Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: Finding Favor with the King by Tommy Tenney

This is my second time reading Finding Favor with the King. I read it about 10 years ago and I wanted to reread it to see where I am with this topic, how it might have influenced or changed my life and the lives of others around me who may have received or are currently receiving God’s favor or not.

The book compares Esther’s Biblical story to how we should approach God. Esther’s relationship with her husband showed how favored she was in his eyes. She approached him at a time when he was doing something important and she was unsure if something bad would happen when approaching him unannounced, or if he would receive her. The way she approached him, what she asked for to try to get him and her people’s enemy at a place to discuss the issue, and the way she discussed the issue are opened up in this book. It also explains twelve protocols of the place and helps people to put them into action.

Now for my 10 years of this topic of God’s favor settling in:

The Bible explains that God doesn’t play favorites with his people but there seem to be clear examples of times he did pour favor out onto others. In the Bible it seemed to me that the closer people were in relationship with him (and weren’t just trying to get anything they could from him), the more favor he poured out to them it seems. I noticed that he did (and probably still does) pour out his favor on people when there are Godly purposes behind the requests, which was the case with this account of the favor that he poured out onto Esther and her people’s lives from what she asked while in relationship with her husband, which saved the lives of many people. This victory is still celebrated today through Purim.

Sometimes we have favor within our families and with friends we know really well, depending on how deep the relationships are. The Bible explains for his people not to play favorites (meaning outside of those relationships I think) and I think there are good reasons for that, reasons that God might only know about. Outside of our families we might favor people because they give us money, gifts, or because they dress nice while those without extra money and nice clothes we might not favor. So, in those cases I can probably see why God doesn't want us to play favorites. 

Sometimes at congregations people that have extra money to spend will be able to take classes, go on trips, and eat out with other people in those congregations. These people can come into that inner circle and begin to receive favor from the other people in the circle. But what happens to the people that do not have extra money to spend on these same fellowship opportunities? They are often left on the outside of the circle....in no circle at all really. These people might think if God’s people don’t want to have any kind of relationship with them because they do not have any money to get into their inner circle, then God might not want to be in relationship with them either…and that is damaging to probably anybody that goes through that.

I have come to believe that God’s view of relationship is different then our’s (in different ways probably). I believe God looks at ours hearts, not our pocketbooks or what kind of clothes we wear and it is my hope that humans will start to look at people like God does more often also. Dressing as nice as we can when we come into his presence is something I took into consideration from reading this book though. We do not have to approach him with any money in our hands (unless he puts it on our hearts to give money to our congregations or for other Godly and Kingdom purposes) but I believe he does want our time so we can develop better relationships with him. 

Reading this book this time around opened my mind to the difference between the favor of God and the favor of humans (as I described above). Sometimes God will put us in favorable situations with humans if there are Godly and Kingdom purposes behind it. There are some times though when people will give us favor for purposes that are not related to him and his Kingdom and we need to have good discernment about when that is happening so we can discern if it’s God’s or people’s favor.  It also showed me how God’s favor benefits many people, not just the first person (people) that first receives it.

My review = 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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