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Father: The Christian Name For God

Father: the Christian name for God

We’ve been in the book of Exodus in Sunday meetings since February. There’s a strong argument that Exodus 6:2-8 is the heart of the whole book, and we had the joy of looking at this passage on Sunday.

In the Bible as a whole, God’s relationship with His people develops over time. This is shown by the names He is known by.

In Exodus 6:2-8, the LORD reveals to Moses what it will be like to know him as YHWH. It’s a huge improvement!

This is what Moses heard: while Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew Him as God Almighty, from this generation on He will be known as YHWH, who delivers and dwells with His people (6:6-7). Before, He was the Creator, God Almighty who made promises. Through the Exodus, God’s people will see YHWH in action, rescuing them from terrible slavery, and relating to them in a more developed and intimate way.

This must have been very exciting for Moses and God’s people! Are we just meant to think “I’d have loved to have been Moses, experiencing God like that”?

No way! Even the Exodus was just a (huge) model pointing to a bigger and better rescue through the cross of Christ. We can have something unimaginably better through Christ.

The Israelites could know God as YHWH. For the Christian however, we know God as someone wonderfully more accessible and intimate: our Father.

As an (albeit flawed) illustration of how much better we can know God than the Israelites could, we considered how people relate to the US president.

  • God Almighty: most people in the world know that the US president is a powerful man to be respected, but they’d never claim to really know him
  • YHWH: a US citizen who’d voted for a US president might experience a closer connection, he would be “their” President.
  • Father: what kind of access would the US president give to his child? If he’s a good father, it would be unlimited and intimate. This picture of JFK with his son captures it well:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So two questions:

  • Did you realise we can relate to God as our Father through Christ? We can, if we’re trusting in the cross.
  • How can we enjoy more of this access and intimacy with the Father, throwing off what holds us back?

 

 

 

 

 

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