This might be one reason Jesus said, “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9), yet I’m thinking this has more to do with creation. The term “father” is often used in the Bible, but always for the man who created the child, or, in this case, the God who created us all.
After James writes about the deception of sin and offers the understanding that all goodness in life comes from God, my Father. He says,
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 1:17)The term, “Father of lights” was an old Jewish reference to God as Creator. He made the sun, moon, and stars so is known as the Father of lights.
James uses this as a comparison. The celestial bodies from our vantage point do change. The sun, moon, and stars move, disappear, vary in shape and intensity, and the light they shed comes and goes.
God is not like that. He never changes. In Him there is no variation. He does not change from one condition to another or move like shadows do during the course of a day. His glory, goodness, and truth never change. His grace always shines.
First John 1:5 says, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord, I do not change.”
Earthly fathers change. So does everything else in this world. Creation appears and decays. People are born and die. My moods change continually, as does my thinking and behavior. But God’s love and mercy never change or cease. His goodness does not vary and His desire to bless us is constant and everlasting.
Because everything changes but God, I know that Jesus Christ is God. The Bible says of Him, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
All this is practical. I cannot rely on things that shift and change, especially because I don’t know what they will do next. But God tells me His plans and purposes. They are in His Word. He affirms His love over and over, with the most concrete evidence displayed at Calvary. Jesus died for me because God loved me that much!
Because God does not change, I can rely on Him as my heavenly Father. He will not abuse me. He will never abandon me. He has my eternal best interests at heart and He will take care of me as I call out to Him.
I can also rely on God the Son, Jesus Christ. He promised to never leave or forsake me. He lived a sinless life and offered that life to me. I can tap into Him, abide in Him, and never worry about being alone or being in want, for He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
I am secure because my Father does not change.
Painting: "Contentment" by Marion Coltman