“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” – Acts 10:34-35
God is no respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of obedience which leads to righteousness. The phrase “respect of persons” implies “favoritism“, while the word righteous means “to be in right standing with God“, and to be in right standing with God you must be obedient.
“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” – 1 Samuel 15:22-23
When we look at the lives of Saul and of David we see two men who made mistakes. We see David making more mistakes then Saul and even acts that we might see as far more grievous mistakes then Saul. While for the sin of keeping the spoils of war the kingdom was stripped from Saul, David had blood on his hands and was forgiven. It would seem that God was showing favoritism to David, but He wasn’t. You see, there was a big difference between Saul and David and it wasn’t their sin, for all sin is death and separation from God no matter how big or how small, but rather the difference was in their reaction to being confronted with it. When the prophet Samuel went to Saul with correction for his disobedience, he got stubborn about it. Yet when the prophet Nathan went to David with correction for his sin, he listened, was broken about it, and sought the Lord for instruction with a repented heart. The main difference between Saul and David was that David was correctable because his heart’s greatest desire was to be obedient to God above all and it broke his heart when he failed to do so. You see, while God did not show unjust favoritism toward David over Saul, His divine favor was upon David and was stripped from Saul because David valued being in right standing with God over the spoils of war and royalty, and above all the desires of his own heart. Because of this he was always either in right standing with God, or trying to get back into right standing with God when he realized that he had strayed from it.
To be in right standing with God, we have to obey God, allow Him to direct where we stand in all things, and when we mess up and get off track we must humble ourselves as David did and allow Him to redirect us. For only then will His great favor fall on you that you be able to avail much for the kingdom of God. If we are not standing right where He is telling us to stand, right when He is telling us to stand there then we are not in His right standing where His great favor is, but are in fact walking in our own. Seek the Lord in all things that you might come to understand His perfect will and walk therein, where grace, favor, power, and protection abides.
“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” – Romans 10:2-3
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” – Hosea 10:12