I was intrigued when one preacher announced that for the Jews of Ancient Times, they did not know the LORD as Father.
In numerous references in the Prophets, though, God addresses Himself and is addressed as "Father".
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9: 6)
Here, the Fatherhood of God is manifest along with the Prince of Peace, Jesus, who is our peace (Ephesians 2: 14), because by His death, He took away our sin and brought us into reconciliation with God the Father (2 Corinthians 5: 20-21)
"Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting. " (Isaiah 63: 16)
"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
"Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people." (Isaiah 64: 8-9)
Here again, God as Father occurs in connection with not remembering our iniquity. All of this foretells the adoptive work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer:
"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" (Romans 8: 15-16)
Jeremiah also painted a kind and blessed future of Israel walking with the help of God as doting Father:
"They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. " (Jeremiah 31: 9)
The reference to the "rivers waters" speaks of the Holy Spirit, who leads us in the way we are to go:
"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
"(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) " (John 7: 38-39)
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." (Galatians 5: 16-18)
Malachi, the final prophet of the Old Testament, shares the following recriminations of God the Father toward His people:
"A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? " (Malachi 1: 6)
The fear of the Lord is based on forgiveness (Psalm 130: 4), an everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9: 24) which had not yet occurred when Malachi prophesied, although Isaiah foresaw the sufferings of the Messiah on our behalf (see Isaiah 53)
"Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?" (Malachi 2: 10)
Man in his own effort cannot but transgress the covenant. That is why God promised to establish a new covenant:
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
God the Father is revealed to us through His Son:
"Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me." (Jon 12: 44)
See the Son, and you will see the Father.