Israel the Firstborn
Israel is God's firstborn:
"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).
"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).
"Will you not from this time cry to Me, ‘My Father, You are the
guide of my youth?’" (Jeremiah 3:4).
"But I said: 'How can I put you among the children and
give you a pleasant land, a beautiful heritage of the hosts of nations?' And I said: 'You shall call
Me, "My Father," and not turn away from Me.'" (Jeremiah 3:19).
"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. . .Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child?
For though I spoke against him, I earnestly remember him still; therefore My
heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord." (Jeremiah
"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; the ox knows its
owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider.' Alas,
sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters!
They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, they have turned away
backward." (Isaiah 1:2-4).
"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." (Malachi 1:6).
Consequently, even before Christ's first advent, Jews prayed to 'Our Father':
"Lord, Father, and Ruler of my life, do not abandon me to the tongue's control
or allow me to fall on its account." (Ecclesiasticus 23:1);
"So I sent up a prayer from the earth and begged for
rescue from death. I cried, 'Lord, thou art my Father; do not desert me in time of trouble, when I
am helpless in the face of arrogance.'" (Ecclesiasticus 51:10, NEB);
"At that point he [Joseph] cried out, calling upon the
mighty God to save him from their power. He said, 'O Father, my God, leave me not forsaken, in
the power of the nations.'" (Dead Sea Scrolls, Wise, Abegg, and Cook, p. 334, 74. 4Q371-373, 2Q22).
Israel is a type of the Messiah, with Old Testament verses
like these applied, in the New Testament, to Jesus Christ:
"When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son."
(Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15).
"But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: 'Let
all the angels of God worship Him.'" (Hebrews 1:6).
This last is a quote of the Septuagint text for Deuteronomy 32:43:
"Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people." (LXX).
Touch me Not
"Jesus said to her, 'Do not cling to Me, for I have not
yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, "I am ascending to My Father and
your Father, and to My God and your God."'" (John 20:17).
"Do you thus deal with the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is He
not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established
you?...Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten
the God who fathered you. And when the LORD saw it, He spurned them
because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters. And He
said: 'I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be,
for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith.'" (Deuteronomy 32:6-20).
Potter and Clay
"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).
"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to
dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the
boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope
for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and
have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His
offspring.' Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that
the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising." (Acts
One God and One Lord
"For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live." (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
Father of Lights
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and
comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." (James
Father of Mercies
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Father of mercies and God of all comfort..." (2 Corinthians 1:3);
"...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and
revelation in the knowledge of Him..." (Ephesians 1:17).
Isaiah prophesied that "the LORD" Jehovah would lay the sins of the
community onto the Messiah, as a scape-goat:
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
This is helpful in showing Latter Day Saints that Jehovah, the
LORD of the Old Testament, is not the Son-only; rather, God the
Father is also called 'Jehovah.'
The adoptive children of God cry out, "Abba, Father:"
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." (Galatians 4:6-7)
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. . ."
God is in a special sense the Father of believers, "But as many as
received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to
them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the
will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. " (John 1:12-13).
The Rabbis describe a proselyte as a new-born child: "R. Jose said: One
who has become a proselyte is like a child newly born." (Babylonian
Talmud, Tractate Yebamoth, 48b). Christians believe in a similar vein,
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John