One-a-Day...for the Heart: Abba, Father
Updated: Jan 30, 2021
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden and acted on the serpent’s lie, their relationship with the Father was broken. All that they had with the Father—love, security, peace, provision, joy, health, etc.—changed in a moment of willful defiance. The One who made them from dirt and a rib watched, as His most precious creations chose to walk away from Him and the paradise He fashioned for them. No one grieved more than the Father, I’m sure. The wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23 says, and sometimes death of a relationship is more painful than physical death.
Adam and Eve were the first humans to know the love of a father. That He was their Heavenly Father put them in a class of their own. The depth of relationship they had with the Father is enviable. They enjoyed such freedom and abandonment while in His presence! They regularly enjoyed conversations with Him. Imagine it…walking and talking with the Father, pouring out their hearts with no shame or reservation. He gave them the stupendous task of naming all the animals and birds He’d created. His great love and lavish provision for them makes it difficult to understand why they would disregard the counsel of such an awesome Father. Sadly, at the moment they chose to turn from Him, we, too, lost any chance of a relationship with the Heavenly Father. Paradise Promised became Paradise Lost for all of us, and we became orphans, hopelessly lost and destined for hell.
Father God always has a plan, and, like any good father, He knew how He would fix what was broken. Enter Jesus, the Son of God, slain for the sin of the world. Instantly upon acknowledging Christ as our Savior, we are no longer spiritual orphans. We have a Heavenly Father and Paradise Regained to look forward to! And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father." Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir (Galatians 4:6-7 NLT).
“Abba” is an Aramaic word, denoting a very personal name. In the Jewish culture, it was not ever to be used by slaves when addressing the head of a family, but rather only to be used by the children of the head of the family. The name “Daddy” or “Papa” is an accurate translation of “Abba,” and Greek-speaking Jews added pater, “father,” to it. “Abba” is the word framed by the lips of infants, and signifies unreasoning trust; "father" expresses an intelligent understanding of the relationship. The two together express the love and intelligent confidence of a child (Vine’s Expository Dictionary).
Jesus was very close to His Abba Father and cried out to Him in the Garden of Gethsemane when He knew His death was imminent. "Abba, Father," He cried out, "everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine," Mark 14:36 (NLT) says. The Message translation captures the intimacy of that moment between Jesus and His Abba Father, "Papa, Father, You can — can't You? — get Me out of this. Take this cup away from Me. But please, not what I want — what do You want?"
I called my earthly father, “Daddy”. I still do, even though he’s been with the Lord many years. There is something very endearing and sweet in that name. Now, because of Jesus, we have another “Daddy,” an eternal Papa, our Abba Father. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, "Abba, Father." For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children, (Romans 8:15-17 NLT).
Abba Father is every bit as eager to walk and talk with you as He was to chat with Adam and Eve. Our Heavenly Papa’s love toward us is unlimited, for Your unfailing love is higher than the heavens (Psalm 108:4 NLT).
© 2021, Chris Werre