God Our Loving Father
I have two dogs that I love dearly – they are definitely part of the family! My backyard has a carefully secured chain link fence that’s reinforced at the bottom to prevent escapes! Inside the fence I have toys, food and water, a dog house, and shade trees. Duncan and Libby can play together without fear of getting lost or injured. I can watch over them from the kitchen window and see immediately if they need anything. Twice a day I clip leashes to their collars and we walk around the neighborhood. I love my dogs and I want to keep them safe, so I set clear boundaries for them. Sometimes I have to take my pets to the vet for uncomfortable shots. The shot stings for a moment but will ultimately prevent worse illness!
What if I said, "I love my pets, so I let them do whatever they want!"? What if I left the gate open and let them run in the street, dig in the neighbor’s garbage, or get in fights? I’d be responsible for a mess, unhappy neighbors, and my dog might get hit by a car. Letting my pets run loose in the neighborhood isn’t loving – it’s irresponsible and unsafe.
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11
I’ve heard other people complain about all the rules in the Bible. The Ten Commandments are pretty clear: Do not steal, have no other gods before me, you know them well (Exodus 20). The Israelites rebelled against God over and over – they set up a golden calf, they chose to worship the false gods of the Canaanites. In our hearts we sometimes rebel against God if we see Him as restricting us like a harsh judge. People who don’t know God and His Word don’t have the same strong foundation to return to consistently.
My whole perspective changed when I began to see His Word from God as a loving Father. The Word is like the fence I have set up. Only safe things that honor Him should be allowed into my life. Following His Word goes a long way in keeping my heart, mind, and body safe from unnecessary injury.
Then, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Because we live in a fallen world with illness, death, and evil. If we believe God is a loving father, everything in our lives will turn out for good (Genesis 50:20). That doesn’t lessen the suffering but it does remind us that God is with us no matter what happens. When Job lost his children, homes, and livestock (livelihood), his response was to fall down and worship (Job 1:20). I don’t think anyone would’ve blamed Job for complaining loudly, and at length, about his circumstances, but he didn’t. He mourned, which was appropriate, and he worshiped, which is divine. When bad things happen, turn your heart to God and He will give your comfort.
Reading God’s Word on an free e-Bible while you’re relaxing is a great way to keep His Word fresh in your mind. Of course, a good hard cover of His Word in the form of a family Bible is tough to beat!