Isaiah 63:16 But you are our Father,
though Abraham does not know us
or Israel acknowledge us;
you, O Lord, are our Father,
our Redeemer from of old is your name.
The Bible has many beautiful expressions of the Fatherhood of God, but this is one of the most poignant. That He is Father is as important, if not more so, than that He is love, (1 John 4:8) though in recent years we seem to focus on that a lot. Part of that comes from the distorted image we have of just what a Father is, courtesy of our own very imperfect fathers. Today we have a famine of fatherhood, with a distressingly high percentage of biological fathers being absent from their children’s lives. Here Isaiah is saying that whatever our physical or social condition, God is never absent. We need to think about that and let it sink in. It should make us rejoice and be deeply grateful, and to the degree it does not, it shows us how distorted our image of Fatherhood really is. An ideal father is both affectionate and firm, loving in the true sense rather than spoiling, desiring and acting for the very best for his children. He is always ready to listen and to give advice, without being a micro-manager. Since we haven’t seen physical fathers who did that perfectly, we have trouble grasping that God really is that way. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the Fatherhood of God to us more and more, so that we may be better children.
I was blessed with a very good father, but he certainly wasn’t perfect. He was a very busy man, and I was the only one of his four children still at home when he realized how low on his priorities he had placed us. He was a deeply loving man, but he didn’t always know how to express that. My memories of him are often of his being there but not being there, so to speak, physically present but without a great deal of interaction. I am probably more like that than I would like to be. People see me as very busy, and they hesitate to ask me for my time. I need to be a good steward of my time, prioritizing by God’s guidance, but I do need to be available as a spiritual father. I must remember that people are always more important than things, and not slight the individual for the sake of the task, as I see it. My task is really to demonstrate the Fatherhood of God, imperfect though I am. If I will do that, more and more people will desire to be His children indeed, and will repent and believe to that end.
Father, thank You for this Word this morning. Thank You for how it fits in with what You had me writing yesterday. I pray that everything I write, everything I say, everything I do would be an undistorted expression of Your truth, filled with Your love, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!