As Christians, we can often forget how affected our lives are by God’s grace in salvation. We have been brought—adopted—into a new family. We are no longer children of wrath, but children of the living God (Eph. 2:3–5).
One of the most power pictures of adoption and God’s unfailing love comes from the book of Ezekiel. Ironically, it occurs within an allegory describing Israel’s constantly failing love:
Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites . . . . And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.
And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. . . .
When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. (Ezekiel 16:3–8)
It is in Christ that we see this compassion of the Father most fully expressed. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
As our Father, He gives us all things that we need, and knows them before we ask (Matt. 6:8). This is similar to what Jesus taught on the Sermon on the Mount—that if earthly (and sinful) fathers know how to give good gifts and care for their children, how much more will our heavenly (perfect) Father give good gifts and care for us (Matt. 7:9–11)?
The answer is clear, and Jesus gives us a sound argument that we need to learn if we are to overcome the doubts of our flesh and the attacks of Satan. Only when I begin to think along these lines do I have assurance that my life and the lives of my brothers and sisters are secure in the hands of the Father.
The Father’s adoption of us is most glorious because of who He is—“the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).