Our Father and King
Read Psalm 103:8-14; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:15-16; Hebrews 1:8-9; Revelation 19:11; Matthew 6:9-10
The fourth Thursday in April is Take Your Child to Work Day in the United States. That wasn't the custom when I was growing up, but I saw my father daily at his workplace, at least for a few years. That is because for that short amount of time, he was not only my father, he was my principal. The interesting thing about thinking back on those years is that I looked at him a bit differently when I was at school. I don't recall if we ever talked about his having special authority there, but I never remember trying to get away with anything because I was his daughter.
Among the Names of God that the Bible reveals, there is one that stands out as being most precious to me. Father. Sadly, I know that many have endured great pain at the hands of their fathers. Too many have been abused physically or emotionally, making the image of father horrific to them. When that is the case we pray that what scripture reveals about the Heavenly Father's love will begin to change that picture. For example, Psalm 103:8-14 speaks of the Father's love as being compassionate forgiving, unfailing and unending. We who have had earthly fathers who loved us, in the best way they could because they are human beings, have begun to see the Heavenly Father as the One Who loves perfectly. Yet, looking at only one Name of God can cause us to struggle at times. May I explain what I mean?
We love the scriptures that accurately portray the Father's tenderness and compassion, and we run to Him in prayer when we hurt. That is as it should be for He has told us that He is a present help in times of trouble, Psalm 46:1. However, sometimes the Heavenly Father allows what our earthly father would never permit, if he were able to change things. For example, my father would have loved it if he could have done something that would have brought about healing to my eyes. He would have borrowed money if doing that would have helped me see better. So many fathers feel that same way when they see their children deal with disease, pain or handicaps. They want everything to be better for the precious ones they love, and they understandably want their pain to be lessened.
Yet, the Heavenly Father Who truly is filled with compassion often doesn't change these and a myriad of other circumstances. Please know that the scriptures unashamedly tell us that nothing is impossible for our God, Luke 1:37. The scriptures tell us that the Father gives good and perfect gifts, James 1:17. Putting those truths together, it is easy for us to reason that our Heavenly Father Who is far more loving than even a good earthly father surely would do what looks like the most beneficent thing when we pray. That is why we can easily be tripped up if we only look at the Father facet of Who God is.
He is also King, to look into only one of His other Names. What a King He is. He is eternal and immortal. He is Sovereign and rules from heaven, dwelling in unapproachable light, 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:15-16. In the model prayer, we ask for His Kingdom to come and for His will to be done and that His Name will be honored, Matthew 6:9-10. His decisions are not based merely upon what seems good in an earthly sense. If that were the case, everything that appeared good to us and that would be expedient would occur. But our Father/King is choosing to answer us in ways that will bring about ultimate blessings to us and so many others, as well as honor and glory to Himself. Some circumstances that He permits, we simply can't comprehend. When He returns to set up His throne, things will be so different than they are now, Daniel 7:25; Daniel 7:27. Every knee will bow before Him, both the ones who have loved Him and those who have rejected Him, Philippians 2:9-10.
Lord, Thank You for making Yourself known as Father and King. Please help us to honor You and tell others about Your love and greatness.