Today's VerseNow God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel. — Daniel 1:9 NIV
DevotionDaniel is a good example of what the favor of God can accomplish. Daniel was one of the young men of Judah's royal family and other noble families who had been brought to Babylon as captives by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. The Book of Daniel tells us that Daniel was "highly esteemed" by God (Daniel 10:19). Despite the fact that he lived in the midst of an evil pagan empire, and despite the fact that he maintained his spiritual integrity in that context, Daniel was given favor with the authorities of the realm and moved up the ranks as a result.
The favor of God can be described as the esteem and approval of God that leads to blessings of one kind or another. In Daniel's case, the favor of God led to favor with the official. Favor can be manifested in many ways. For Mary, it meant being selected as the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:28-33). For Moses, it meant receiving God's continuing presence and guidance for leading the people of Israel (Exodus 33:12-17). For Noah, it meant being saved from the flood (Genesis 6:8).
How does one gain the favor of God? 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." In other words, God shows favor to those who seek His favor by loving Him, respecting Him, honoring Him, and taking delight in His Word. This does not mean one must be perfect. None of the people in the Bible who are recorded as receiving God's favor were perfect. It does mean that one must have a heart for God. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
One can also receive the favor of God simply by asking for it. Psalm 119 says, I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise (Psalm 119:58 ESV). Today, as we live the lives God has given us, why not ask Him for favor?