Faith & Insight: The Lord is a benevolent father
“Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” — Isaiah 55:6-7
There are those who think God is the angry, mean father in heaven somewhere who’s in a bad mood because his children are misbehaving. And like every wise child who’s misbehaving who thinks he/she will “really get it” from dad, and will avoid dad’s presence and distance themselves from him to keep from being punished.
It’s unfortunate God is perceived that way because that’s not how the Bible describes the heart of God and misses the deep love and open arms God has for all people. Consider the above scripture:
It’s an invitation to seek the Lord, to call out to him for help, making special note that he’s both available and near;
It gives clear direction for repentance: To forsake and leave one’s current course of life, intentions and imaginations;
And gives clear direction: Turn back to the Lord our God and his ways!
The next verse is the key to seeing the heart and love of God: “And He will have mercy on him; for He will abundantly pardon.”
Mercy and pardon, compassion, love, pity, forgiveness … does that sound like the mean, angry father … or a loving, forgiving father whose heart of love calls out to his “misbehaving children” encouraging them to turn from sin and return to the father’s open arms of fellowship?
Father God loves you. If there are areas of your life that need to be changed, make the change and “return to the Lord God” and he will have mercy and greatly pardon you. Seek him now!
Louis J. Locke is pastor of Fountainhead Foursquare Church, http://www.ffccarson.org.