August 24th – Say ‘Abba’

Yesterday we were acknowledging our debt to the Psalms as the greatest prayer and worship guide of all times. “If you want to learn to pray – pray the Psalms”, say the sages.Well the Jews who worshipped in the Temple at Jerusalem, regarded God as the Father of Israel who knew them and loved them, and like a good father wanted nothing but good for them: even if this involved disciplining them.The idea of God as their Father was not new to them.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13,14.
This is from an admission that even our own fathers and mothers are not as faithful a parent to us as is God. (Psalm 27:10)
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
In fact people who have no parents on earth are not bereft.
Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds – his name is the Lord – and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:4-5
If all Israel knew God as their father, what was so new about Jesus teaching his followers, who were Jews remember, to pray “Our Father …..”? Well, for one thing, there was his personal use of the word ABBA – not quite “Daddy”, but certainly a word of great intimacy and personal trust: a word which puts us as His children. It’s that intimacy which is the heart of all true prayer. Only Jesus truly knows the Father, and yet he shares with us that knowledge which is personal intimacy.
This is Jesus speaking :
All things have been committed to me by my Father.No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Matthew 11:27
A Prayer pointer:
I saw a Hebrew father, hand-in-hand with his little child, as they stepped into the spring waters of Sachne in S. Galillee.The child started to slip, and in a loud voice cried “Abba, Abba”, and Dad held him firm, in love.
Now read Hosea Chapter 11.

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