“And the Lord I gave the people favor 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.”
– Exodus 11:3
Isn’t that an interesting verse? Think about this. This is the story of the final plague that threatened the people of Egypt. So there’s been plague after plague, after plague, nine of them up to this point. Disaster coming across Egypt. And it’s all because Pharaoh is refusing to soften his heart before God and let God’s people go from slavery into the wilderness to worship him.
God’s Promises to the Israelites
And so we come to this last plague, the whole chapter begins in Exodus 11:1, “Yet one more plague I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward, he will let you go from here. And when he lets you go, he will drive you away completely.” And then right after that, God says to Moses in verse 2, “Speak now in the hearing of the people that they ask every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor for silver and gold jewelry.” So God had promised, that when he delivers them out of Egypt, the Egyptians will send them out with gifts. With gold and silver, with all of these different things.
And then you get to Exodus 11:3. It says, “The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians.” Moreover, specifically the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the side of the people. God is giving favor to his people in the sight of those who are enslaving them.
Exodus 11:3 is a Picture of God’s Favor
And in light of this picture in Exodus 11:1–3 really, but specifically this picture of favor in Exodus 11:3, I want to lead us to pray for favor in the sight of those who are not followers of Jesus today. For favor in the sight of people who may actually even be opposed to those who have faith in Jesus. Not to ask for favor for the sake of advantages for us or not to ask for favor for selfish means. But to ask for favor so that God’s glory might be made known. Which is exactly what’s going to happen as this final plague plays out and God delivers his people from slavery in Egypt, and God brings them out into, eventually, the Promised Land that all of this will be for the good of God’s people and the glory of God’s name.
Praying for Favor in the Sight of Unbelievers
And so it’s right to pray for favor in the sight of others toward that end. For our good and ultimately for the spread of God’s glory. So, God, we ask for this. And I think about many different ways this might play out in the lives of people who are listening to this right now, praying this right now. I pray for children or students. God, I pray that you would give them favor in the eyes of their friends. And that their friends might see your hand at work in their lives. And God that you might give them favor in the sight of their friends, for their good. For the spread of your glory through their lives.
Favor for the Purpose of Doing Good
God, I pray for men and women in the workplace. God, we pray that you would give favor even in a 1 Peter 2 kind of way through our good deeds. And a Matthew 5:13-16 kind of way. That we might be salt and light. That people might see our lives and give glory to you in heaven. God, we pray that you’d help us to live as salt and light in this way. Help us to trust in you and to follow you in ways that we know, based on all the Jesus taught us, will often lead to opposition from the world and persecution in the world. But God, we ask that you would give favor.
Favor for the Persecuted
God, even along those lines, we pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in the world right now who are imprisoned. Who are in labor camps, who are being ostracized in their communities. God, we pray that you would grant them favor in the eyes of unbelievers around them. God, we pray that you would grant them favor in the eyes of those who are holding them in prison. Only you can do that.
Exodus 11:3: Favor for the Purpose of Glorifying God
We pray that you would give favor for the good of your people and ultimately for the glory of your name. That people might see our lives and give glory to you and heaven. God, we pray for that kind of favor in our lives today and in the lives of others around us who are following you. And, God, in the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world who are following you. Particularly amidst persecution.
Seeking the Right Kind of Favor
And God, we pray for favor like this. I was about to close, but this just came to my mind. God, help us not seek the favor of people around us in ways that cause us to abandon your commands and your word. Those who dilute your commands or your word, or deny your commands and your word.
We know that one of the quickest ways to favor in the world is by compromising in our faith. God, I pray that would not be true. I pray that wouldn’t be true in any child, any student who’s listening to this. Help them to hold fast in their faith. For every man and woman in the marketplace, for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, for each of us. God, help us to hold fast in our faith. Just like we’re seeing here in Exodus 11:3, as they’re holding fast to faith in you, you’re granting favor.
God, give us that kind of favor that comes from holding fast to faith in you. Not in any way compromising in order to try to earn the favor of those around us. God, help us to hold fast to faith in you. And as we do, we pray that by your grace, you would grant favor. That people might see us holding fast to faith in you as salt and light and give glory to you. We pray for this in Jesus’ name. Amen.