Friday, June 22, 2018

In the Sight of God and Man (Part 1)

At 3:00 a.m. I grabbed my Bible before crawling into bed from exhaustion.  Leaning over to the nightstand I opened the top drawer pulling out my electronic version to reread a passage that was bookmarked.

I’ve been focusing on the books of Psalms and Proverbs at night and wanted to compare a verse from two translations.  As I read the scriptures from the different references something didn’t seem quite right.

By now it was almost daylight and going back and forth over the scriptures I still had no answers.  I was trusting in the Lord, because understanding … well, let’s say it was yet to be found.

Reading through Psalms and Proverbs

I don’t recall how long it’s been since I’ve been reading a Proverb and/or Psalm daily, but I have tried to make it a regular practice.  In my studies I’m near the end of Proverbs and reading through Psalm 119.  Clicking on the passage I bookmarked on the electronic Bible, I saw the word “favor” in the last part of the verse. 

Wait a minute … why didn’t I catch this in the other translation a few months ago when I was reading that passage.  Now I really couldn’t sleep.

In Sight of God and Man

For those who want to study the Bible in depth, the third chapter of Proverbs is divided into three main topics: trusting God, wisdom, with the last section discussing how we should treat others.  Reading the first six verses in the beginning of the chapter there were two words that kept me rereading the passage.

Like many people, after you’ve read something several times you sort of just glance over it and keep going.  When I got to verse four I stopped and did a retake on what I just read. 

“… in the sight of God and man.”

Wait a minute … there are only a few biblical passages that make this claim and they are always attached with stipulations for the promise.  Back tracking a few verses, I found what they were.

Add This to the Mix

I love the book of Proverbs because it’s basically a handbook for Christian living for wisdom and favor from the Lord.  What the reader can gain from this chapter is that keeping the law of God adds days to their life, gives protection, peace and wisdom in decision making.

My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep My commands;
2 For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.
(Proverbs 3:1-3 KJV)

Here is where it gets a bit sticky.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.”

If you want favor to be added into the mix, it will take maintaining a lifestyle of being merciful and truthful. 

Wow, that’s asking a lot isn’t it? Now not only do I have to memorize the Bible, but I have to be kind, forgiving and tell the truth in order for God to give me instructions of which thing I need to do next?

You Can’t, but He Can

If you don’t think you can keep up with all the requirements, you’re right – YOU can’t, but the Holy Spirit operating in you can!  Anyone can keep or break a law, it has nothing to do with spirituality.  However, receiving God’s favor has everything to do with the born-again spirit.

When we ask Jesus to come into our hearts and forgive us of the sins we have committed against God, he does.  This doesn’t mean that we won’t sin again in our lifetime, but that when we do and ask forgiveness for that transgression, we will be forgiven.

You see, with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) Being forgiven from sin allows us to walk in the Righteousness of Jesus and to receive the gifts of God.  Mercy, grace and favor are automatically made possible for the Christian when they trust in God as their source.

An unbeliever may receive “blessings” because they followed the laws of God, but they are not heirs to the spiritual blessings and favor from Him.  Often times people think that when things go their way it’s because they did something themselves, when it’s actually God causing things to fall in place for His children.

And So Find

"3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4 And so find favor and high esteem
(good understanding)
In the sight of God and man.

After I read those two verses I had a little chat with the Lord.  I boldly asked Him to remind when I  as the scripture says, “so found favor and high esteem” placing me in a good light with mankind for being merciful and truthful. 

It didn’t take long for the Holy Spirit to drop something into my memory that took place many years ago.

My Real Fiance’

During a time in my engagement (okay my “last” engagement, no laughing!  This one stuck.), I made arrangements to meet my fiance’ for lunch not far from where he worked as a laboratory glass Lathe operator before he became a carpenter.

Not having much time, we ate in his car enjoying being together in the middle of the day.  Let me rephrase that – he ate, I watched!  Back then I was still shy about eating in front of him. How else was I able to maintain an under 85 pound figure?  I can assure you I’ve gotten over that phase!

It was time for him to return to work.  After making plans for later that night I got back into the Camaro and we started our engines.  

In A Split Second

My future husband went first and since I was going in the same direction I followed behind in my vehicle.  He made a left-hand turn crossing the railroad tracks, then pulling into the parking lot at work he looked in the rearview mirror to see where I was. 

Resting at a complete stop I made sure it was safe to turn left to cross over the railroad tracks as well.  I had almost finished my turn when out of nowhere a car came flying from the lane I had just turned across, avoiding all traffic signs in his direction.   

In a split second my life changed!  

Sorry friends ... you'll have to come back next week to read what happened to me in the sight of God and man!

Until next time, God’s favor is no accident!

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Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief. 
Unless noted, scripture reference in series was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Bible Gateway.  Image credit:  Creative Common License if not specified. 

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