Mishlei: Finding Favor in the Eyes of God and Man
“And you will find favor and goodly wisdom in the eyes of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:4) The Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 9:4) teaches: “And the Lord saw all that he had done, and behold it was very good (Genesis 1).” The Holy One, Blessed is He, said, “My world! My world! I wish that you would find favor before Me at every moment as you have found favor before Me at this moment.”
The idea of “favor” is a certain spiritual sweetness that pours over something. There is no word to describe this type of “finding favor,” for it is an entirely Spiritual idea. When there is a spiritual connection, and an attachment of souls between two people, they begin to see in each other what no one else can see. That connection and attachment that allows us to see in someone else what others cannot is how we understand the concept of “finding favor.”
The same is true in all of creation. There is far more that is hidden then it is what revealed. Only God can see all, both the revealed and the hidden. God looks at the world and sees it through this vision of “finding favor,” and perceives the hidden as something beautiful. Even when God, Omniscient, looked through the future and saw all that would be done to displease Him, He looked even deeper and saw the beauty that would “find favor” in His eyes.
In that moment, when God observed His creation, and saw beyond all the mistakes that would be made, all the rebellions, all the things that would displease Him, He looked deeper and, “found favor” in His creation, and He blessed creation, and said, “My world! My world! I wish that you would find favorable for Me at every moment as you have found favor before Me at this moment.”
When King Solomon speaks to us of “finding favor,” he is telling us that we can access that blessing from that moment.
What was the “favor” God found at that moment? He looked at the world’s final perfection. When He blessed the world that it “find favor” in His eyes at every moment, God was blessing the world with the ability to attach to that perfection at any given moment.
King Solomon is teaching us that we have the ability to attach to that moment, that blessing, and “find favor,” in the eyes of “God and man.” In order to do so we must first find wisdom, the wisdom to see the world not only as it is, but as a world of potential; a Perfect World.
The person who has the wisdom to see the potential perfection in every moment, and to find favor in the eyes of God, will not only be able to look at every person with the same ability to “find favor,” he will find favor in the eyes of others as well.
This is why this chapter of Proverbs speaks of Ethical Instruction and Rebuke, both absolutely necessary ingredients to attach to that blessing: The person who can receive instruction without resentment, who can be rebuked and not be annoyed, will learn to appreciate both as opportunities; a path to perfection: Grabbing onto that blessing.