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God As Father In The Old Testament
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God as Father In The Old Testament
The Old Testament picture of God as awesome creator and judge of the wicked included pictures of him as a loving father, longing for his children to obey his instructions in order to enjoy his blessings and weeping over their rebellion and disobedience, which always brought God's judgement and punishment of sin.
Some of these Old Testament pictures of God as Father are incredibly intimate and reveal this love of a father for his naughty children in amazingly tender terms. One of the most poignant perhaps is to be found in Chapter 11 of The Book of the Prophet HOSEA (see below). It's an incredibly intimate picture of a father teaching his child to walk and expresses God's yearning for his children to turn back to him from worshipping other gods and getting hurt.
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt. But the more I called to him, the farther he moved from me, offering sacrifices to the images of Baal and burning incense to idols. I myself taught Israel how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him. I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him. HOSEA 11:1-4