Chapter 5: The Father.
Chapter 6: The Father’s Love.
Chapter 7: As Father.
We have learnt that God has many names and many attributes.
His name reflects His character – who God truly is.
Isaiah 40:28-29: ‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless.
We are going to look at some of His attributes.
He is the Everlasting God:
His name is Yahweh, Jehovah.
He never needed to be created.
He had no beginning and he has no end.
Revelation 1:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega” says the Lord God, “Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.”
In Exodus 3:13-14, when He appeared to Moses at the burning bush, Moses said to God, “Behold I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘what is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
God said to Moses, “I Am Who I Am”; and he said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I Am has sent me to you.’
In Genesis 21, we see Abraham entering into a covenant with Abimelech, a man-to-man covenant.
This was a covenant that would one day possibly be broken, either by the death of one of the men or by one choosing to break their treaty.
The covenant God made with Abraham is an eternal covenant that will never be broken.
When God made the covenant with Abraham, Abraham was asleep, and God swore by Himself.
He promised Abraham descendants as many as the stars in the sky, even though Abraham was childless, and Sarah barren, he believed God, in faith.
God affirmed the covenant promises to Isaac and to Jacob and out of Jacob came the nation of Israel, the tribe of Judah and the promised seed, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
He has everlasting love:
Isaiah 54:8: “But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord, your redeemer.”
Jeremiah 31:3: The Lord said to Israel, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
There is nothing that can separate us from His love.
Romans 8:35-39: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Just as it is written, ‘For your sake, we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him Who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, not things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”
He is the Creator:
Everything was created by our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ the Son.
Colossians 1:16: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Hebrews 11:3: “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
Revelation 4:11: “For you (God) created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.”
John 1:3: “God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him.”
At creation, we see Elohim, the Creator God.
Elohim is the plural of God’s name, El or Eloah.
We see God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 1:2: “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”
John 1:1 & 14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
We were created to give Him glory, to give a correct estimate of Him.
We were created in His image.
He does not faint or grow weary:
He is omnipotent all-powerful. He is always the same. His strength does not diminish. He is always with us .
Isaiah 40:28: “Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.”
We are told not to grow weary of doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13:
He is our example.
Psalm 121: 1-4: “I will lift my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel (us) will neither slumber nor sleep.”
He defends the weak:
Psalm 146:9: “The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but he thwarts the way of the wicked.”
God defends the weak, and He tells us to do the same.
Psalm 82:3-4: “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.”
James 1:27: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this; to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
He gives strength:
We need His strength to be able to stand firm in the trials and situations that we face daily.
He has promised us that He will always be with us and we therefore need have no fear about the future.
If we trust in Him, He will give us strength.
Isaiah 40:29-31: “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might he increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
There is no limit to His understanding.
He is infinite in power, wisdom and goodness.
Daniel 2:20-23a: Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.
It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and power.”
Psalm 147:5: “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.”
Romans 11:33: “OH, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and unfathomable His ways?”
He is rich in grace and mercy:
Mercy: In the Bible, often the kindness of God in withholding deserved judgement and extending undeserved compassion and forgiveness to man. (NASB Life Application Study Bible.)
God’s mercy is not giving us what we deserve. His grace is giving us what we do not deserve.
Ephesians 2:4-5: “But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ. (By grace you have been saved).
V8: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
He is living and true:
Romans 3:3-4a: “What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar.”
We saw in Chapter 5 that God loves us with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
Now we are going to look at this love.
Jesus spoke about 25,000 words in the Bible.
He taught about the Father at least 181 times.
1 out of every 140 words was about the Father.
His central message and purpose was/is restoration.
God desires to restore us to Him.
There is no one who is beyond God’s reach, His love and His forgiveness.
We see this in the parable of the prodigal son.
Luke 15:11-32: “To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story:
“A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So the father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.
About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him.
But no one gave him anything. When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘at home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”
So, He returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.”
But His father said to the servants, Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’
“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in.
