In Genesis 34, there is a young man named Shechem who rapes Jacob's daughter, Dinah. It is a terrible story. Strangely, Shechem falls in love with Dinah, the girl he most certainly did not love, while he was taking advantage of her.

In love as he is, Shechem goes to Jacob to seek Dinah's hand in marriage. Amidst the talks, we read in verse 11 of Genesis 34, "Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, 'Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give.'"

Shechem is seeking favor by offering to pay whatever bride price they ask of him. It was a fatal flaw. Shechem did not receive their favor as Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi, avenge their sister's rape by slaughtering Shechem and his people.

So it is with God: we cannot buy his favor. There is no price we can pay to remove the stain of our sin and guilt. No, favor with God is something that is only given. God's eyes look upon us with favor only in Christ through the gift of His righteousness, paid for by the riches of His grace.

Apart from God's favor, disaster awaits. But with it, everything good is stored up for us.