The Perfect Father Is Loving

"Israel was a child, and I loved him: and I called my son out of Egypt." (Hosea 11:1) What more wonderful statement could God make about Himself? It was a voluntary love. He had chosen Israel as His own, apart from their own worthiness . He said not only that He loved them but that "...I called my son out of Egypt," implying that He could have left Israel in Egypt had He not cared.

What did Israel do after he cared enough to bring them out? "They sacrificed unto Balaam, and burned incense to graven images" (verse 2). The what did God do? " I will draw them with the cords of Adam, with the bands of love." (verse 4) He didn't reject them. He kept on trying to teach them.

In His father love, He helped them by relieving their misery. "I will be to them as one that taketh off the yoke...and I put his meat to him that he might eat." (verse 4). How merciful and graceful He was to them.

The New Testament gives us even more evidence of His love. John 3:16 is well known to us. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." Again, it was unmerited love that He extended to human race, so that all those who would believe could become part of His family.

Luke 15 also shows us the love of a father. Jesus told of the younger of two sons, who took his own way, and ended up in a far country in total disaster. But when the son came to his senses and started home, where was his father? Jesus said, "And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him." (Verse 20). He was watching. waiting for his wayward son. By this story Jesus was showing His listeners the love of the heavenly Father.

The latter part of this same chapter tells how the same father related to the older son, who had stayed home but now felt bad because the younger son was received so joyfully. Jesus was showing the Pharisees and scribes how wrong they were for murmuring because He received sinners and ate with them (verse 2). Again it was a story of a loving father who was reaching out even to the self-righteous-indeed, to all men, regardless of what kind of people they were.

Such is the Father's love. It shows us how we are to feel toward our children. Like the father's love, our love should follow our children wherever they are and whatever they need.