Thursday, 12 April 2018

Who is God the Father?

God shows himself in many ways. We call the first form, ‘God the Father’.
     The Father lives in Heaven where he is seated in majesty and receives cease­less praise. For example, the prophet Isaiah saw God the Father in a vision:
I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’
Isaiah 6:1–5

The Bible always depicts God the Father as a being who is all-knowing and never changing. He is over­whelmingly holy and massively powerful. But the Bible does not really develop His character. He seems a remote Figure who does not come to earth. Indeed, the stories of creations in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, imply that God the Father cannot come to earth because He is infinitely holy that we would be consumed by His holiness because we are not. As a good analogy, think of a raindrop falling on apiece of red-hot metal. It would vaporise instantly as a result of the huge different in temperature.
      God is neither male nor female. God is utterly beyond gender. It would show contempt to refer to God as ‘it,’ so most of the time we refer to God as ‘he.’ (And we usually write the ‘He’ with a capital letter, rather than ‘he’, to emphasise His awe­some holiness, power and majesty.) This idea does not mean God is more male than female. In fact, the Bible contains many images of God that are undeniably feminine. For example, one parable in the Old Testament likens God to a mother hen as she lovingly gathers her chicks together (Hosea 11):

When Israel was a child, I loved him …
… I taught them to walk, I took them up in my arms. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift
infants to their cheeks I bent down to them and fed them.
Hosea 11:1–4

The word ‘Father’ implies seniority, superiority, and maybe somehow being in charge. Of all the ways God chooses to manifest himself, the Father is the most important. For that reason, we sometimes called him ‘the Godhead.’ The Bible often shows God the Father in Heaven as somehow controlling His other manifestations (Jesus and the Holy Spirit) as they work on the earth.

Picturing God the Father

In fact, the Bible tells us not to make or use images of God, but most of us have a powerful internal picture of what God the Father should look like. He is usually a man (hence’ Father’), old, and with a long white beard.

One of the most popular images of God in art is Michelangelo’s great painting God creating
Adam (right) from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, in Rome.


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