Proverbs 12:2

Favor from the Lord

 

A Good Man

1. Good: good; pleasant; agreeable; appropriate; becoming; valuable in estimation; pleasing; fair; beneficial; kind; prosperous; bountiful; well favored; (used 559 times in the Old Testament).

2. There are four passages in the Bible, which describe the character of the good man.

3. Looking at the character of the good man will tell us what KIND of man can expect to obtain the favor of the Lord.

a. Ps. 112:5 – a good man lends, shows favor to others, and handles his affairs with discretion—common sense; discernment; wisdom.
• He shows favor to others. (Favor: to be gracious; show favor; pity; mercy; consideration)
» Good men are not selfish, but are considerate of others… of the needs and feelings of others.
» Good men show grace to others… if God has shown grace to us, then we ought to show it to others. Good men are gracious—not ready to chop your head off for the slightest infraction… gracious!
» Good men show pity on the plight of others… show mercy.
» The man who shows favor to others will OBTAIN favor from the Lord!
• He lendeth: he gives money or goods to those in need.
» Eph. 4:28 – he works so that he is ABLE to lend or give.
» Again, the good man is not selfish, but considers others.
» If we are selfish and keep everything to ourselves, we are not good men. Good men think about others.
• He guides his affairs with discretion:
» His affairs: word; speech; business; occupation; acts; matter; case; manner (by extension).
» It can be used of speech in particular (what he talks about) and it can be used in a more general sense of his business matters… his affairs… his manner of life…
» Discretion: judgment, justice, ordinance; sound judgment; wisdom; a sense of right and wrong;
» A good man does things RIGHT… he doesn’t cut corners; he doesn’t cheat; he doesn’t fudge with the truth; he follows the way of wisdom.
» Good men walk in the way of wisdom. Good men LISTEN to sound judgment because they WANT to do things right.
» The speech—in fact the whole manner of life—all of the affairs of a good man are submitted to discretion… judgment.
• THIS is the man who can expect to obtain favor from the Lord: the one who lends; gives; shows favor to others; and guides his life by means of discretion… he does things right.
» You can’t be a good man if you don’t have these qualities.

b. Prov. 13:22 – he leaves an inheritance for his children—he takes care of his family financially.
• The good man is here described as one who leaves an inheritance for his children.
• Once again, the emphasis on selflessness.
• Bumper sticker: I’m spending my kids inheritance!
• The idea behind the proverb is not so much how MUCH money one leaves behind. The real thought is a good man is CONCERNED about the well being of his family!
• He is concerned about them in life; and he even plans ahead for them after his life is over! That’s a good man.
• He doesn’t spend it all on himself; he doesn’t blow his wealth on fast living; he is frugal; honors the Lord with his substance—and God blesses his substance!
• This is consistent with what the previous passage said about the good man: he thinks of others; he shows favor to others; and he guides his business affairs with discretion—wisdom, and thus HAS something to leave to his children.

c. Prov. 14:14 – the good man is satisfied with his ways.
• Just as the evil man is filled with his ways; the good man will be filled with his ways too.
• You reap what you sow. The good man sowed good seed and will be rewarded with good fruit. That is satisfying!
• He will be satisfied because of what GOD wrought in his life!
• Nothing is more satisfying than to see more of Christ manifested through us—more of His grace, mercy, love, and holiness.
• Nothing is more satisfying for the believer than to be growing in grace and the knowledge of Christ—become more and more mature in the things of the Lord…
• This brings deeper rest and deeper satisfaction…
• A good man is a satisfied man… content… resting…
• He is content and can sleep at night because he knows he is walking with God… he knows he is using discretion in the affairs of his household… he knows he is submitted to the Word of God… and abiding in Christ.
• Being satisfied and being a good man in the eyes of the Lord go hand in hand.
• If you are not this kind of good man—you won’t experience this kind of satisfaction.
• If you are this kind of a good man—you can’t help but experience this kind of satisfaction in life—even if you are facing severe trials.
• Outer turmoil has nothing to do with inner rest.

d. Matt. 12:35 – good things come out of his heart.
• Good trees produce good fruit. Corrupt trees produce corrupt fruit.
• Good hearts emit good things. Evil hearts emit evil things.
• Our hearts are capable of all kinds of evil. (Matt. 15:19)
• When controlled by the Spirit, good things will come from a good heart. GOODNESS is a fruit of the Spirit.
• When controlled by the flesh—evil things will come from our old heart.
• A good man is Spirit controlled—and thus good things will emanate from his heart… good thoughts… good words… good motives… good intentions… good deeds… good steps…
• The man who expects to obtain favor from the Lord is Spirit filled… and consistently has good things coming out of his heart. That man WILL obtain favor of the Lord.

