Our view of God matters more than we might think. If we fear Him, we will not draw close to Him. “God is love.”
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
Today, we begin with a description by John about God’s character:
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. God is light, therefore, there is nothing to fear.
In case that verse is not enough, John gives us another character trait of the Father in 1 John 4:8,
8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God doesn’t just love; He IS love.
Imagine a judge in a small town whose son commits a crime. When the son came before the judge, though he loves his son very much, the judge would have to pass sentence on him to pay for his crimes. This type of judgment is costly to both the father and the son, and does not express the love the father has for the son.
Imagine now a rich father whose son gets caught up in drugs. The son steals money from the safe along with several very valuable art pieces from his father’s collection. The police catch the son trying to sell the art pieces and contact the father, asking if he wants to press charges. The father, who loves his son very much, says, “No. Bring him home.” The father then gets the son the help he needs and pays for it out of his own pocket. This type of judgment is beneficial for both the father and the son, and expresses the deep, deep love the father has for the son.
This second illustration also reflects the parable of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32.
17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
As we can see, the son’s former behavior was nothing to the father compared to him having his son back. And so it is with our heavenly Father. Our former behavior is nothing compared to Him having us back in relationship with Him. We are “safe and secure from all alarms” as we lean on Jesus.
Abba, if we could just get over feeling like we have to do something for You to like us, I think we would come to understand just how much You love us. Transform our minds, Lord, so that we can at least catch glimpses of what it means to rest in the security of Your loving arms. We really are safe! Thank You for being such a loving Father. Amen.