TO CHEW ON: "He shall cry to me, 'You are my Father,
My God and the rock of my salvation." Psalm 89:26
Dr. David Popenoe, a sociologist who researches fathers and fatherhood talks, without equivocation, about the importance of fathers: "'Fathers are far more than just "second adults" in the home. Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.'" The article from which this quote was taken (to child protection workers in the U.S.) goes on to discuss how children with involved, caring fathers have better education outcomes, are more emotionally secure, and feel safer than children who grow up in homes without a father present.
In our reading today Ethan the Ezrahite draws our attention to the son-father relationship that David had with God (Psalm 89:26). Jesus too often talked about and referred to God as His Father (e.g. Mark 11:27).
["The word 'father' is ab. It is one of the first words a baby can speak. The Aramaic form of 'ab' is 'abba' which has become common in Hebrew as the word Israelite children use for 'daddy.' Jesus applied this toddler's word to His divine Father in Mark 14:36" - Dick Mills, "Word Wealth", New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 736.]
We too are God's children. He is our Father (2 Corinthians 6:18), a fact we accept by faith (Galatians 3:26). How does God father us?
- He forms us - Isaiah 64:8.
- He adopts us - Romans 8:15.
- He guides us - Jeremiah 3:4
- We talk to Him in prayer - Matthew 6:1.
- He promises to give us good things - Matthew 7:11.
- He gives us a heritage - Jeremiah 3:19.
- He will judge our performance fairly - 1 Peter 1:17.
- We have the promise that we will be like Him someday - 1 John 3:2.
Transferring the feelings that we have for our earthly fathers to our heavenly Father is always tricky—even if our earthly father was a good one. It is even more difficult if our earthly father was absent, abusive, or a negative influence. However, even in this God fathers us. For convincing us of the fact that we are God's children and what that means is one of the jobs of God the Holy Spirit:
"And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba Father'"- Galatians 4:6.
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God" - Romans 8:16.Let's let God father us today.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for being my Father. Help me to learn more and more what this means in my everyday life. Amen.
MORE: "Father Me" by Brian Doerksen