This turn of events was the will of the LORD, for it fulfilled the LORD's message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh. (1 Kings 12:15 NLT)
I struggled through these passages and points this week, because I know so many people who have lived through wildly different experiences with their fathers. Some have had great experiences, so it is easy for them to think about Our Father in heaven as a great Father. Others, however, have had bad experiences. For them, a heavenly Father ends up looking like all the bad qualities of their earthy father.
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matthew 6:9-13 ESV)
When Jesus taught us to think of God as Father, however, there were no bad connotations at all. Our Father in heaven does love us, want what’s best for us, and teaches us well. Our Father in heaven points us toward a walk together with God that is beautiful and fulfilling. When we are good fathers here on earth, then, we are simply following the example of Our Father in heaven. We are essentially saying to our children the same thing that the Apostle Paul said to the church in Corinth:
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Cor. 11:1 NIV)
How about you? Did you have an earthly father who was a bad example or one that was a good example. Did you have a father who listened to Our Father in heaven?