I Entreat Your Favor | Psalm 119:58

I entreat your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.

Psalm 119:58 ESV

As we gaze upon this verse, we should note that the two lines are essentially the same. Especially within the Old Testament, the favor of God is much the same as the grace of God. For instance, when Noah found favor in God’s eyes (Genesis 6:8), we can read that God looked graciously upon Noah. Thus, the two phrases I entreat your favor and be gracious to me are parallel with one another, for the prayer be gracious to me was the psalmist’s entreaty of God’s favor.

We then ought to notice that the psalmist made this entreaty with all his heart. And why would he not? When a man is brought before a judge without any covering of his guilt, he can plea for a merciful judgment. He cannot expect the judge simply to pass over his crimes, but he can hope for a verdict that issues justice but not too severely. If that is the case with an earthly judge, how much more when the Judge of all the earth looks upon the very depths of our hearts? Before His all-seeing, all-knowing eyes, what excuses can we bring for our sins? We have no plea, except to appeal to His grace. Like the psalmist, we can do nothing else but cry out with all our heart for God to be gracious to us.

Yet if such a plea were nothing more than a desperate cry in dark, then it would be a pitiful sight to behold. However, that is not the case! The psalmist had a sure hope in praying for God’s favor, for he did so according to your promise. In other words, through God’s Word, the psalmist knew that the LORD is a God of grace. Therefore, his entreaty for God’s favor was not a blind leap of faith.

Indeed, he very likely recalled God’s marvelous revelation of Himself to Moses in Exodus 34:6-7:

The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

Yet as marvelous as that revelation and promise of God was, we have an even greater revelation and promise, for Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us: “Long ago, in many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…”

Jesus is the perfect revelation of God’s graciousness. He gave His life to cancel the debt of our sins by nailing them to His cross. In Him, we have been chosen, forgiven, adopted, and sealed by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Brothers and sisters, if the psalmist had great reason to entreat God’s favor with his whole heart according to the gracious promises of God, we have a far greater reason to do so in Christ our Lord!

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