Day 8 Study - God the Father


Now that we have learned a little bit about the Trinity, we need to examine the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in more detail.  Each person of the Godhead is important to you in your life as a Christian, and each is equally God.


Always working together

In every way in which God works in our lives and in the world, all the persons of the Trinity work together in perfect harmony.  In the last chapter, we say that the Father, Son (Word), and Spirit were all involved in the creation of all things.  As the Spirit moved, the Father sent forth His Word (Jesus).  The Father created all things by the moving of the Spirit, and the speaking of the Word.  The way the Father, Son and Spirit  created the universe together is one example of the way the Trinity works together in perfect unity in all things.


Just as the Father created the universe by the moving of His Spirit, and the speaking of His powerful Word, so also your new life as a Christian began in the same way.  When the Father's Spirit moved upon you and His Word (Jesus Christ) spoke to your heart, new life was created within you.  You became a child of your Heavenly Father through His Spirit and His Word.  Because Father, Son, and Spirit are all God, and all are very important to you, it is extremely important for you to learn about them.


In this chapter, we will begin by looking at God the Father, and at some of the things that the Bible teaches about Him.


God the Father 

When we talk about "God" we are often speaking of the Father.  The Father is the One whom Jesus said had sent Him.  Jesus taught much more about the Father than anyone had ever known before.  One thing Jesus taught us was that nobody has ever seen God the Father, except God the Son.


"No one has seen the Father except the One who is from God; only He has seen the Father."  - Jesus (John 6:46)


Paul the apostle also made this very clear.


• Read 1 Timothy 6:16.  Who is able to see God?



• Where does God live?




We could never physically come into the Father's awesome presence in our present form.  He dwells in a fiery radiant glory so intense it could only destroy us if we saw Him in our fleshly bodies. 


• Read Hebrews 12:29.  What does this verse tell us that our God is?




When the Lord proclaimed His name YAHWEH ("I AM THAT I AM") and revealed His glory to Moses, He told Moses that He could not show him His face.


"You cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live."   - YAHWEH (Exodus 33:20)


Because we are not able to see the Father's perfect form, and we have never seen anything like Him, we can not really understand what the Father is like with our finite (limited) minds.  One day He will miraculously change us so that we can live with Him forever and be holy His glory.  Until then, we wait in excitement for that day!


Because the Father greatly desires for His children to know Him, He has used certain earthly examples to demonstrate to us what He is like.  In the last three verses we read, the Father has revealed Himself to us as a consuming fire, dwelling in a light to intensely brilliant that no one can approach Him and live.  Let's look at another time when the Father revealed Himself as fire:


On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast.  ...Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire.  The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder.  ...When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.  ...The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.   (Exodus 19:16a, 18-19a; 20:18a, 21)


Consuming Fire

Here we once again see God revealing Himself in fire.  God wants to teach us something about Himself through our knowledge of fire.  The Father's blazing glory is more devastating than a raging untamed inferno, consuming everything it touches!  When God allowed someone to glimpse His glory, that person was never the same again!


This is also true in our lives as the Father's children.  Although we cannot see God's glory with our physical eyes, He wants to reveal it to us through the eyes of our souls, in our inner beings.  When we see just a glimpse of the awesome splendor of our Father's glory, we are changed.  His glory consumes what is not pure in His holy sight, and leaves us purified and cleansed.  This purifying is similar to the way fine gold is refined.  The impurities in the gold are separated and removed from the gold by fire.  The more we see of our Father's transforming glory, the more we find ourselves being changed into His image to be more like Him.


Thick Darkness

In this section we also read that the Lord appeared in a thick cloud, and in thick darkness.  In thick darkness, man cannot see.  We learn from this example that God the Father dwells in obscurity.  No man has seen Him, and no one can know exactly what He is like.  He dwells in another realm that no one can enter but He Himself.  The awesome wonder of who our glorious eternal Father truly is cannot be known.  It lies far beyond our ability to perceive or comprehend.  When we realize how far our Father really surpasses all of our abilities to find Him, we appreciate the great love and faithfulness He has shown to us in reaching out and revealing Himself to us.


