Daily Devotional

The Robe of the Father's Love

by Simon Whitton

21 "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Luke 15:21-22 (NIV)

Like the prodigal son, when we humbled ourselves before our Heavenly Father, He blessed us with many things.  Three of them are alluded to in this passage.  I believe the best robe that the Father can give is the robe of His love, the ring is probably symbolic of sonship and authority, and the sandals could represent peace, as they do in the Ephesians description of the 'armour of God'.  Today let's look at 'the robe of the Father's love'.

In the Old Testament, Jacob gave a richly ornamented robe to his son Joseph. This was surely the 'best robe' and we are told the reason was because he loved Joseph so much.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him.
Genesis 37:3 (NIV)

Joseph has been known as a foreshadowing of Jesus. They were both highly esteemed by their fathers, envied by their brothers, sold for silver, falsely accused, sentenced to death but drawn out of the pit, and exalted to the right hand of the King.

In addition, Joseph's brothers stripped him of his robe and dipped it in goat's blood before taking it back to their father to convince him that his son was dead. But he wasn't dead!  Instead, he was raised to the second highest position in the kingdom. Is this the same robe, the robe of the Father's love and favour, that John saw Jesus wearing in his vision?

He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
Revelation 19:13 (NIV)

Paul's letter to the Ephesians begins with how we have been given 'every spiritual blessing in Christ' and how God has adopted us as His sons.  In other words, those things that belong to Christ have also been given to us.  In the letter's conclusion, Paul lists some of these blessings in the form of 'the armour of God'.  If Paul had added 'God's love' to the armour, he surely would have made it 'the cloak of love'.

A Roman soldier's equipment always included a heavy cloak.  This was probably his most cherished piece of kit.  It gave him warmth and a sense of security during those long nights of guard duty, and wrapped around him, this cloak was shelter from exposure when camped out under the stars.

Our Father's love should be our most cherished possession.  We should not put our security in other things.  But we should find security, shelter and warmth under the heavy covering of His love, so effective that it enables us to rest even when we're alone in a dark and exposed place.

His love for us is so great that we should share it with someone close by.  We have been given a cloak large enough to share with another.  But it's not our love that we share, it comes from God.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
I John 4:7a (NIV)

Spend some time in prayer and thank God that, as His child, He has given you the best robe of His love.  Although you may not feel it, receive His love by faith. Pray that you will find all your security in His love, and that you will treasure it as something of great value.  Pray for opportunities to share His love with someone else.

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See Also: Spread Your Cloak before the King

See Also: The Ring of Sonship and Authority