The Father Love of God
Updated: Aug 15, 2022
The God of the Bible wants people to know him and even as early in the days of Adam, he revealed himself by having fellowship with Adam. Later, to Abraham, he revealed himself as a covenant-making God committing himself by an oath to bring man to reconcile to him and gave assurances through promises of blessings. God revealed his personal name as “YHWH” (Yahweh) ( Exodus 3:14 ) and describing Himself to Moses: “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin……” (Exodus 34:6-7) and He further said, “But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight”. (Jeremiah 9:12)
Yahweh reveals Himself that He is love (1John 4:8). The bible speaks to us about the love of God – see Psalm 85:5; 19:156; 145:9; 108:3, 145:8; James 5:11; Joel 2:13. His greatest command is about the love relationship between us and God and ourselves with our fellow human beings (Matthew 22;36-40).
In the New Testament God reveals himself through the person of Jesus Christ who is the exact representation of Him. In His love, He redeems man through the sacrificial death of Jesus giving us the way to reconcile ourselves to Him even though we were sinners. The God of the Bible is a relational God who reaches out to man even though we are lost, and He relates to us as Father (Romans 8:15) adopting us as his children (Galatians 4:7).
Contrast this with Allah of Islam. Allah is impersonal and In Islam, although Muslims believe that Allah is close to the believer as closeness to his jugular vein (Q50:16 ), Allah is not described as in a love relationship with believers but more as a Master or Lord of the Worlds or creator. Muslims knows Allah through his 99 names for the one God. The 99 names are reminders of Allah's attributes: The Merciful, the Compassionate, the Truth, the Light, the First, the Last, the Unfathomable, the Exalter, the Abaser, and the Creator. The hope is that by remembering Allah's names -- an act known as dhikr in Arabic -- Muslims will look at the world and witness the divine in everything and every situation. It is one of the tools that Muslims use to know their creator better. By trying to emulate the 99 ``beautiful names,'' as the Koran puts it, Muslims try to become better people. Allah's names are their guide.
The relationship between Allah and his believers is one of a master-and-servant relationship and it is a relationship that is forged through submission and compliance to the instructions of Allah and Muhammad through ritualistic practices, compliance to the Syariah and doing good deeds to gain favour from Allah. Allah does not love unbelievers and Allah only loves those who love him first (Q3:31-32, 43-45). There is no compassion for the lost but hostility towards them.
Interestingly, the “Love me first and I’ll love you back” kind of love exhibited by Allah in the Qur’an is condemned by Jesus in Matthew 5:43-48: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Taking the issue of relationship at the practical level with your earthly father, what sort of relationship will you have with your father if he sets the condition that he will only love you provided you love him first? Furthermore, he defines his relationship with you as the need to perform to a list of dos and don’ts, procedures, regulations, and rituals to comply in your personal living so that you may gain your father’s favour. How would you describe your own father under such conditions? Answer- a taskmaster!
In Christianity, a relationship with God is a matter of the heart and not the letter of the law and not based on externalities.
Yes, it is through the redemption of man that God’s greatest act of love is shown through Jesus who came and died for our sins as described in Ephesians 2:4-9
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Biblical Verses on the Father's Love
Biblical Verses on the Father's Love
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