Was God Known as Father in the Old Testament

Was God Known as Father in the Old Testament?

When Jesus was on earth, He seemed to introduce the idea of God as our Father. When Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, the prayer begins with “Our Father,”

Reading through the New Testament, it might seem like that was a new idea. Many religious people were offended when Jesus claimed God to be His Father.

Was this idea a new revelation? Was God known to people as Father before Jesus came to earth?

You might be surprised to learn that there are scriptures throughout the Old Testament that describe and address God as Father. And many scriptures where God calls people His children.

This wasn’t an idea that people had never heard before. Jesus revealed many new things about God, but people had been addressing God as Father for thousands of years before Jesus’ ministry.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are present in the Old Testament.

What was new in the New Testament, was the idea of Gentiles becoming children of God. Throughout the Old Testament, only the Isralites were the children of God. Through the sacrifice of Jesus and creation of the new covenant, Gentiles, or ‘those without God’, can be grafted into the family of God.

“They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.”
Jeremiah 31:9 NKJV
“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.”
Isaiah 64:8 NKJV
1 Corinthians 8 6

“Doubtless You are our Father, Though Abraham was ignorant of us, And Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Lord, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.”
Isaiah 63:16 NKJV
“Is this the way you repay the Lord, you foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?”
Deuteronomy 32:6 NIV
“I myself said, “‘How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me.”
Jeremiah 3:19 NIV
“A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’”
Malachi 1:6 NKJV

“Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers?”
Malachi 2:10 NKJV
“For those whom the Lord loves He corrects, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”
Proverbs 3:12 AMP
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.”
Psalm 103:13 NIV
“Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
Hosea 1:10 NIV
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the Lord has spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me.”
Isaiah 1:2 NKJV
“Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.’”
Exodus 4:22-23 NKJV

“You are the children of the Lord your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead.”
Deuteronomy 14:1 NKJV
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.” 
Hosea 11:1 NKJV
“I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’” 
Psalm 82:6 NIV

The next two verses are from Ben Sira, which is a book written by Jesus son of Sirach around 180–175 B.C.

“Lord, Father and Master of my life, do not abandon me to their designs, do not let me fall because of them!” Ben Sira 23:1 NABRE
“I called out: Lord, you are my Father, my champion, my savior! Do not abandon me in time of trouble, in the midst of storms and dangers. I will always praise your name and remember you in prayer!” Ben Sira 51:10-11 NABRE

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