Good Morning, Brothers and Sister!
Today we remember God’s past faithfulness as a reminder that God is still faithful to us and will always be faithful!
One of the names of God in the Bible is “Jehovah Jireh” which means “The Lord Will Provide”! We only find this name of God once in the entire Bible, in Genesis 22:14. Beloved, this may be my favorite name of God, for there is no greater comfort than this, that the Lord will provide!
Let us read Genesis 22:1-14 in the English Standard Version:
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
This is the Word of the Lord. Let us pray!
Beloved, this story starts out as a great tragedy. Abraham waited 100 years to have a son, the child God had promised him many years earlier. He had already given up his son Ishmael, whom Sarah’s servant had borne him. Isaac was his only son, the child of promise, the child through whom all the other blessings of God were promised to come. God had promised Abraham that if he left his home, his country, and his people, God would reward him with his own land to possess, many descendants too numerous to count, and a blessing that through his descendant all the nations of the earth would be blessed. But God tells Abraham to lay it all down, to surrender all God’s promises, all God’s blessings, and his most beloved, his only son. God called Abraham to take Isaac up on a mountain and sacrifice him there.
What heartache Abraham must have endured for three days as he anticipated putting his only son to death! Did he ever consider disobeying the Lord? Which of us would have the faith of Abraham when Isaac asked him where the sacrifice was and he replied that the Lord would provide the sacrifice?
Up on the mountain, when Abraham bound his son Isaac, they must have experienced great pain. Isaac probably felt betrayed by his father. And Abraham must have wondered if Isaac would ever forgive him. Yet Abraham believed that God would provide!
Hebrews 11:19 tells us that Abraham believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead once he was slain. He obeyed God by faith, not knowing how God would keep his promises, but believing nonetheless. And God did!
Beloved, this reminds me of another story in the Bible, the one about Abraham’s chosen descendant. For John 3:16 says,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.”
The angel of the Lord stopped Abraham from slaying his son. And there was a ram provided that day for the sacrifice. But the ultimate sacrifice was still to come, Jesus Christ, the lamb of God. And no angel would stop Jesus from being slain. He is the ultimate provision. For just as a ram died in place of Isaac, so Jesus died in our place.
We were enemies of God, lost in our sins, unable to worship or serve the Lord. Yet God loved us. And he sent Jesus to die in our place. Jesus is our ultimate provision!
Romans 8:32 says, “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?”
God is indeed Jehovah Jireh, our provider! For he has not only provided Jesus who died in our place, but he has loved us with an everlasting love, and he will graciously give us every good thing.
Sometimes we may be in a situation similar to Abraham’s when he was being tested. We may not see how God is going to provide for us. We may suffer grief and hardship. So let us ask God to give us the faith he gave Abraham so that we can obey him faithfully knowing that Christ already paid the price for all our sins and shame, and that at the other end of this short journey of faith, we will see the provision of the Lord!
Let us pray!