“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.”  Ecclesiastes 9:11

This is a very interesting passage, written by the wisest man who ever walked the earth (other than Jesus). His name is Solomon and he is the son of King David. In the system of the world, the race goes to the swift, the battle to the strong, bread to the wise, riches to men of understanding and favor to men of skill. The world’s system of reward is based on meritocracy and achievement. In other words, you will succeed in life based on how swift, strong, wise, knowledgeable and skillful you are. It is based entirely on you and your abilities.

‘As a new covenant believer in Christ, while you are living in the world’s system that is based on meritocracy, you have a supernatural advantage because you have the unmerited favor of Jesus.’

Listen closely to what I am saying. There is essentially nothing wrong with this system of reward in the world. Meritocracy is a good system and it has caused nations to flourish, communities to prosper, and given people the incentive to create opportunities for themselves. However, as new covenant believers in Christ, while we are living in the world’s system that is based on meritocracy, we have a supernatural advantage because we have the unmerited favor of Jesus.


God is interested in your success. Even if you are not the swiftest, strongest, wisest, most knowledgeable and most skillful in the natural, God can still bless you with good success when you depend on His grace. You can rise above the system of meritocracy through His undeserved, unearned and unmerited favor. The system of the world only rewards the strong, while those who are weak are neglected and in some cases, even despised. But, in Jesus, there is hope for the weak. God’s way is completely opposite from the world’s way. According to 1 Corinthians 1:26, “not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” Isn’t it fascinating to discover that while the world looks favorably upon the wise, mighty and noble, God does not? Let’s see in the next verse what God chooses instead: “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” Isn’t it amazing? God has chosen the foolish and weak things to qualify for His abundant blessings. But the verse does not say that the foolish and weak things will remain foolish and weak. Instead, by God’s unmerited favor, they will put to shame the so-called wise and mighty things in this world. In His hands of grace, the foolish and weak things become even wiser and mightier than the wise and mighty things of the world.

My friend, when you look at yourself and see only weaknesses, bear in mind that God can use you. It is those who are proud and who depend on their human strength that God cannot use. Why does the Lord choose foolish and weak things to confound the wise and mighty things of this world? The answer is simple. It’s so that “no flesh should glory in His presence.” God chooses the things that are weak in the natural so that no man can boast of his own ability. All glory redounds to the Lord and as the Bible tells us, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

We see this in the story of Moses. In his first 40 years as an Egyptian prince who was looked up to and admired, he thought that he knew everything. The Bible says that in this first 40 years, Moses was “mighty in words and deeds,” but God could not use him. However, in the next 40 years, something happened to Moses. He had fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, and went to dwell in the Midian desert. He became a shepherd and was no longer considered mighty in words nor deeds. Indeed, he had even become a stutterer. And at this point in his life, when he probably thought that he was a has-been, insignificant compared to what he had been, and that his glory-days were behind him, God appeared to him and said, “…I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people…out of Egypt.”

The Bible tells us that “God resists the proud, but gives grace [unmerited favor] to the humble.”Beloved, God will not impose His unmerited favor on us. Whenever we want to depend on ourselves and our wisdom, He will allow us to do so. His unmerited favor is given to those who humbly acknowledge that they cannot succeed in their own strength and ability.

– Unmerited Favor by Joseph prince