Psalm 85 - What is God’s Favor Anyway?

Faithfulness will spring up from the ground and righteousness will look down from the sky. The Lord will give us what is good Psalm 85:11-12.

Americans spent about 33 billion dollars last year on pet food, while the United Nations estimates it would cost 30 billion dollars a year to provide basic health and nutrition to everyone in the world.

We spent about 13 billion dollars last year on ice cream, 2 billion dollars more than the estimated cost of providing clean water and safe sewers for the world's population.

American men and women spend 8 billion dollars a year on cosmetics, it would not take much more to provide basic education for everyone in the world. There is something wrong with a world where the distribution of goods is so disproportionate.

We tout our lifestyle as the model for the world without understanding if everyone enjoyed our way of life, we would all be doomed, because we would consume it all in a generation.

Righteousness becomes reachable when we are faithful disciples of Jesus. “Will you not revive us again to that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.” Psalms 85:6-7.

What does “God’s favor” mean for us today? Every time we pray the Lord’s prayer we say, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done – on earth as it is in heaven.”

We are praying, as a people of God, that we expect that one day the earth will again look like God’s kingdom.

Through our baptism, we are all called to God’s work, being the people that bring God’s reign here and now.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that, “Our prayers are the means by which the disciples become partakers in the heavenly treasure for which they pray.”

So, you and I then become responsible for God’s work to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Bonhoeffer goes on to say, “In the end the whole world must bow before that will, worshipping and giving thanks in joy and tribulation.”

Yes, God cares for us – God cares for those who seek to live according to God’s will. Our prayer life brings us into line with God’s will.

When Jesus began his public ministry, he said: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, the release for the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor Luke 4:18. Jesus teaches us what it means to be righteous.

Dr. Jeff McDonald is Senior Pastor of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Houston. He and his staff would love to have you visit for church if you are ever in the area.

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