By Seun Ajia
In times past God had different names attributed to Him by those who served Him. This was given based on the way He interacted with them, or actions God took concerning a situation. We look at the children of Israel and we know they attributed a lot of names to God based on His actions to them.
When God provides He is the Provider, when He delivers them from their enemies, He is their deliverer. Also, when He heals He is known to them as God the healer, and so many other names.
Individuals in the bible also related to God based on their revelation of Him or how they perceived Him. An example is Abraham who God revealed himself to as El Shaddai (God Almighty) in Genesis 17:2.
But you ask “God had spoken to him before then, right?” Yes, God had interacted with Abraham before then. God had revealed Himself to him in Chapter 15 as a Sovereign King (Shield) when the promise of a Son came to him at a time Abram was getting worried about who would inherit his household. Before then Abram knew God as Lord (Yahweh), no personal known encounter just that He was God of all.
The time God did decided to reveal His person for a relationship-based-worship, He said El Shaddai and told Abraham now, not Abram again, to walk before Him. This is accompanied with an establishment of a covenant by blood (Circumcision), indicating a bond (A Serious relationship). This demonstrated a willingness of God wanting intimacy over distant worship.
Different Characters and Generations under the old Covenant, and before any Covenants were established, had a way of relating with God but it was mostly based on His acts towards them. Especially those who were under the Law.
Our main concern is taken from the book of Hebrew 1:1-2,
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (NASB)
Now according to our bible verse, verse 1 told us God spoke in many portions and different ways, meaning the men of Old only knew about God or who God is in parts, they didn’t have a full revelation of Him.
After Jesus came He did something that nobody had done. He revealed God as a “Father”. He was the First to reveal that God is actually Our Father and what this means to us. The Jews claimed God as their Father (John 8:31-59), but Jesus expressed that they said this but did not understand because their actions did not match their words.
Moreover some of the Jews who were teachers (Pharisees and Sadducees) where not impressed with Jesus always referring to God in an intimate, father-son relationship (John 5:18)
Jesus was always quick to specify God as His and our Father, (Matthew 5,6,7 and so much more. You can do a little study to see this). So we have established Jesus revealed God as the Father but what about us?
In the of Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6, the Scriptures uses the word “ABBA” which is an indication of intimacy, it’s what a child would call his father; Like daddy or papa.
His word specifies this because we have the Holy Spirit now receding in us which is the sign and seal of our son-ship in Him.
1 John 3:1 KJV Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Attributes of a Father
Now the term Father itself is quite unique, because the word father describes a nature and not an action in itself. A father is described by his nature of him having a child, not working for one, not getting paid for one. This indicates you don’t earn to be a father (maybe you have to earn to be a good and responsible one at least, but by nature you are one).
This describes to a very large extent what it means for God to be our Father. By spiritual nature we are born into His kingdom (John 1:12-13) and He has accepted us as His children. So we can confidently see Him firstly as our Father, an Intimate one at that, before we see Him based on the way He acts towards us as individuals, for this has been His plan from the beginning.
Consider this, why go so far to reveal His true essence and nature and even give us the opportunity to be able to relate with His nature through salvation (the Working of the Fruits) and His Spirit?
When the father is known in intimacy then it becomes His responsibility to actually take care of His own, but His own must know He is firstly by nature a Father. His actions are ways He expresses His love for us.
I agree God does reveal Himself to us. Usually, each and every genuine believer has a revelation of God they came to understand first of all, but as we grow we come to understand the Father in “His Fullness”; Not just a one dimension relationship based on His actions.
By His very nature He is responsible for our provision, protection, health, discipline and teachings, but He also wants a closer relationship; Delighted with our spiritual growth (Faith through His word), Delighted to share His will and Plan concerning you.
All this can only come if we recognise through Jesus Christ we have access to intimacy with the Father. Don’t be shy or scared but embrace this glorious opportunity, God doesn’t bite. (Hebrews 4:14-16).
The Holy Spirit is there to help reveal this other aspects of the Father to us but only if we spend time getting to know him. The best way to start in love is with God; for His love is the greatest Love of all. If you haven’t accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour, please do so now.
In the next part we will be discussing Sons.
Thanks for reading,
Bible Quotes for the Day:
1 John 4:8-10 KJV
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Seun Ajia enjoys writing, discussing and reading about who we are in christ, the totality of all He has promised and what we have inherited in him. He also has an Msc in Accounting and Finance. You could reach him via email [email protected]
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