God chooses to relate to us in terms we all understand—terms of the family. Family is God's design for the foundation of society. God embodies the characteristics of both a father and a mother (Isaiah 66:12–13), yet presents Himself as heavenly Father. When we put our faith in Jesus, we become children of God (John 1:12–13) and He is our Father. Jesus Himself taught us to call on God as Father in the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13; Luke 11:2–4).
In Psalm 68:5, David refers to God as the "Father of the fatherless." To put verse 5 a bit in context, below is Psalm 68:4–6:
"Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the LORD;
exult before him!
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
God settles the solitary in a home;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious dwell in a parched land."
Whether we've had a good earthly father or not, we know what a good father should be and what a good father should do. God gave us an innate understanding of and a universal need for a good father—the need to be protected, loved, guided, valued, even disciplined. And God will fulfill that role in our lives if we let Him. No one must be truly fatherless, because God is the perfect Father and He made provision for everyone to become a child of His (John 3:16–18; 2 Peter 3:9).
The Bible repeatedly singles out orphans (those without father or mother) and widows as especially in need of His attention, and the attention and care of His church (Deuteronomy 24:20; Jeremiah 49:11; Psalm 27:10; James 1:27). God will care for those who have no earthly families. He does this directly, but also many times uses the body of believers, our spiritual family, to provide care.
God offers Himself as the ideal Father not only to those without earthly fathers, but to all who will come to Him (Deuteronomy 1:31; Isaiah 49:15; John 6:37; 16:26–27; Luke 11:13). God gave His Son so that we might become His children. When we belong to Him, God expects us to call on Him, trusting His goodness (Psalm 50:15). He wants us to give our worries over to Him to carry (1 Peter 5:7) and simply have confidence in Him as we desire to have confidence in our earthly father (Romans 8:31–39). God is the best Father there is—He will be a Father to the fatherless and He alone is capable of filling every void left by our imperfect earthly fathers. In truth, God is the only perfect Father and the One we all most need.
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