Find Favor

Proverbs 10:30-32 

30 The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land. 31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced. 32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

Newly Graduates

            Several years ago, two newly graduates were employed after graduation in the same institution. A professor recommended that one new employee who has better probability to excel. The other graduate was also hired because he was favored by their superiors. In the course of time, both of them left the said institution. The employee who was favored by his superiors found another job where his efforts are valued, while the employee that a professor predicted to have better probability to excel is yet to establish his name in the workforce.

            What is the secret of the employee who was favored by their superiors? He consistently worked harder because he knew that he was not as talented as the other employee. Truly, most establishments may prefer consistent employees.

Of course, talent is appreciated but consistent hard worker is favored. And if you are talented and consistently work harder, that is even much better by far.

            Let’s reflect on the promise of the Lord to King Solomon in 1 Kings 9:4-5:

4If you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

            The term faithfulness is another term for consistency. David was faithful and consistent in obeying the Lord’s instructions. The Lord is faithful; his Holy Spirit inspires us to trust him so that we obey him faithfully. Trust in the Lord helps us know for sure that our faith in him can stand firm. The Lord himself empowers us; he secures us eternally, and he inspires us to stand firm in our faith.

1.  Stand Firm

30 The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land.

            The story of the Israelites when they entered the Promised Land is practical illustration when believers enter the Promised Heaven. The Israelites who trusted the Lord entered the Promised Land. Similarly, believers of Christ enter heaven. The Lord gave us the Scripture as our guide on how we behave as children of God. It is proper for us to learn from the obedience and righteousness of the Israelites.

Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, the Lord instructed how they should behaved in Deuteronomy 11:22-25: 22 If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him— 23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you. The Lord your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.

            Joshua was the leader of the first generation of Israelites who entered the Promised Land, and they served the Lord. But after Joshua and the elders died, the next generation Israelites did whatever they thought as preferable for them.

            When they faithfully obeyed, the Lord was faithful to them, and he took care of their needs. King David had exemplified faithfulness to the Lord, and his descendants followed his exemplary faithfulness and obedience to the Lord.

            Let’s reflect on what it narrated in 2 Chronicles 17:3-6, The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals 4 but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. The Lord established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord.

            King Jehoshaphat was fifth generation descendant of King David; the godly behavior of Jehoshaphat was credited to the exemplary way of life of King David.

            May the Lord bless us to be faithful to him as practical proof when we share the gospel of Christ or when we speak sensibly of his goodness to our children!

2.  Speak Sensibly

31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced. 32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

            In every generation, when one speaks sensibly, it is not always appreciated. Sometimes it is even dangerous to speak the truth, and many people prefer to be quiet. Be careful! What you say can be interpreted otherwise when they cannot agree with you. Your intention could be to help make things right and proper.

But we cannot control individuals with perverse mindset. Can you expect those who loudly promote perverse opinions to pay attention to sensible advice?

            Have you ever tried to testify of the truth but it had caused furious hatred instead of appreciation? Actually, such terrible reality has biblical example. Let us reflect on what it narrated in Genesis 37:2, 2Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

            Joseph had diligently obeyed his father, and he never covered up any bad report about his brothers. Maybe as appreciation, Jacob made a decorative robe for Joseph, and what happened? His other sons became more envious of Joseph.

            What bad report about his brothers did Joseph bring to Jacob? Maybe, they sold their father’s sheep and goats and spent them for leisure and pleasure. Joseph may have warned them, but they just ignored him; Joseph was a lanky young teenager, and they could intimidate him. Did Joseph know that he could be in trouble if he reported bad reports about his brothers? Did God inspire him to speak the truth? Envious hatred caused his brothers to sell him as slave.

            How many older children intimidate their younger siblings when they are caught with naughty things? This biblical record exemplifies that if we choose to speak sensible truth, there are dangerous consequences. But by faith in the Lord, we trust his grand plan for our betterment and for everyone he cares.

            Of course, to speak sensibly requires godly wisdom. We just don’t speak because we were told to testify for Christ. We have to pray; wait for inspiration and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Peace from God should be our practical signal before we talk about our faith in Christ. He had instructed in Acts 1:4-8: 4“Wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses.”

            Sometimes, we behave like the disciples. Instead of obeying what he said, we ask the Lord of things that may concern us. When filled with the Holy Spirit, he inspires trust in him; that it favors us to obey him. He transforms our mindset and behavior so that we can distinguish sensible things from trivial things.

And that should serve as practical proofs when we testify for Christ.

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