"And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed towards this people..." Exodus 3: 21
Already at the burning bush, God tells Moses this outcome of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. The phrase "favorably disposed towards" is a phrase that is repeated a couple more times in Exodus 11 and 12, referring to the attitude of the Egyptians, who give them all kinds of treasures as they leave in the night. The Israelites asked their neighbors for things, and they were not refused. The explanation for their gifts is quickly followed by a reference that the Egyptian people and court officials had a high view of Moses and respected him even when Pharaoh insisted on double dealing and hardening his heart.
This phrase about being "favorably disposed towards" someone resonates with me because so much in our relationships and communications with others depends on our general disposition towards one another. If someone is naturally disposed to mistrust others or to see any change as a threat, it will have a significant effect on how one may relate to him or her. An outlook of suspicion tends to poison even well-meant gestures or kind words.
I'm increasingly convinced that in addition to praying for vision, good ideas and wisdom, leaders ought also to ask the LORD to make others "favorably disposed towards" them and the wise and godly ideas they are presenting. Unless there is a level of favor and respect to properly listen to what needs to be presented, explained or taught, little progress can be made. Whether it is a building program that requires donors to come forward or a change in focus for an organization, favor is much needed among the stakeholders. When we recognize that such favor needs to precede our flashy presentation, we will humbly go to the only One who can cultivate such a quality in people's hearts.
We can learn from another Bible character in this regard. Nehemiah prayed to God for the king's favor when he was about to request a leave of absence so that he might rebuild Jerusalem's walls. It is recorded that the Persian King Artaxerxes, who would not naturally be inclined to help a subjugated people, did give favor to Nehemiah's petition. He granted him letters of support and building materials as well.
When God prepares people's hearts, we will often be surprised at the generous outpouring of support.
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