Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)
TITLE: Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Whose God's Favorite One of All?
By Deborah Bauers
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And later…”and Pharoah took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand…and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 41:42-43).
“My God, thou art angry with thy servant. I have taken what belonged to another and made it mine. I did behold her beauty and desire her above all others. Her husband hath been slain in battle and she is with child. I will take her, now, into my house and she shall be mine. “And the thing that David had done displeased the Lord (II Samuel 11:27).
And later…”I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart…Of this man’s seed hath God…raised unto Israel, a Savior, Jesus” (Act 13-22-23).
Does God show favoritism? Perhaps, not with respect to his universal will. There are promises and principles in scripture that apply to all. Every man, woman, boy, and girl, may receive the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ. The prayers of a righteous man or women impact the heart of God. God loves each of his children, unconditionally. His love is not predicated upon our good works or the potential that He sees in us. In fact, the Bible teaches us that, apart from God, we cannot obtain righteousness. When we examine God’s universal will, we find that it does not discriminate and is not biased. God invites all who will, to come to Him.
However, does God, in His individual dealings with men, ever play favorites? I believe that scripture teaches that He does. Enoch is the only man we know of in the Bible that was able to simply “CLEP” out of the school room of life, and go on to be with God. Moses had the solitary honor of being buried by the Lord, Who revealed Himself in the burning bush as, I Am. Rehab the harlot, found favor in God’s eyes because she hid the Israelite spies, in the land of Canaan. She is listed in the lineage of Christ. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was highly favored as the woman who would bear the Son of God. The apostle John, was called “the beloved” of Jesus and is the only apostle who, according to history, did not die a violent death. Peter was anointed by God to be the “rock” upon which the New Testament Church was founded. The nation of Israel was by God to be His people and the first recipients of the Gospel.
Contrast these examples of God’s special favor with what occurred in the lives of Pharoah, Esau, and Judas. God “hardened” Pharoah’s heart in order that His plan for Israel be fulfilled (Exodus 7:13). The scriptures record that Jacob was the choice son through whom the line of Christ would come. Esau was simply passed over. (Romans 9:13). John 13:18 suggests the likelihood that Judas was a chosen instrument of God’s plan for Jesus’ betrayal and death. In the following passages of scripture, Paul addresses the anticipated questions about the fairness of God’s righteousness, in light of His showing such favoritism. Consider these verses:
I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion…O man, who art thou that repliest against God…Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (Romans 9: 14-21).
The end of the matter of God’s favoritism may be found in Romans 9:22-23. - Bottom line? God may show favor, or God may show nothing. No matter what He demonstrates, He can never violate His own character. He is, YHVH Tzidkaynu, Lord of Righteousness. However, through showing His mercy, God demonstrates the riches of His glory.
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