Arthur at “the voice of one crying out in suburbia” has written a very good article called “The Potter and His right over the clay.” The entire article is good, but I especially liked the end of the post where he begins talking about God as Father, and the view of modern fathers:
Perhaps we misunderstand the idea of God as Father and ourselves as adopted children. Perhaps we see the parent-child relationship more like modern Western culture and less like the relationship that the original Biblical audience would have understood. We see our parents as something we strive to outgrow. We turn 18 and become â€œindependentâ€ of our parents, striking out on our own to make a name for ourselves. I donâ€™t think of myself as the son of Robert, I am a man in my own right. While I am not an expert on ancient culture by any means, I do understand that the relationship between fathers and sons (and husbands and wives) in ancient times was vastly different from how it is today. Family was far more important and honoring your father and mother didnâ€™t mean a card on their birthday. The leveling of the parent-child relationship in Western civilization makes fathers into peers as we grow into adulthood and that is perhaps why when we speak of God as Father we see Him as far less than He is or conversely we see ourselves as far more than we are. We diminish God and elevate ourselves and that has been the problem with mankind since way back to a certain dispute over fruit from one particular tree.
God is God and we are not. That seems so simple and yet so hard to live with. It may be hard but it is so vital because the more we submit to God as the Creator, as the sovereign Potter and likewise recognize ourselves as merely clay in His hands, the closer we will walk with Him.
Yes, God is God and we are not. God is Father, and not like us or our fathers. He will always be our father. We will always be his children. We will never outgrow him.