His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
“His father said to him, ‘Look dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day for your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
In this story we see a Jewish father running to greet his son. In the culture of that day it was shameful for a man to show his bare legs and yet this is what the father did. He tied up his robe and ran to greet his son.
An article in Christian today and another written by an author of the ‘Cross And The Prodigal’, tell us of a Jewish ceremony called the ‘Kezazah”
If a Jew lost his inheritance to a Gentile and returned home, before he entered the village, the community would break a large pot in front of him and yell, ‘you are now cut off from your people’.
It is possible that the father of the prodigal son shamed himself before the people and ran so that the community could not shame his son and reject and humiliate him.
His father suffered the shame and humiliation of his son.
When the son returns, how does he return? He returns in repentance.
The son returns to his home expecting to become a servant, a hired hand in his father’s house. He expected judgement but he received mercy and grace. He received the father’s love.
He came home to a father waiting in hope for his son to return.
This is a picture of God, our perfect Father.
God welcomes His sons who return to Him.
God longs for a relationship with us:
When God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He had communion with Adam. He walked in the Garden with Adam. They talked to one another.
Adam sinned and the relationship was broken, and man was separated from God. Yet, God still longed for that relationship with man to be restored and He sent Jesus, His Son to enable us to enter into that place of communion with Him.
He loves us unconditionally and longs for our company. He is waiting for us to return.
How do we enter into a relationship with our Heavenly Father? How do we communicate with Him?
We do so by spending time in His presence time speaking with Him in prayer.
Prayer is not just us speaking to God and asking Him for everything we need and want, it is also listening to God. It is being still in His presence and listening for His voice, whether it be in thunder and loud noise or a small still whisper.
It is not just 5 minutes a day saying a quick prayer, but it is talking with God, walking with Him as Adam did.
God wants us to spend time in His presence. He wants us to share our lives with Him, our joys and our sorrows, our weaknesses and our strengths, our failures and successes, our victories and our defeats.
He wants us to praise Him and to worship Him as we spend precious time in His presence.
He wants us to hear what He is saying as He directs our lives.
He wants us to know Him as our Abba, our Father.
Abba = Aramaic and is said to mean, daddy.
Matthew 14:36: Jesus called His Father ‘Abba’ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“Abba, Father,” He cried out, “Everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet, I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Romans 8:15: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So, you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.”
Jesus and Paul both declared that God is not just Father, but Abba.
In Israel you will hear little children calling their fathers, ‘Abba’.
We are all children and God is our heavenly father. He is Abba Father and he loves us more than any human father ever could love his children.
He desires us to be with Him in heaven for all eternity.
Matthew 18:3: “Then He said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.’”
God as our Father looks after us. Just as an earthly father watches his children, protects them, provides for them, shelters them and mostly loves them, so too in the same way God, our heavenly Father does the same for us.
He cares for us:
He cares about everything we do, and He wants the best for us.
There is nothing we can do that will cause Him to love us more or to love us less.
There is nothing that will separate us from His love.
Everything about Him is love.
Romans 8:39: “No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
He provides for us:
Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Matthew 7:9-11: “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?”
God loves us and teaches us to love:
Romans 5:5: “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us.”
1 John 4:8: “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Luke 6:35-36: “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your father is merciful.”
He wants none to be lost:
Matthew 18:12-14: “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about the one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”
Jesus told His disciples to trust in Him:
He is our father and we are His children.
John 14:1-2: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
Romans 8:15-16: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Son-ship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
John 16:27: “No, the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God.”
Gods care for us, as our Father, is absolute.
He will never leave us nor forsake us
He Nurtures Us:
1 John 3:1. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are”
Deuteronomy 1:31: “The Lord your God carried you, as a Father carries His son, all the way you went until you reached this place”
This scripture reminds me of the message we read in the poem, “Footprints.”
One night a man had a dream He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. “Lord You said that once I decided to follow You, You would walk with me all the way. However, I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed You most You would leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During the times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you.”
Acts 10:34: “Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favouritism. In every nation He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right.”
