himself,
a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”
Repeated in Deut. 14:2.
In the Old Covenant his blessing came from his grace. Deut. 28:1-2 "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth." And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
Obedience was the key in the conditional covenant God made to Israel by the law. But he also said they would be judged double than others for their disobedience. Why? Because they knew the way of truth, it was given to them. They then have a greater responsibility.
He reminds the Hebrews of what took place in the past with their ancestors, Heb. 3:15-19 while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey ?”
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. It matters what we do, not just what we believe.
Prov. 3:34 “Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.” Pride and humility are opposites. God knows that only the humble can put their trust in him, this is something we must do daily.
Ps. 84:11-12 “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!”
There came a period when Israel would not listen to the Lord but their own opinions, which led to false worship. Judges 2:17 “Yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do so .”
They did what was right in there own eyes, they lived by their opinions.
1 Sam. 15:22 Then Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”
We can go through religious actions and it can become mundane, a ritual. God looks for faith- trust in Him.
There came a point in Israel’s history, with all their knowledge that it became useless because they did not apply it,
Hosea 4:6-12 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. "The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of My people; they set their heart on their iniquity. And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their deeds. For they shall eat, but not have enough; they shall commit harlotry, but not increase; because they have ceased obeying the LORD. "Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart. My people ask counsel from their wooden idols, and their staff informs them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, and they have played the harlot against their God. ”
What a diminished state Israel fell to. Worse than the nations practicing idolatry because they had the truth and did not listen to it. Because Israel was given more revelation than any other nation they will be judged double for their sins (Isa.40:2; Jer.16:18).
Favor is always given to those who will “exercise faith and obey.”
Acts 7:9-10 "And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him
"and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.”
One does not have to look any further than the example of Jesus, being man was a servant to the Father to show us the example of how we are to walk.
Luke 2:40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”
As God in the flesh, being the Son of God his humanity was given grace.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Matt 3:17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And again in Matt 12:18 "Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen, my Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.”
Matt 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, " This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
Jesus bought only 3 disciples onto the mount, he continually gave more attention, more revelation to these three he was training to be leaders.
Because of Jesus we have this grace. Eph. 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.” We all partake of this grace together (Phili. 1:7)
Pastors and people may have their favorites, not God. But He can show greater favor toward a person without any conflict because of who He is. God does not have favorites in the way we understand it but he does have those he favors because they obey Him, they who have a right spirit in them.
Like Daniel. Dan. 9:23 "At the beginning of your supplications the command
went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and
understand the vision”
Daniel is called greatly beloved because he sought the Lord even in captivity, he prayed for his nation Israel’s release and searched the Scriptures looking when it would take place. God gave him more than he asked because he was faithful.
Grace comes from God, we all have grace to fulfill our calling.
Rom 15:15 “Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, This is why Paul began or ended his letters with The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Rom 16:24)
Favor from God frees us to do the right thing, to fulfill our calling. 1 Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
2 Cor. 1:12 “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.”
2 Cor. 8:6 “So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well.”
Phil 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
That is grace; it is God’s doing from start to finish. We cannot earn it, yet God gives his power to accomplish his will to those who are willing to obey.
God is fair and just. Being a participant in the New Covenant does not mean you are a recipient of only love but punishment for correction. This is a principle throughout history.
Ancient Job wrote, 5:17-18 ‘Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; he wounds, but His hands make whole .”
Moses said this Israel Deut. 8:5-6 “You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you.” Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.”
If they obeyed there would be no need to be corrected from the Lord.
The writer to the Hebrews: Heb. 12:5-8 “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: " My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. ”
All who are children adopted in to God’s family get chastened.
The writer took this wisdom saying from Solomon, Prov. 3:11-13 “ My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects , just as a father the son in whom he delights. Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding” Which is the wisdom that came from ancient Job.
God is just to all
Rom. 2:11-13” For there is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified.”
What he is saying is that all will be treated the same in judgment, those who had revelation and those who did not.
V.14-15 “ For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them .”
In other words, man was made in the image of God and has an innate understanding of what is right and wrong which the written law explains. We can understand the written moral laws because of our conscience.
Daniel tells us what it will be like for the saints in the end, through the
Tribulation period. Of those who will be deceived and those who will
continue to do God’s work.
Dan 11:32-33 " Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. "And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering .”
In the end God will turn his eyes toward Israel as they experience the Tribulation it will bring them to repent and see Yeshua as their Machiach. This will result in Zech. 12:10: "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”
God wants to bring his favor to Israel as He did in the past, they need to hear the gospel to receive his grace.