4. Obtaineth favor: not every man will obtain favor from God… only the “good man.”

a. Ps. 5:12 – God’s favor is a shield:

b. Ps. 30:7 – God’s favor = our strength!

c. Favor: pleasure; delight; favour; goodwill; acceptance

d. God is pleased with and will show favor upon the good man.

e. This speaks of a RELATIONSHIP.
• When your son is doing well, the relationship is sweet. You delight in showing your approval.
• When your son is not doing well, but shows a rebellious spirit… murmuring…confrontational… mean-spirited…THEN the relationship is hurting.
• That parent is not going to be showing favor or delight to that child… not until the attitude changes.
• A relationship is reciprocal. So is our relationship with God.
• Our position before Him is eternally settled—but the condition of that relationship is very changeable.
• When our life displays the life of a good man—then God delights in showing us favor.
• When our life displays the opposite of being a good man—then God is not obligated to bless us… He is not obligated to show us favor at all!
• It is the GOOD man who obtains favor of the Lord.

5. Ways in which God shows favor to the good man

a. Prov. 8:35 – here is another description of the man who obtains favor from the Lord.
• Vs. 12 – Wisdom is personified.
• The man who FINDS wisdom finds life… (He knows how to live!)… and he will obtain favor from the Lord.
• Wisdom leads to favor!
• The good man is the one who walks in wisdom… who seeks after wisdom… who FINDS wisdom—for the one who genuinely seeks for God’s wisdom WILL find it.
• Prov. 1:20-23 – wisdom is crying out—and God expects us to LISTEN. If we listen, we will find wisdom.
• If we find wisdom… and walk in it—then we will obtain favor from the Lord.
• God can bless whomever He wants. He TELLS us who He is going to bless—the one who seeks, finds, and walks in His wisdom.
• The one who rejects God’s wisdom is wronging his own soul… and loves death!

b. Ps. 37:23-24 – his steps are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way.
• God makes the steps of a good man FIRM.
• The steps are ordered by the Lord = [Ordered =established; made firm; strong]
» Translated ‘ordained’ — Ps. 7:13 – arrows ‘directed’ or pointed and thus ‘ordained’ in a certain direction.
» Translated ‘establish’ — Ps. 89:5 — God promises to ‘establish’ David’s seed… take care of it… protect it… build it up…
» Translated ‘make ready’ — Gen. 43:16 — used of preparing food. Food is prepared when all the necessary ingredients are provided for and put together.
» Translated ‘fixed’ — Ps. 57:7 – a fixed heart = a firm, solid heart; steadfast; steady;

• All of these usages give us a flavor of what is meant. The steps of a good man are:
» Ordained by God—set in a certain direction—pointed like an arrow at a target… God gives direction to the steps of a good man through the Word!
» Good men walk with God and are thus protected by Him… held up by Him… in the place where all the necessary ingredients for a good life are available!
» If a good man steps outside of that pathway, there IS no help from God… no protection… no strength from above..
» The straight and narrow road is the path on which we find the steps of a good man! And while narrow and restricted, it is safe!
• And if the good man falls, the Lord will help him up!

2b But a man of wicked devices will He condemn…

1. Prov. 24:16 – A just man falls 7 times, but gets up again. The wicked fall… and stay there!

2. The man who is NOT good (a man of wicked devices) will NOT be held up by the Lord. He will be condemned.

3. The man who SHOWS favor to others will OBTAIN favor from the Lord.

4. The man who does NOT show favor to others is kidding himself if he expects to obtain favor from the Lord.

5. God has already TOLD us how He operates.

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