#02 Who Is Your Father?

by Dr. Stephen Phinney

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).

The Father makes it clear that He is the beginning and the end.  If we were able to find all the spoken and inspired words describing God in the Word of God, we still would not come close to describing the Father of heaven.   It will take eternity for us to discover all the attributes of God.  This is the primary reason why we should be so excited about going to the Father and spending eternity with Him.  I have my order in for multiple interviews myself!
Think how boring it would be if we were told everything about a friend or spouse at the very first meeting.  One of the key elements of finding intimacy is in the search for it.  The more time we take to get to know a friend, spouse, child or God, the richer and more intimate the relationship becomes.  So much of mankind’s sinful flesh wants everything right now.  God is a God of perfect timing and it will be in His timing that we come to know Him completely.  This is not something I fight and battle for any longer.  I am learning to enjoy each moment of truth in the moment and portion that it is given to me.    
Before beginning today's lesson,  consider praying this prayer out loud.It will assist you in staying focused on the Truth and train you to pray doctrinal prayers (prayers filled with scriptural Truth).

Covenant Prayer

Dear Father, who is in heaven, and in the center of my heart.  I ask this day that you take my mind, will, and emotions and yield them to the Holy Spirit for discipline.  I ask that You cause me to focus on You today and not on my circumstances.  I tend to be selfish and centered on my problems.  I reject this selfish way of thinking and yield to You as my Father.  I pray that You would use this lesson today to renew my mind and move me to take actions on all that Your inspired Word reveals to me.  I pray that you will post angels at the door of my heart, keeping me centered on the way, truth, and life of your Son.  As You reveal Your attributes and characteristics, I ask that I will not view them as just words, but that I become transformed as a result of hearing them.  I thank you this day for hearing Your humble servant and I choose to pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Jesus, the son of the Father of heaven, made it quite clear that the heavenly Father keeps profound truths from the earthly wise and intelligent, and gives His understanding of the Scriptures to the simpleminded.  Why would this be?  Well, it simply takes a child to understand the things of a child.  The Hebrew language gives us 27 primary adjectives to help us understand the role of the heavenly Father. 

Take Action - Your View
  • Before we look at the descriptions of God the Father, please describe your view of the heavenly Father.
  • Now that you have stated your view of the heavenly Father, write a brief description of your earthly father.  If you were adopted, give the description of your adoptive father.  If you were adopted and you know enough about your natural father to describe him, describe both.  If a group home, mother, grandmother or surrogate parent raised you, describe the “father figure” who had the biggest influence in your life. 
  • Look up the following Scriptures:
    1. Exod. 34:7
    2. Deut. 24:16
    3. 2 Chron. 6:25
    4. 2 Chron. 25:4
The Father's View

The Hebrew word picture for “father” is strength or leader of a house.  This Hebrew word includes that of a natural father.  It also is used for the founder or the first ancestor, as well as an author or maker of anything.  “Father” applies to the one who provides care, like a father to the needy, as well as a master or teacher.  “Father” is also for the god that we choose to follow.

This word comes from two primary ancient pictures, 1) Alef – ox, strong or first, and 2) Bet – house.  The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (beginning of the house) is Alef.  This word also means the leader of a family or tribe.  This is where the English speaking descendants get the letter A.  Aloof is a derivative of Alef, it means gentle or to tame an ox.
Bet is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The ancient word picture of Bet is tent, a house, or a family.  The word Bet is also used as the number 2 in the Hebrew numeric system.  The reason this is a significant factor is that Alef, first strong leader, and Bet, house or family, clearly reveals the importance of a father embracing his strength (first priority) and applying his strength within his home (second priority). 
  • Read 1 Timothy 3:5
Twenty-seven primary Hebrew words clearly describe the heavenly Father, as well as the role of an earthly father - allow me to share 17 of them with you.  Review the list and place a check in the box to the left if you find/found that particular trait in your earthly father.  

Review these words and their definitions: 
  • Advisor: Authoritative leader who assists in guiding followers in finding their way 
  • Ancestor: Parent who keeps family beliefs intact from generation to generation 
  • Author: The one who writes the book or law for others to follow
  • Begetter: One who brings for life by way of a seed 
  • Benefactor: A patron, supporter, or backer of those who follow him 
  • BondOne who keeps a tribe together at all costs – particularly between generations 
  • Chief: A principled leader who is in command of a tribe 
  • Counselor: Assisting followers in overcoming personal problems that block them from success 
  • Creator: One who forms life or originates ideas for practical prosperity 
  • Forefather: Father who leads his son(s) in the ways of true beliefs 
  • Founder: A leader who establishes a tribe for future generations 
  • Patriarch: A known and respected forefather who has left a legacy for others to follow 
  • Protector: A leader who puts into place “guards of protection” for those he loves 
  • Respect: A leader who has earned his honor by tenderly caring for those around him 
  • Ruler: A leader who establishes reasonable rules for daily living 
  • Senior Male: A respected father who has honor and respect of those around him 
  • Teacher: Educator, helper, or communicator of practical truths for daily living            
Did you know that if your earthly father has 20 or more of these traits, your heart has already been prepared for a legacy?
The view we carry in our hearts regarding the role and life of a father directly affects our view of God as a heavenly Father.  When we perceive God to be like our earthly father, we covertly accuse God of being filled with sin.  Earthly fathers are to radiate the characteristics of the heavenly Father.  Satan wants us to view God through the lives and behaviors of our fleshly fathers.
All Scriptures, unless otherwise stated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Next time:  Trinity of the “Us”