God will never have what He wants most of all

Published 1:46 am Saturday, June 16, 2018

By R.A. Mathews

I’m about to blow your socks off. If you want to hold onto your britches, pull them up tightly. Here we go: God is all-powerful and all-knowing, but God doesn’t have everything He wants.

This is a great truth.

What God longs for most eludes Him—it has since the beginning of time. You see it in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and you see it today.

What is that?

Let me tell you a story. Two parents lost their boy somewhere in a crowded city. For three days and two nights they searched for him, obviously frantic.

Mary and Joseph finally find Jesus in the temple. Remember what Jesus says to them: “Didn’t you know I’d be in My Father’s house?”

And what do they say? “Ah, yes, we should have known.”

No, they don’t. Scripture says they don’t understand Jesus. Luke 2:51

Isn’t that odd? Mary and Joseph knew Jesus was conceived by God. On top of that, hadn’t the angels announced to them that Jesus was the Son of God?

Well, let’s look.

Joseph had four dreams about Jesus. In one, Jesus is referred to as God’s son. When Gabriel speaks to Mary, he says it twice: Jesus will be the “Son of God” and “Son of the Most High.”

So Mary and Joseph not only had the virgin birth, but also angelic pronouncements that God is the Father of Jesus. Apparently that’s not enough because they don’t understand their 12-year-old son when He says, “Didn’t you know I’d be in my Father’s house?”

Here’s why—for a Jew to refer to God as “my Father” was blasphemy. In fact, two decades later those words will get Jesus into big trouble. The Jews will burn with anger, seeking to kill Jesus for saying “my Father.” They’ll say He’s making “Himself equal with God.” John 5:18

Honestly, the first time I saw this blasphemy charge, I immediately turned to the Old Testament. It didn’t make sense. Clearly Jews from Abraham to Jeremiah had called God “Father.” Right?

Wow—get ready for this.

According to “Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology,” “Father” is used for God only 15 times in the Old Testament. You can count them on your fingers and toes.

Even worse, generally those passages are talking about God’s nature—only one person in the Old Testament actually speaks to God calling him, “Father.” That’s Isaiah, and he only does it twice.

I was surprised.

Obviously, this is not good and God knows it. Listen to His words as the Old Testament marches to a close. I’ll warn you, these words are painful. God says, “I thought you would call me ‘Father.’” Jeremiah 3:19

That verse always moves me deeply. It’s the yearning of a parent for the love of a child. The all-powerful, all-knowing God longs for His children, wants them to know Him intimately, to call Him “Father.”

Now do you see what I mean? Some 2,000 years have passed from Abraham to the birth of Christ, and God doesn’t have what He wants most.

So the New Testament opens, God becomes flesh, and the Gospels proclaim Jesus. But before that, I’m certain Father God in heaven spoke with Jesus.

“Make sure they know me,” God must have told Jesus. “Make sure they call me ‘Father.’”

What then happens?

Oh-ho. Jesus knocks that ball out of the park—Jesus calls God “Father” over 165 times!

See how important this is to God?

And I wish I could say Jesus settled the matter. But, no—to this day God longs to be called ‘Father.’ He will forever want His children more than anything, seeking those who walk away, knowing many will never love Him.

God doesn’t have what He wants most. And He never will.

This Father’s Day, pray with your children. Lead them to know God intimately, to call Him “Father.”


© 2017, 2018 R.A. Mathews     The Rev. Mathews is an attorney, columnist, and the author of “Reaching to God: Great Truths from the Bible.”