One of my most favorite people in the entire Bible is Nehemiah. He inspires me because of the way he lived and the way he thought about things, and the things that he said. One of my most favorite things that he said dots the landscape of the book in which he is featured. In fact, the very last words of this book – nestled between Ezra and Esther – are as follows: “Remember me with favor, O my God.” He asks the same thing of his Heavenly Father a handful of other times while he accomplishes his life’s work – leading the exiled Israelites to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.
Perhaps on the surface, the request Nehemiah makes seems selfish, and perhaps even brims with entitlement. We might wonder, is Nehemiah doing good things in his life because he wants rewards and blessings? Is it right for him to vocalize such prayers? Also, what is favor anyway? Why does it matter so much to Nehemiah that he repeats it over and over again? If you read the context around which he makes the statements, it seems he is in a desperate place…a place of full dependence on the Lord…knowing that without some sort of consistent protection and intervention by God, the things he is trying to do won’t work out…. Favor from God seems to mean that He takes a special interest in a person…with Him treating that person with an uncommon kindness and generosity. It seems to mean that God’s blessings are on that person. And Nehemiah recognizes that is essential to his success (on absolutely every level possible). And he is brave enough to ask for it, and keep asking for it – as if his very life depended on it.
I am all about God’s favor in my life. I want Him to remember me with favor ALL the time, and I want to live a life that invites His favor. I believe that God bestows it on His children in His infinite wisdom, and I also believe that we can live in a way that brings it about. Luke 2:52 says that Jesus increased in favor with God and man – which to me means that we can actively participate in receiving favor from Him.
Remember me with favor, O my God. That is what I want, and that is what I believe He has done, and does, and will continue to do in my life. And that is the reason behind the name of this blog. I want to parse out this concept of favor through my postings, and share what I continue to learn about favor – through victories, failures, and everything in between.