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  • Jonathan Huddleston

The Father's Heart

The Bible doesn't have a lot of stories that focus on the relationship between a father and a child, and many of them are sad stories.

I'm sure plenty of men in the Bible were happy about their children, but the Scriptures don't tell us about it. The first father whose parental feelings we really hear about is Abraham, who had to send away his first son (Ishmael) and almost sacrificed his second son (Isaac). As a father, I can't help feeling sorry for him.

Isaac had a strained relationship with his younger son Jacob, who cheated his father to get the firstborn's parental blessing and then had to flee. Jacob, in turn, had one favorite son, Joseph; he received (false) news of Joseph's death, and spent years mourning. Despite the happy ending when he learned that Joseph was alive after all, the story invites us to grieve all the years that this father-son pair lost.

And who can forget David, who had to fight a civil war when his own son, Absalom, rebelled. Talk about a lose-lose situation! David won the battle, but his son was killed. "My son, my son Absalom!" David cried. "If only I had died instead of you--O Absalom, my son, my son!"

Perhaps the Bible wants us to think about the sorrow of a father's heart. We're all familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son, but we may not notice that it is a story about a sorrowful father--abandoned by one son, unappreciated by the other. Jesus suggests that God is a Father who is ill-treated by his children.

Jesus suggests that God is a Father who is ill-treated by his children.

"All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people." This complaint of God's which Paul (Romans 10:21) quotes from Isaiah (65:2), reminds us not just of our sin, but of God's sorrowful love. Our Father has a heart that grieves when His children do not listen to Him.

Of course, like Abraham and like Jacob and like the father of the Prodigal Son, our Father is always ready to turn from sorrow to joy when his children turn from death to life!



  • Sunday worship service at 10 a.m. is a wonderful time to invite a visitor--especially on Father's Day. If anyone wants to get a preview of what they will find here, offer to watch a service together on Youtube, and talk about what we do.

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