There are many words for “grace” in the scriptures.
This is some of the reason people don’t see grace in the bible as often as they oughta. They don’t realize grace and favor are synonyms.
When God grants people favor—when he picks favorites, be they individuals or entire nations—he’s showing ’em grace. They don’t merit his favor; they don’t earn it. You don’t earn it. That’s the usual complaint about favor: It’s not fair. “Why do you keep playing favorites?” Because they’re favorites. It’s not deserved; it’s inherently unfair. Just like grace—which is kinda what makes it awesome.
But I realize a lot of people use the term incorrectly. Such as when they insist, “You owe me a favor”—supposedly they’ve racked up enough karma points, and are hoping to draw from them.
Or “Noah found favor in the eyes of the L
Other translations have just as much a tendency to render these words as either grace or favor, depending on translator’s preference. Obviously the
Don’t miss God’s favor! Or grace. Whichever.
Yes, the subject of grace and favor come up a bit less often in the Old Testament than the New. Primarily because the
Proverbs 3.34 KWL
- 34 If the L
ORDscoffs, it’s toward scoffers. If he gives grace, it’s to the lowly. James 4.6 KWL
- 6 Hence God greatly gives us grace. This is why the the scripture says,
- “God sets himself against the proud, and gives grace to the humble.”
Pr 3.34 1 Peter 5.5 KWL
- Young people likewise: Submit to elders, and everyone put on humility.
- For “God’s in opposition to the arrogant, and gives grace to the lowly.”
Some of the nouns might’ve changed a smidge in translation, but grace didn’t.
True, not all the favor in the bible is a reference to God’s favor. Often they’re looking to kings, pharaohs, and shahs. But that’s still a lot more favor than various Christians expect the Old Testament to have. They have this false idea that grace is a New Testament concept, and rules and legalism are how the Old Testament dispensation ran—that God changed his system of salvation once he realized it wasn’t working. But that’s entirely wrong. God’s always saved us by his grace.
And we don’t even need the word grace to see instances of grace all over the Old Testament. God regularly spared sinners when they deserved much worse. He chose Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the entire nation of Israel, David, Jeremiah, and other people as his friends and messengers and rescuees. True, he let Israel’s enemies destroy it, but he also brought ’em back.
If God ever functioned on a quid pro quo basis, giving people only what they deserve and no more, frankly he should’ve drowned Noah along with the rest of humanity. Should keep drowning us till we learn better. But God is infinitely gracious.
My point is to not limit God’s grace only to the word grace when you do your word studies. Read your bible. See God’s grace throughout. He’s generous and forgiving, and his attitude towards his people isn’t at all hard to find.