Thunder and Lightning

Many a small child has fearfully hidden under the sheets of their bed as the loud peals of thunder reverberated through the night.  Many have been terrified of the dazzling flashes that lit up the sky, as the deadly bolts of pure electricity mercilessly stabbed to the earth.  Yet the awesome unbridled powers we see in the creation are only a very small reminder of the unlimited power of the Almighty God.  As we begin to sense our Father's true power, we will find ourselves awed and amazed.  As we experience more and more of His great love for us, we will become secure and confident in His unlimited power towards us, which He always uses for our ultimate good.


Earthquake

We are also told that the mountain trembled violently when the Lord descended on it.  All things are shaken and tried in the presence of YAHWEH.   As we experience more of the presence of God in our lives, we will be shaken and tried in many ways.  Only those things which are founded by the Father can stand before Him and remain in His presence.  All else crumbles before Him.  Those things in our lives which are not pleasing to Him must also crumble before Him and be removed.


The most important lesson

As Moses was delivering his final speech to the children of Israel forty years after the appearance of God on the mountain, he reminded them of the most important lesson that they learned on that day. 

• Read Deuteronomy 4:10-12.  In verse 12, what did the people NOT  see?



The Israelites saw the blazing fire, the black clouds of smoke, and the deep darkness, and they heard the terrifying voice out of the fire, but they saw no physical body belonging to the Father.  Moses then went on to remind them of the great importance of this revelation.


You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire.  Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth...   (Deuteronomy 4:15-17a)


Thinking that the Father is a physical being is idolatry.  The Great "I AM" is unlike anything we've ever seen!  Jesus also taught us the same important lesson about the Father. 


• Read John 4:23-24.  In verse 24, how does Jesus describe the Father?




We see from Jesus' teaching here that our Father is not a physical being as we are.  He is pure Spirit, and our fellowship with Him is spiritual.  Our Father is not confined to one location, as someone with a physical body would be, but He is omnipresent (all-present).  He is everywhere at all times, and He is not limited by any of our physical boundaries.  The apostle Paul tells us: 


...He is not far from each one of us.  For in Him we live and move an have our being.   (Acts 17:27b-28a)


We actually exist in Him, and He is giving us our life and our being moment by moment!  Our Father fills all the universe, and there is no place where He is not.  He both encompasses and pervades all that He has created.  He is massive enough to contain the entire universe within Himself, and yet He is tiny enough to penetrate every single atom within us.  Our Father completely transcends all the limitations of size and location.  In Psalm 139, we see that although our Father's presence dominates all of His great universe, He gave delicate attention to every tiny detail in the design of our creation.


Where can I flee from Your Presence?  If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.  

(Psalm 139:7b-8)


...You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...     (Psalm 139:13-14a)


We are His children

The most exciting part of realizing the awesome greatness of our Father is knowing that we are His children!  He has created us to know the intimacy of His great love for us, and to be a part of His eternal family!  The great benefits of His Fatherly protection and guidance in our lives now give us the ultimate reason for confidence and security.  And as His heirs, we have been destined to receive untold eternal treasures and blessings!


God Himself has decided it, and no one can change it:


"I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters," says the Lord almighty.     (2 Corinthians 6:18)


There's so much we need to learn about God our Father, and this chapter has been only a brief glimpse into the wonder that He is.  An entire lifetime of learning can do little more than scratch the surface.  Our God is truly an awesome God.


• Starting tomorrow, we will begin our series of five daily devos focusing on the Fatherhood of God.  Pay special attention to the devos, because they are very important to our study of the Father.  As you spend time everyday in God's Word and in prayer, your Father will reveal Himself to you.  As you get to know your Heavenly Father better, you'll find yourself rejoicing that you are His beloved child, and you are very precious to Him.