Does God Have Favorites? A Pastor’s Insight

Posted by

Does God Have Favorites

As a pastor, I often get asked the question, “Does God have favorites?” This is a tricky question because it is based on our human understanding of favoritism, which usually implies unfair treatment of those not favored. To fully understand, we must start with the truth that God is always just (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 7:11). He loves everyone since every human being is created in His image (John 3:16; Lamentations 3:22–23; Genesis 1:26). His judgment is always right, so if He favors someone, it is the right thing to do.

God’s Favor and Human Perception

When we think of favoritism, we imagine a place of higher status and less responsibility. However, God’s favor often comes with added duties and more difficult challenges. Jesus is the embodiment of everything God favors. Many times in Scripture, God calls Jesus “My Chosen One” (Isaiah 42:1; Matthew 3:17; 12:18; Luke 9:35). This title is also used for Israel (Isaiah 45:4; 65:9; 1 Kings 11:13). God chose prophets and kings for His own reasons (Exodus 33:17; Daniel 10:11; 1 Samuel 2:26). For instance, Solomon was chosen from all of David’s sons to become the next king (1 Chronicles 28:5–6) and was gifted with wealth, popularity, and wisdom (1 Kings 5:12).

The Responsibility of Being Favored

Many of those whom God favored faced persecution and hardship due to the responsibilities placed upon them. The angel Gabriel greeted Mary with the words, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). Though we don’t know why Mary was chosen, God’s favor resulted in great sorrow and difficulty for her as the mother of the Messiah. The “sword” would “pierce her soul” (Luke 2:35).

Romans 9:14–16 sums up God’s sovereign right to choose: “What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend upon human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”

Our Choices and God’s Favor

Is God’s favor arbitrary? Do our choices impact whether we are among His favorites? Isaiah 66:2 says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” God desires to show favor to all but chooses some for special assignments and blessings. When God instructed Moses about building the tabernacle, He specifically chose Bezalel and Oholiab for their special skills (Exodus 31:1–4, 6). God chooses people because He has gifted them in special ways for special service. As they fulfill their calling, they find favor with Him (Exodus 33:13).

The Nature of God’s Favor

God’s favor is not limited. He does not rank us in order of importance, nor must we compete for His favor. Every child of God who comes to Him through faith in Jesus Christ has the favor of God. Psalm 5:12 says, “For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” It is not our righteousness but the cleansing of our sins by Christ’s blood that earns us favor (Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21). As we grow in faith and seek to please Him, God shows His favor by drawing near to us (James 4:8). He desires to bestow favor on everyone who seeks Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

God’s Children as His Favorites

God’s favorites are His children, purchased through the blood of His Son (John 1:12). As we honor Jesus, God’s favor follows us, manifesting in greater responsibility, blessing, or even suffering for His sake (Acts 5:41). The reward of His favor is His promise that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). When we are God’s favorites, we know He is always with us and will reward us for everything done for Him (Matthew 28:20; Revelation 22:12).

5/5 – (1 vote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *