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The Father of All

by Hershel Dyer

There is no image of God found in human language that is more comforting and reassuring than the word "father".

It is true that some do not feel the same emotional impact from such usage as most of us do. A person growing up in a home where the father is shiftless, a drunkard, an abuser, or in other ways despicable can hardly associate the word with anything good or pleasant. This should be a reminder to all fathers that their behavior may have very much to do with how a child grows up to think of God.

Fathers are taught by the Bible to love their wives even as they love their own bodies, abhorring any cruelty toward them as they would shield themselves from violence (Ephesians 5:28, 29). They are taught by the same blessed book to "not provoke their children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).

Hence, fathers are set forth as men who love their families, who not only work to provide for their physical needs (1 Timothy 5:8), but who oversee their spiritual training and growth as well.

With the Bible kind of father in mind, how blessed it is to perceive of God our Creator as also our Heavenly Father. David, a man who knew much of God's longsuffering and forgiveness, in blessing or praising his divine benefactor, compared Him to a loving father. "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:12-14).

Our Lord Jesus Christ, in teaching us to pray, urged the addressing of God as Our Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:9). His own prayers suggest again and again that this is the proper and acceptable way to address God in prayer (John 11:41f; 12:28; 14:16; 17:1ff; Matthew 26:39ff).

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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