“Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ And He said to them. ‘When you pray, say:
I’m on vacation and at the church we visited this past Sunday the sermon was on the Lord’s Prayer. It made me think about how fortunate (I guess the correct religious word would be blessed) we are to be able to call God our Father. It’s a freedom we are so accustomed to that we take it for granted. However, in Old Testament days, God was considered unapproachable. No one was even allowed to utter His personal name. Very few were ever allowed to come close to Him—Moses, who spoke to Him on Mt. Sinai(Exodus 19:20), the High Priest who was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement(Leviticus 16) , Elijah, after defeating the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 19). God was honored, respected and feared. Having a personal relationship with God was unthinkable.
The first place in the Bible where the idea of God as a father is mentioned is Exodus 4: 22-23:when God tells Moses what to say to Pharoh:
“Then you shall say to Pharoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve me.’”
The Israelites would have connected the idea of God’s fatherhood with liberation and freedom from oppression. Still, not in a particularly personal way. So when Jesus tells the disciples to address God as “Our Father” it probably came as a surprise.
Think about it: suddenly a God so Holy He can only be approached by a handful of special chosen servants becomes Abba? A father that a child instinctively runs to for comfort and help. A person who loves unconditionally? How freeing is that? We should never take that privilege for granted.
P.S. Many of the ideas for this post were taken from an ebook I received FREE from Book Bub. (sign up for FREE if you have a kindle and you can choose many FREE Christian books, as well as other genres). Here comes the book recommendation: Living the Lord’s Prayer by David Timms.