Names of God – part 50
40 Blogs of Lent: 10
Some Christians think that the concept of a Father God was introduced by Jesus, that God our Father has no history before that. But it would be a mistake to think that. Ab, the Hebrew name for father, and used to mean a human father, is found throughout the old testament and Ab is used of God too. In the poetic books it is used as a simile, God is like a father. But Ab is used as a name of God also, the earliest I can find is in the book of Deuteronomy 32:6, saying of God, “Is not he your father, who created you?”
That could be seen as God starting off the Jewish religion, which had a lot to do with the Fathers of that Faith, the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The prophet Isaiah adds to that picture by calling for God’s mercy, saying:
For you are our Father,
though Abraham does not know us,
and Israel does not acknowledge us;
you, O Lord, are our Father,
our Redeemer from of old is your name.
Isaiah 63:16 ESVUK
God is our redeemer, and that is not conditional. It is not through a bloodline through anyone, not even Abraam and Jacob (here called Israel). God is the Father of all who come to him. His love for us has no conditions.
Another prophet went further. Malachi said:
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?
Acting against other people is acting against the covenant of God. If God is our father then we are all brothers and sisters, we are not supposed to be a dysfunctional family but the family of God, so why do we fight. We let human ideas, such as whether we want to be in a country that is a member of the EU divide us, forgetting that in God’s eyes we are all one family. We fight because we think that uniformity, everyone wanting the same thing, is the same as unity. It is not. We are one even when we disagree. It does not stop us being family. God loves us regardless of our disagreements and is still Father no matter what.
Will you accept the gift of love God offers you?
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.