DISCOVERING GOD PROVIDES
Sovereign God, I’m thankful that when all is said and done, You are the beginning because You are the end.
Read Genesis 22:9–19
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHas God’s provision ever seemed last-minute to you?
A 19th century journalist reporting on a horse race (in which the first horse to cross an actual wire was the winner) was the first to use the expression ‘down to the wire’. One could say that God took his provision of an alternative sacrifice ‘down to the wire.’
Amazingly, Abraham just kept going, doing what God said. Isaac’s conception was miraculous, he’d been circumcised as a sign of the covenant, God knew he was the only and much-loved son (2).
But… was Isaac not the fulfillment of the promise after all (21:12)? Was he to be sacrificed and something else miraculous would happen? What thoughts must have raced across Abraham’s mind!
Then, the angel of the Lord spoke twice from heaven (11,15) with the command to stop and a repeat of God’s future promised blessings. Abraham had passed the test. The sacrificial ram was provided (13). Abraham really did trust God.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that God tests and also provides. It is hard to hold those two characteristics of God together, yet they are both evident throughout Scripture – in the Exodus, the Exile, Christ in the wilderness, in the Garden of Gethsemane. God is faithful.
We hold our breath when we don’t know what will happen next! Hold your breath now, then breathe out, acknowledging in relief that God knows and He will provide.
“All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided……”. Thank You Lord, You are my provider.