Many Christians might prefer to call the great and mighty God of Israel “Father”, without fully understanding what it means.
There is so great a lack of respect for all authority, that very few fathers are seen as figures of authority. This generation was written about,
There is a generation that curses their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. (Proverbs 30:11-14)
Fatherhood now is, more often than not, ongoing sacrifice to the wishes of selfish childish youth, with no discipline to children at all, and little leadership either. The father of the Bible is a wise authoritarian disciplinarian.
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. (Proverbs 4:1)
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (Proverbs 13:24)
It is actually well before the time of Christ that Jews called their God “Father”.
Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth? (Jeremiah 3:4)
How many teens could say this of their father in the modern world? Yet when we use this word Father for Yahweh Elohim, if we are to use it as Christ did, we need to understand it means that we must seek always the word of God as our wise only guide. If we do not see him as our only guide then Yahweh Elohim is not our Father, and He knows it.
Jeremiah then goes on to speak of a time when all walk perfectly in Yahweh Elohim's ways,
In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations?
and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me. (Jeremiah 3:18-19)
The inheritance is based on the children of God not ever walking away from his ways.
Being a Father is about earning and being given repsect and honour
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (Malachi 1:6)
Our Father shapes our lives
But there is more, the word Father must also go with an acknowledgement that our very life and being is from and out of our Heavenly Father and that He is no father of ours if we don't let him shape our lives in every aspect, like a potter shapes clay.
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. (Isaiah 64:4-9)
There is another passage in Jeremiah 18 where the clay is not possible to be worked with and is thrown away, just as in the Torah a rebellious son who regards not his parents is to be put to death (Deuteronomy 21:18-20).
Who in the modern world would think of associating 'father' with 'fear'? The Psalmist did. For those who honour, fear, obey as much as possible and are in awe of Yahweh Elohim, who is of great power over all life, have mercy extended to them,
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psalm 103:10-13)
Those who call the God of Israel 'Father' without fear or reverence, without respect of his guidance or discipline may just miss out on his mercy and great loving kindness.
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This article was born as it was found that the Greek word from which we have philanthropy, philanthropos, only occurs once in the Bible, with the noun form philanthrōpia occurring only twice. Even more intriguing we found that much is said about 'philadelphia' the Greek word for brotherly love.
It was written that,
For I will lay the land most desolate.. and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. (Ezekiel 33:28)
This article is written in thanks to Yahweh for help given in modern medicine, and for a measure of healing. The writer, unknown to herself, had heart failure. It seemed like pneumonia, as one of the symptoms is retention of water in the lungs and elsewhere, and then the feet began weeping the fluid through open sores. We trusted and prayed for help. Medical help was given from of all things, results from a test not done correctly. She has been helped much. We thank Yahweh. Also it is soon Thanksgiving in the USA.