Discover His heart: He is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider
@ Genesis 22
“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” (2) I remember a sermon my husband preached many years ago on the story of Abraham and Isaac, and it’s distinctive in my memory because of the touching illustration he used. Tom started to tell the story of the sacrifice of Isaac and called our young son up front to stand with him. As the story unfolded, he asked our son to lie on the altar, and with tears streaming down his face, he spoke of the incredible anguish that Abraham must have felt as he raised the knife in obedience to God. Now if you know my husband, the crying is not so significant, but because I knew him so well, I could tell he was shaken by the thought of sacrificing someone he loved so much.
When I read this story, I can’t help but focus on the journey to Moriah. Abraham had traveled across that entire region of the world to live in Canaan, but I would imagine that journey did not compare in intensity to the 50 miles to Moriah. While Isaac was enjoying an outing with his dad, Abraham was facing the greatest testing of his life. We know little about the conversation on the journey, but what we do know speaks volumes to us.
As Moriah came into view, “Stay here with the donkey,’ Abraham told the servants. ‘The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.’” Then we will come right back, not I will come right back, but we. Abraham’s statement wasn’t trickery or deceit, but somewhere during the journey, he resolved in his heart that they would both return. The writer of Hebrews expressed it this way, “Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again.” (Hebrews 11:19) We will come right back. No wonder Abraham is listed in the Faith Hall of Fame!
Then, as they continued up to Moriah, “As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to Abraham and said, ‘Father?’ ‘Yes, my son?’ Abraham replied. ‘We have the fire and the wood,’ the boy said, ‘but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?’” (6-7)
I’ve imagined Abraham pondering every promise from God as he took each step to Moriah > God would make him a great nation> his descendants would be like the dust of earth that couldn’t be counted > as many descendants as the stars in the sky > God would make him the father of nations. With confidence, Abraham could reply to his son, “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,’ Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.” (8) Isaac was the son of promise, and God would provide.
We may walk through situations that seem to be completely unlike what our loving God would allow His children to endure. It is then, like Abraham, we are challenged to act on what we know the character of God to be, not on how the circumstances may dictate His character to be. I’ve lived long enough to know that things are rarely as they seem. Our resolve to walk in obedience and faith will be undergirded as we think over the promises of God and remember that He doesn’t lie and that He can only be faithful. Jehovah Jireh, our Provider – God will provide.
Moving Forward: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith. He was even called the friend of God.” (James 2:23) I want to be like Abraham.
Tomorrow @ Judges 1-6