A Closer Walk
In 1 Chronicles 29 we find what may be the most beautiful offertory prayer ever uttered. "So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, 'Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever,'" 1 Chronicles 29:10 NASB. Ancient Israelite King David determined to build a temple in Jerusalem for the Lord God Jehovah. This was perhaps out of his joy and gratitude for what the Lord had done for him personally, and for his Kingdom. All of Israel could then come and worship the Lord their God in their temple.
But being a man of war, God would not allow him to build this temple. His son Solomon would be the one to lead this endeavor. So David began assembling the materials that would be used in the construction. Upon completion of this task King David called for the entire nation to come together at Jerusalem. David spoke to them and blessed the people and the materials. Then at the end of his speech he offered the prayer that begins above. "Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever."
David blesses the Lord and refers to Him as Lord God of Israel. This relationship began when God called Abraham out of his hometown of Ur and made a covenant with him. This can be found beginning in Genesis 12 and continuing thereafter. God promised that He would make Abraham's descendants a great nation. The Lord further promised that his descendants would be as plentiful as the stars in the sky. So after a time Abraham and his wife Sarah in their old age gave birth to their son Isaac. Isaac bore Jacob whose name God later changed to Israel. Abraham was the father of the nation of Israel through his son Isaac and Isaac's son Jacob, or Israel.
In his prayer David refers to Almighty God as father. He further proclaims that God is our father forever and ever. That is a long time. As Christians we also believe in God as our father. Jesus referred to God as Father repeatedly. In fact He instructed His disciples, “Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven...,'” Matthew 6:9 NASB. When we pray we address the Lord God Almighty as father. And that is truly what He is; our father, who art in heaven.
Being our father, our Lord is responsible for providing for us. “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:19 NASB. For protecting us and keeping us safe. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me,” Psalm 23:1 and 4 NASB. Our Heavenly Father is responsible for molding us and shaping us into the children and vessels of service He wants us to be. “But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father, We are the clay, and Thou our potter; And all of us are the work of Thy hand,” Isiah 64:8 NASB. And for guiding and directing us. “And your ears will hear a word behind you, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right or to the left,” Isiah 30:21.
So God is our father in heaven. Because He is in heaven, and we are here on earth, He has a different perspective than we do. Consequently He sees things and events differently than we do. He also knows what He is trying to do with us, and accomplish through us. We could think of our life as being somewhat like cooking. When we prepare a dish or a meal we combine various and different ingredients together, then add heat. The ingredients used are determined by the dish being prepared; or put another way, the desired result. If we want to serve roasted chicken we would not start with a package of hot dogs. As the cooking progresses we taste to see if something needs to be added, a little more salt perhaps. In the same way our Heavenly Father provides various and different events and experiences (the ingredients) which come together to make us into the children of God He desires us to become. Our Lord may determine that we need more equipping for some future task. Or that we need something to pray about because the time spent in our prayer closet has been a little lacking recently. Nevertheless as life progresses, everything comes together so that we become the children and servants our Father in Heaven is making us into.
King David states in his beautiful prayer that the Lord God Almighty is our Father forever and ever. And isn't that something to marvel at?
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Veteran's Day is this coming Monday, November 11th. To each and every veteran; thank you for your service to our country! And may you have a blessed Veteran's Day.