It does not matter who we are or where we come from, whether we are rich or poor, young or old. He accepts all who accept Him, who receive Him.
God cared for the children of Israel and provided for their every need as He brought them out of their 400 years of slavery in Egypt. He is faithful to His word and His promises. He will never go back on His Word.
We can be certain that God will care for us as he did for them and carry us when we cannot walk.
He Has Compassion:
Psalm 103:13: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him”
Isaiah 49:13-16: “For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on those who are afflicted. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget or forsake you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hand.”
God is El Shaddai. He nourishes us as a mother nourishes her baby at her breast.
God compares His compassion for us with that of an earthly parent who cares for their children regardless of what they have done.
Yet there are times when a parent will abandon their own child, one who has perhaps turned away from the standards and morals they have been taught, or turned to drugs, a life of crime or other circumstances that bring a parent to a ‘cut-off’’ point.
When there seems to be no hope, no way out, a parent can reject their child, but God will never abandon us. He is faithful to fulfil His Word.
He Is Perfect:
Psalm 18:30: “As for God His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless He is a shield for those who take refuge in Him”
Matthew 5:48: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
God is perfect and he calls us to be perfect.
The Greek word for perfect, teleios, means, complete in mental and moral character.
All His ways are perfect and His dealings with us are perfect.
Romans 11:33: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and unfathomable His ways!”
How is it possible for us to be perfect as He is perfect?
James 1:2-4: Consider it all joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing”
Perfect also means of full age, complete, mature. We are tested and tried through our trials and through them are brought to maturity to completeness in Him. We are set apart from the world unto Him.
He is Giving:
James 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father who does not change like shifting shadows.
Matthew 17:11: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”
2 Peter 1:3: Seeing that His divine power has granted us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
He has given us everything we need to live lives of righteousness that reflect His nature.
Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart”
God delights in giving to His children.
We love to see the joy our children experience when we give them good gifts, and God compares His delight in doing good to us.
How much more does He love to see our joy?
He Protects Us:
Psalm 68:5: “A Father to the fatherless a defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling”
Proverbs 18:10: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe”
In the time this was written, women and children were considered of little value, and they had no source of income and no hope apart from a provider.
God is the provider. To Him we are all valuable and precious.
James 1:27: “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father; to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world”
God’s desire for us is to have this pure and undefiled religion for us to defend and protect those vulnerable.
He is Available:
Psalm 121:1-2: “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord; Who made heaven and earth.”
Matthew 11:28: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.”
Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
This prophecy about Jesus was written about 700 years before His birth and speaks of several of His fatherly traits.
He is our Wonderful Counsellor:
Our advice giver.
Micah 6:8a: “He has told you O man, what is good”
He guides us into all truth and His word is truth. John 17:17:
He is our Mighty God:
Philippians 2:9: Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”
He is our Everlasting Father:
Psalm 90:1-2: "Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
He is our Prince of Peace:
Bringing peace to those He rules.
He desires us to be peacemakers.
Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.”
James 3:17-18: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy, and the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
God is always with us, always available to us, and He is eternal
He Disciplines Us:
Hebrews 12:7,10: “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? Our fathers’ disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our own good.”
God disciplines us to develop our spirits and character, and contrasts His discipline with that of an earthly father. Our earthly fathers discipline us to the best of their ability, but God disciplines us with godly wisdom, knowing what will produce His character in us.
Job 5:17-18: “Behold how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty, for He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds and His hands also heal.”
He Forgives Us:
1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
When we repent of our sins, God is faithful, and He not only forgives us but also cleanses us from those sins.
Colossians 3:13: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
In Matthew 6, when Jesus disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He said, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (V12)
We are told to be patient with one another and forgive. We are forgiven in the same way that we forgive. We cannot hold on to grudges and grievances.
God will not forgive us if we refuse to forgive others.
Micah 7:19: “He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities underfoot. Yes, He will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Corrie Ten Boom has said that He then put up a big sign saying “No Fishing.”
All additional scriptures have been taken from the NASB or NIV versions of the Bible.