The Lord Will Provide

Monday, January 09, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

NOTE: Today’s scripture reading and blog post is much longer than usual. I pray that you take the time to read the Scripture text as well as my thoughts and insights that follow.
Genesis 22:1-14:
1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now 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.” 
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” 
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 
11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” 
I never cease to be blessed and amazed at how the Scriptures, the Word of God, brings comfort and hope!
Thankfully, severe challenges in life are not an everyday occurrence. Abraham faced an almost unimaginable challenge. He was asked to offer up his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.
Most everything we have is not beyond our ability to give up. But there are some things, and especially some people, that we could hardly imagine letting go. This is especially true for people and purposes we have poured our lives and our faith into. Value can be measured by our investment of time and energy. We can make no greater investment than into the lives of people. For Abraham, there could be nothing of greater value than his own son, “whom you love,” God said. He asked Abraham to make a monumental choice!
Abraham knew that it was not possible for God to take away, forever, that which he both promised and provided in Isaac. Hebrews 11:19 says that Abraham, by faith, had already received his son back from the dead, if he were sacrificed. Nevertheless, this was still a great trial for Abraham. 
A question asked by Isaac went to the heart of Abraham's challenge: Abraham's answer to his son's question revealed the depth of his faith and confidence in God. 
Isaac saw the fire, the altar, and the knife in his father's hand. He knew from experience that all the elements were present for a sacrifice to be made, so Isaac asked the question, “Daddy, Where is the sacrifice?” 
Abraham's answer to this question is always your answer––and my answer. 
Abraham's answer was both a prophecy of our Savior Jesus Christ and a reminder to us of God's provision at every turn in life. This is especially true when things seem to turn for the worse and it looks like you're losing something that you labored in love to birth.
Abraham said, “The Lord will provide for himself a lamb as an offering.” Abraham did not tell Isaac what he would do. He told his son what the Lord would do. 
Being in a place where we can only trust God is not a comfortable place. It is an uncomfortable place because we usually rely on ourselves, even when we say that we are “trusting in the Lord.” Abraham was in a place in which he absolutely had to trust God! He trusted God even to the moment when he raised the knife in preparation to lower it in sacrificing his only son. It took an angel of the Lord to call to him and prevent him from doing so. God provided the sacrifice in the form of a ram caught in the thick brush by its horns.  It is not known if the ram had always been there and Abraham did not notice it, or if it supernaturally appeared on cue.
In this test, Abraham proved that his loyalty to God was greater than his sense of ownership. He also proved to himself that he could trust God as his Owner and Provider. God acknowledged as much by saying to him, "Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
Our lesson from this ancient story is this: Every time and place where you gave up, or were willing to give up, something or someone most precious to you, becomes a new place of "The-LORD-Will-Provide" (Jehovah-Jireh) in your life. In God's plan, you never give up something for nothing. His provision is your supply. Your confidence in His provision is your peace and joy. Your value and provision increases every time you trust God!
Abraham’s place of impending loss became his greatest gain. He was the one who named that place, “Jehovah-Jireh,” "The Lord will Provide."

Name your place.

~ Bryan Hudson