Knowing God as a loving Father: ideas on God’s fatherly love

The Bible presents God as a loving father from beginning to end.

This image was accentuated by Jesus, who always referred to God as our father.

Still, what does it mean that God is my father?

There are many stories in the Bible with which we can answer this question.

The most famous is the story of the prodigal son, told by Jesus.

However, these days, while studying the Bible, I found a story that struck me and made me reflect on the subject of God’s fatherhood.

It is the story of King David and his son Absalom.

I intend to share with you a parallel between David’s attitude toward his son, and God’s fatherhood toward us.

The story goes as follows.

Absalom wished to be the king of Israel, but had an older brother named Amnon who was the heir.

Amnon raped his own half-sister, Absalom’s sister, and Absalom, using this as justification, killed him.

In this way, Absalom remains the first in line to the throne.

Later, the young man decides to win the sympathy of the people of Israel by lying about his father.

He then organizes a revolt with which he usurped the throne.

David has to run away because his own son is trying to kill him.

While doing so, Absalom had sex with ten of his father’s concubines.

In these circumstances, about to face off in a deadly battle against Absalom, David tries to go into battle personally to try to protect his son.

However, he is not allowed to do so.

Look at the instructions David gives to his commanders regarding his son:

Then the king gave this command to Joab, Abisai, and Itai:   “Out of consideration to me, treat the young Absalom with kindness.

And all the troops heard that the king gave this order to his commanders.

2 Samuel 18:5

David’s words to his commanders, concerning Absalom, show that he saw him as a rebellious young man who could come back to reason and be forgiven.

David longed to redeem his son.

For this reason, he asks his generals to please not kill him.

The obvious paternal love and mercy David had for his son made me think about God’s love and his fatherly care for us.

It made me think about how God looks at us.

If David, being a man, looked with such love upon him who, being his son, had usurped his throne.

To the one who tried to take his life, who had slept with his concubines and killed his other son.

If this is how David looked at his son, after all his mistakes, what can God’s infinite mercy and love be to us his children?

Certainly much bigger.

Even after all of Absalom’s mistakes, David always wanted to redeem him, to help him come to his senses, to help him get back on the right path.

Bring him back to his side.

God being my father means that I am the object of infinite love.

I am the object of infinite forgiveness.

God looks at me with infinite desires to redeem me, to help me walk the right path.

His compassion and patience for me are not exhausted.

It means that no matter what I’ve done or how much I’ve been away from him, he wants me back home and there I’ll always be welcome.

Absalom’s rebellion ends with his death.

I want you to notice David’s reaction when he receives the news of his son’s death:

The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”

The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.”

The king was shaken.

He went up to the room over the gateway and wept.

As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom!

My son, my son Absalom!

If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”

2 Samuel 18:32-33

I want to invite you to think for a moment.

What does it mean to God that we make the decision to persevere in rebellion against him?

In doing so, we deny ourselves the opportunity for redemption that he offers us.

If David wept bitterly when his rebellious son lost his life, much more, God is driven to grief when his children persevere on paths that lead them to lose eternal life.

God offers us daily the gift of grace and forgiveness.

The gift of eternal life through his son Jesus Christ, if we just want to accept it.

David would have preferred to die instead of his son, but he could not do so, yet God did give his life in our place.

The fatherhood of God and his infinite love are a certainly fascinating subject of which we can only have examples, albeit beautiful, imperfect on this earth.

However, we will understand and enjoy God’s fatherhood forever in eternity.

I hope these words have been a blessing to your life.

And what do you think? What does it mean to you that God is your father? What is your opinion or experience? Share it in the comments. I

A hug, God bless you.

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