Today is a study on how one gets the favour and or mercy of Yahweh God.
Favour. There are 14 Old Testament Hebrew words and one New Testament Greek word translated into English as the single word “favour”. A summary of the Hebrew meanings include gracious or kindness, good, kind, delight, pleased with or satisfied with. Compared with the single Greek meaning according to Strong’s concordance as
“Graciousness”, especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life. According to Lexical concordance is a kindness granted or desired. Only to show one always get a better understanding of words reading its use in the Old Testament. Some of the Hebrew ones are used as little as 56 times and as much as 2120 times. Here are a few sample scriptures using “favour”.
I have also inserted the nearest better translation.
Gen_39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour (kindness / gracious) in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Exo_11:3 And the LORD gave the people favour (kindness / gracious) in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.
When Yahweh gives you favour it is sometimes seen by others. Why? Maybe because God wants them to recognize the difference between you and them with Him being with you.
1Sa_2:26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour (good) both with the LORD, and also with men. Dan_1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour (kind) and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. We know Daniel was a man who kept God’s laws even in Babylon. Declined to eat unclean food and prayed at the appointed times of 3 times per day even at the risk of death. We are told that Mary, the mother of Yahshua and Yahshua himself found favour with Yahweh (Luk 1:30; 2:52).
Psa_5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour (delight) wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
Num 14:8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
Psa_44:3 For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou had favour (delight) unto them. (Compare this with Jer 16:13 below)
The teaching of the above sample scriptures is the righteous or those with whom God finds delight get his favour or because he has a purpose for their lives. We read this in Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7:10 and 46.
Pro_14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour (delight).
Jer 16:10 And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God? Jer 16:11 Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; Jer 16:13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour (gracious).
The teaching of these sample scriptures is that the disobedient of God’s laws, sinners, do not get His favour and any he gave them is taken away. We read in Romans 1:24-26 how God gave up those who went against him.
Mercy: There are seven Hebrew and seven Greek words translated into the single English word “mercy”. Their meaning range from compassion, pity, kindness and a special one for the covering of the mercy seat. The main Hebrew use being kindness used 247 times and compassion for the Greek.
A couple of examples of the common use from Old and New Testaments are….
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Dan_9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
Deu 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; Deu 7:10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Deu 7:11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.
However, regardless of the precise meaning of the words what is more important is to whom does Yahweh bestow His favour and mercy. That is the focus of this study.
Exo 15:13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. In this verse we read God led His people whom He had redeemed.
If one wants to call on the New Testament concept of receiving the promise of God through faith as for example in Romans 4 or Galatians, they should note the promise is based on for example Deuteronomy verses.
Gal_3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Gal_3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. Gal_3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Gal_3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Deu 7:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: And from the New Testament, Peter speaking to the Jews on the Day of Pentecost Act_2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Nathan the prophet, relaying God’s message to David, told him in 2Sa 7:15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. Why did God take away His mercy from Saul? For disobedience. Even though scripture says God once chose Saul, that Saul wanted and thought he was serving God when he forced himself to offer a burnt offering to God because Samuel failed to turn up on time (1 Sam 13:12). Samuel established obedience is better than sacrifice and not obeying is a sin likened to witchcraft (1 Sam 15:22).
1Ki 3:6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. (In this sentence the same Hebrew word is translated as both mercy and kindness). 1Ki 8:23 And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:
We read God gives His mercy / Grace to those who walk before Him i.e. as did Noah, Enouch and David. Psa 25:10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
Psa 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; Psa 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
We read in Deu 17:18 how God instructed kings to have a copy of the laws from which to learn to fear him. From whichever legitimate way we look at the favour and mercy of God, it brings us back to obeying His laws.
Deu 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
Deu_5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
Deu_8:6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
Psa_111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: Ecc_12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Psa_118:4 Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever. In the New Testament we see Gentiles who “feared” the God of the Jews doing the teachings of Moses to the Jews. Such as Cornelius in Acts 10:2, 22. In Acts 13:16 and 26 Paul is speaking in the synagogues to the gentiles who “feared” God. They kept the Saturday Sabbath day and the other holy days of Yahweh. Peter summarized it in Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Psa_119:124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.
When false prophets taught the people to corrupt Gods ways he said in Isa_9:17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. God does not like hypocrites. Those who say they are believers; but refuse to keep His ways. On those He may not show His mercy or it could be only for a time like with king Saul.
Hos_6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
We can sing, praise and pay huge financial seed sowing to prosperity preachers as we want; but if our knowledge and obedience of God is in error we may not get the mercy of God we desire.
