For many years I kept my distance from God the Father mostly because He seemed so distant and impossible to please. Over the years many people I have encountered have revealed that they had or still do regard God the Father as distant and at least somewhat cold and demanding. Many of us imagine God the Father residing at His ease in heaven, where everything is perfect and there is no hurt or uncertainty. How could He know what it is like to struggle as we do? He has everything, while we have lost much. Yet Scripture reveals just how loving Abba is and how much he shares in our joys and sorrows.
YHVH, our Father, was not content to remain isolated and aloof in heaven, but rather created people in His own image. He lovingly fashioned a world that would meet our needs. He desires not to just view us from afar, but to live among us and share in every moment of our lives. What could God the Father know of our pain and loss and heartache? Everything, for by interacting with people, He has suffered as we do.
After establishing His people in their homeland, YHVH fashioned a home for Himself on earth so that He could dwell among His beloved ones. Always thinking of others, His home was designed to glorify His Son, Yeshua, and to teach us about His plan of salvation. (see other blogs on Temple and Tabernacle) Yet, YHVH left His home in Jerusalem when His people rejected Him even after many attempts on His part to reach out to them. He watched in sorrow as His beloved ones went their own way. He saw His Temple destroyed three times: the physical structure in Jerusalem twice and Yeshua’s body as an atonement for our sin. The special implements from His earthly home were carried off to Babylon and defiled.
YHVH’s desire is to live among His people, yet so many times He has been made unwelcome. People have denied His existence, blasphemed His name, ignored Him, or blamed Him for the results of their own bad choices or the bad choices of others.
YHVH loved His spouse, Israel, and cared for her even when she scorned His love and turned to false gods. He knows what it is like to have a spouse leave to run off after another. He even sent His beloved Son to become one of us so that we could see how much He loves and understands us, but even His Son was rejected.
Scripture is the story of unrelenting love. Let us examine just a sampling of Scripture verses that describe our Father’s love for us. “[The Father] guarded [Jacob] as the apple of his eye.” (Deuteronomy 32:10) “A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing.” (Psalm 68:5-6) “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) “Your Father in heaven is not willing that any one of these little ones should be lost.” (Matthew 18:14) “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)
How should we respond to our loving Father? He tells us in His own words in Scripture:
Love Him: “You shall love YHVH your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deut 6:5)
Trust in Him: “But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. (Ps 13:5)
Obey Him: “You must love the Lord your God and always obey his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands. (Deut 11:1)
Keep your promises just as He does: “But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.” (1 John 2:5)
Yeshua shows us how to love our Father, for Yeshua did all these things. He also did one more thing: He kept His focus on His Father at all times and learned from Him. So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” (john 5:19)
If you feel far from Father, let go of your fears and doubts and run to Him. He is waiting for you with open arms! “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him warmly”. (Luke 15:20)