Finding life and obtaining favor

Proverbs 8_35

The Verse of the Day for January 2, 2018 comes from Proverbs 8:35, but to more fully comprehend the instructions given by Solomon, we need to examine the preceding verses as well:

Proverbs 8:33-35 (Amplified Bible):

“Heed (pay attention to) instruction and be wise,
and do not ignore or neglect it.
34 
“Blessed [happy, prosperous, to be admired] is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.

“For whoever finds me (Wisdom) finds life
And obtains favor and grace from the Lord.

Those who seek wisdom will not only find what they seek, but they will also find life. According to Matthew 7:7-8, we recognize that everyone who asks receives, and everyone who seeks finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

God, as a beneficent Father, is the giver of life, life in all of its fullness. The expression used for life is often translated in the plural: life, vibrant and fresh, refreshing new life, in all of its richness, overflowing life that impacts others, the more abundant life that Jesus Christ came to give. Not only will those who seek wisdom find life, but they will also find favor or grace. Like Noah, they will find grace in the eyes of the Lord.

According to Herbert M. Wolf, finding favor means gaining approval, acceptance, or special benefits or blessings. He notes a close connection between favor, grace, and mercy. In the New Testament, we note that the word “favor” has also been translated “grace.” God extends His grace, His undeserved favor toward His people.  Ephesians 2:8 makes known that we are saved by grace and not by our own works; it is the “gift of God.”

To receive grace is to receive that gift, something so valuable that it must be given away because no one is wealthy enough to purchase something of inestimable value and worth. A common acronym for grace is “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.” Favor is God’s graciousness extended to us; grace is His undeserved favor that abounds toward those who accept His graciousness: “Where sin did abound, grace did much more abound.”

These lyrics describe God’s super-abounding favor:

Favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor

Unprecedented favor, unparalleled favor,

Flowing from the fullness of the Father,

Is falling without measure upon those

Who seek and find the life wisdom offers.

As the New Year unfolds, may we pursue wisdom as never before and daily apply our hearts to the wisdom that we find in the Word of God, as we are

Watching, Waiting, Seeking

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 27:14

 

We are strengthened by the Word of God where we find

Courage to endure while seeking to watch and wait.

Those who watch and wait will be never left behind,

For God has always been faithful and never late.

We trust in the Lord, as the Word of God extols.

Like Job we wait until at last our change shall come,

Assured that in patience we now anchor our souls.

May we not faint and fall by the wayside as some

But follow in Christ’s steps, as we quickly obey

And bear up under and yield fruit of endurance.

We must walk in God’s love, the more excellent way

And through faith and patience claim our inheritance.

In these perilous times we are yielded and still,

Watching, waiting, seeking to fulfill all God’s will.

We close with “Wisdom Song” by Laura Woodley Osman

 

 

 

 

 

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