I think that, for the latter, understanding God the Father is of paramount in importance.

 

When Jesus walked among men, He referred to the Heavenly Father constantly. For the Jews of His day, this was a fairly new concept.

 

God as Father is mentioned rarely in the Old Testament, but when He is, He is referred to as the Father of Israel and the Father of certain individuals.

 

For example, when God spoke to Nathan the prophet concerning David the king, He said, “[David] is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him.” (2 Samuel 7:14)

 

Later, God spoke to King David concerning his son Solomon, who would take David’s place on the throne upon his father’s death. “Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. I will establish his kingdom forever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as is being done at this time.” (1 Chronicles 28:6)

 

When David’s dynasty fell, Ethan the Ezrahite’s maskil (or contemplation) can be found in Psalm 89.  Within the lines of praise and lament are these words concerning David: “He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’ I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.” (vs. 26-29)

 

God the Father continues his covenant with David’s house by foretelling of the Messiah through the wise man (1 Kings 4:31) called Ethan the Ezrahite. And it was Messiah Jesus who brought about a new take on the Fatherhood of God with one word of endearment: Abba.

 

Next: The Abba of Jesus

 

BIO HERE (Janet, can you change my bio to: Award-winning national speaker, Eva Marie Everson is a recent graduate of Andersonville Theological Seminary. Her work includes Intimate Moments with God and Intimate Encounters with God (Cook). She is the author of Shadow of Dreams, Summon the Shadows and Shadow of Light. (Barbour Fiction) She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.evamarieeverson.com.)