Bible Society of South Africa

God our Father – 10 September 2020

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

17And so the Lord says,

“You must leave them

and separate yourselves from them.

Have nothing to do with what is unclean,

and I will accept you.

18I will be your father,

and you shall be my sons and daughters,

says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6:17-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

The idea of God as Father is usually seen as a New Testament concept, but that is not correct. Although the Old Testament does not say a lot about Him as Father, there are some very important references, for instance, Jeremiah 31:9b “I will guide them to streams of water, on a smooth road where they will not stumble. I am like a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my eldest son. ”We find the idea of a father in a few more places even as far back as Deuteronomy 32:6b, “He is your father, your Creator.”

Our verse of the day in 2 Corinthians is also a quotation from the Old Testament that Paul applies to all believers. In the following verse he makes it clear by saying: “All these promises are made to us, my dear friends,” meaning that we are all sons and daughters of the Father.

In all the verses from the Old Testament, as well as here in Corinthians, and all other references in the New Testament, the central concept is that God is our Father and we are His children. By this, a very special relationship between us and God is established. God is not an absent and unapproachable God, but a Father in the full sense of the word.

The verse from Jeremiah brings this to the fore in a beautiful metaphor. Israel/Ephraim is seen as the firstborn son of God. In Biblical times the firstborn played a very important part in the family. Remember the story of Jacob and Esau. Here we learn of the very special blessing that was bestowed on the firstborn by the father, which gave rise to the idea of the right of the firstborn. The firstborn was usually also in the front of the queue when the estate was divided. We even see that happening in modern times.

If we take this concept to its conclusion, we are not only children of God, but every one of us has the privileged position of a firstborn child. Each one of us is, therefore, right in the front of the queue when our Father hands out his legacy of love and grace. Because Jesus died on the cross for us, every one of us can claim the right of a firstborn, the right to be saved.

Prayer: Thank you, God that you are not an absent and unapproachable God, but my heavenly Father who loves me very much. Amen

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