The Tender, Healing Father
Whether it’s changing tables in the men’s restroom or paid leaves for dads to help care for a newborn, today’s fathers are not by-standers when it comes to caring for young children. And as in all things, our Father in Heaven was way ahead of culture when it comes to a dad tenderly caring for his children.
Eight hundred years before Christ the Lord spoke in the first person through Hosea comparing the way a father teaches a toddler to walk or tenderly stays up all night holding a sick child in their arms with the way that he cared for Israel from the moment he opened the Red Sea and delivered them from Egypt.
“Certainly, when Israel was a child, I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called to them, the more they walked away from my face. They sacrificed to the Baals and to the idolatrous images they burned incense.
But I was the one who taught Ephraim to walk. I took him up in my arms, but he did not know that I was the one who restored him to health. With cords of human kindness, with ties of love, I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.” Hosea 11:1-4
Some of you who have a rebellious, stubborn child can take heart. God was the perfect father, but he describes how his son Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom, walked away from him from the very beginning. They resisted his arms of love and from the beginning sought their own way. We try to blame our problems as adults on mistakes our parents might have made. Ephraim could never pull out the “bad parent” card to excuse the mess they made out of their lives because they worshiped false gods and lived controlled by their own selfish passions; neither can we.
LORD, thanks for delivering me through your Son from the slavery of living controlled by my own stubborn, selfish desires. Help me let your resurrected life that freely responds to your fatherly touch control my actions today.
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