God's Fatherhood isn't a popular concept, but don't let the world define who God is!
Read / Listen
Read Isaiah 64
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 24
Q. How are the three articles
of the Apostle's Creed divided?
A. Into three parts:
God the Father and our creation;
God the Son and our deliverance;
God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification.
Our passage from Isaiah today comes near the end of his book, as the prophet reminds God's people that He will always be faithful to His covenant people. The chapter has a very eschatological feel to it - this big word simply means it speaks of the future and God's final triumph.
It's the shift that occurs in v8 that draws our attention today. There Isaiah goes from referring to God as a detached, all powerful moral governor who will judge all the world to realizing that this omnipotent divine being has an eminently personal relationship with us: He's our Father.
This is how we're introduced to the Triune (three in one) God in the opening words of the Bible as well, as the entire cosmos springs into being at the very sound of His voice. Yet at the very end of that creative process, God stoops down to make something in a very different manner: The Father shapes his son Adam out of the clay and then gently breathes life into him.
Isaiah puts this so beautifully in v8:
Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Many Christians in our egalitarian society seek to diminish God's role as our Father. After all, the Bible also refers to God using motherly descriptions as well (Isaiah 66:13)! Since God is neither male nor female, why should we continually refer to Him in masculine, patriarchal terms like Father?
The answer is quite simple. You are to think of God as your Father because that's how He most often reveals Himself in His Word, and no one in scripture speaks of Him this way more than His only begotten Son, Jesus.
It's true that the concept of fatherhood conjures up difficult memories for many who had abusive, negligent, or absent earthly fathers. As we walk patiently beside such hurting people, it's good to be reminded of what the great Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck taught: "'Father' is not a metaphor derived from earth and attributed to God."
In other words, God sometimes uses earthly images to help us understand Him, like when the Bible speaks of His powerful right arm. But the idea of God's fatherhood travels the opposite direction: it's a heavenly concept that defines how fathers on earth must fulfill their calling.
No matter what your experience with fatherhood in this world has been, know that the originator of the concept guides, guards and protects you as the perfect Father.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Understanding what it means that God is our Father gives new insight into the simple way Jesus taught us to acknowledge God: As Our Father who is in heaven; His name is Holy.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that you are the work of His hand.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Acts 20