Isa_14:1 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
Isa_27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour. Jer_13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
In the KJV there are 217 uses of the word mercy compared to 59 in the New Testament. In the gospels we do not get to see the criteria for receiving mercy only that many lamed etc asked for it from Yahshua as he walked around among His countrymen; practicing Jews. In Luke we get a hint from the words of Zacharias a Jew filled with the Holy Ghost and prophesied saying about John the Baptist.
Luk 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, Luk 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; Luk 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: Luk 1:71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; Luk 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
Next Romans 11 tells a good story of gentiles getting mercy and why.
Using the analogy of two olive trees, Paul tells them how some of the Jews, the unbelieving ones, were temporarily cut off of the good olive tree. However, because they are branches of the good holy olive tree, them as branches are also holy (v16). Some of the gentiles who are of a wild olive tree, were grafted into those UNBELIEVING JEWISH branches and as such partake of the root and fatness of the holy olive tree (v17). How can that be, they do not have the belief in the Messiah? But they do have and keep the law inclusive of feast days. It is commonly taught that gentiles, or Christians, are grafted into the good holy olive tree itself. This is the common teaching of verse 19; but read careful it is clear this is what the gentiles are saying not what is necessarily happening. Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
Paul tells the gentiles they are not to think or boast they are better than the unbelieving Jews. A common thought and teaching among Christians today. Christians may have the faith; but the branches have the law. In fact the comers by faith should be in fear they have not what the branches have (v 20). Both are needed commandments of God and faith of Yahshua (Rev 14:12). If God did not spare the branches for their unbelief neither would he spare you because you solely have faith (v 21). The branches can be attached back once they believe in the Messiah. Gentiles, as part of the branches, can be attached with them if they have acquired what the branches have, commandments and faith. When the graffing back into the good olive tree happens ALL Israel will be saved (v26). Now there are two schools of thought of who these Gentiles are. The ten tribe descendant Jews who were scattered among the gentile nations or the gentile nations themselves. That is another study.
Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
Rom 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Rom 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Rom 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear: Rom 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Rom 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. Rom 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Remember the will of God is for all to walk in His ways not of false gods nor in disobedience. Act 14:15 We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Act 14:16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
Rom 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,[LOOK FOR SCRIPTURE BUT NOW CALL YOU TO FOLLOW HIM or similar].
To make sure my quotations are not being mis interpreted, I am NOT saying believers have to become Jews. With their added on traditions. I am saying become a believer in what Yahweh instructed and demonstrated can be kept by his son born in human flesh and tempted as are we.
Most of the time New testament usage is as a greeting or farewell i.e. may the mercy of God be with you. The few other times it is used as an indicator of who and how to get Yahweh’s mercy is.
Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Here we at least see one has to become a new creature in the Messiah. That new creature must walk in the light. The laws of God are light onto ones feet.
Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, Tit 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Remember, the mercy seat is where God met the High priest and forgave sins. Exo_25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
Lev_16:14 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. Lev_16:15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:
Today we refer to the equivalent of the sanctuary’s mercy seat as God’s heavenly throne of grace to where we take our sins for forgiveness. Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Would the same spiritual death not happen today with those despising Yahweh’s laws? Hebrews 6:19 speaks of the Messiah taking His blood within the veil to the throne of grace as the High priest did in the sanctuary. Hebrews 9 gives a more detailed narrative of the Day of Atonement as found in Lev 16 and the Messiahs replacement.
My Hebrew and Greek study bible comes with a notation to Mic 6:8. Reading from verse 5 to get the context.
Mic 6:5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD. Mic 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Mic 6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Yahshua referred to this scripture twice.
The notation says “Mercy” is translated from the Hebrew word chêsêd [kheh'-sed H2617] the closest Old Testament equivalent to the New Testament term “grace”. It encompasses the two commandments (or summary of the commandments) which Jesus said were the most important: to love the Lord your God (Yahweh) and love your neighbor as yourself (see Deut 6:4-9, Matt 22:34-40).
How does this add to our understanding of “Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”: Grace being the favour or mercy of God. Does God arbitrarily or automatically dish out his favour? Does anyone automatically and arbitrarily do that? I think not. One does not give favour to any and everybody. Does it not stand to reason and the scriptures support, Yahweh’s favour is given to one that pleases Him. That loves Him. Remember Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. John says to love God is to keep His commandments. That is not to say God will not show mercy to one who calls on Him like an atheist in despair. He shows mercy on whom He will for what purpose, calling or testimony He wills.
So I would conclude by repeating what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Do that and scriptures says you would please Yahweh God and receive His favour, mercy and grace by which we will be saved.
I congratulate you here today for changing your lives and allocation of your precious time to trying to keep Yahweh’s holy days and ways. You should be proud of yourselves for having the conviction to be a peculiar person, setting your ways apart from those of the world’s. I encourage you to continue and may Yahweh’s favour and mercy be with you always.
2Jn_1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 2Pe_2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.