Jehovah Jireh _ The Lord Will Provide
Jehovah Jireh “The Lord Will Provide”
We have been talking about the names of God and how each of His names reveals an attributeof who He is. We have also been looking at different aspects of the Israelite’s journeyfrom Egypt to the promise land. It was along this journey that God revealedmany characteristics about himself to His people.
Today we want to go to the very beginning of the Israelite’s Journey. Before there was a group called the Israelites there was a man named Abraham. He is known as the “fatherof many nations.” It all started with him.
God had called Abraham outfrom where he was dwelling and gave him a couple of promises.
One of these promises is:
15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
Just when Abraham thought that he was approaching the endof his life at one hundredyears old, God promises to provide Abrahamwith a son.
A person may ask, “Why did God waituntil Abraham was old to grant him this promise?” I would suggest that God did it to show what may seem impossiblewith man is possible with God.
God did fulfill His promisethat He had made with Abraham by giving him Isaac. When God calls He provides. When God called Abrahamto be the father of a nation whom the Lord would call his special possession, then God provided the meansby which Abraham would become a great nation. He provided Isaac.
When God calls youto do something great, He will also provideas you begin to step out in faith.
Abraham had to step outin faith by putting forth the action (which I’m sure he did not mind) with the hope of receivingthe promise
(imagine how that conversation went with his wife)
Genesis 22:1-14 (ESV)
1 After these things God tested Abraham
One thing we must keep in mind as we read this story, is that this is all a test. Several stories in the bible demonstrates to us that we will be tested in this life. Jobwas tested most severely by losing everythinghe had yet he did not curse God. Danielwas tested whether he would remain faithful to prayingonce the decree had been made to quit praying to any God except the king. His three friends Shadrack Meshach and Abednegowere all tested to see if they would bowdown to the image that the king had set up or else they would be thrown into a furnace.
Even Jesus was testedin the wilderness for forty days and forty nights.
In this life youtoo will be tested. Whatever trials, obstaclesor temptationsthat you are faced with in this life are all test to see whether you will be found faithfuleven in the midst of affliction.
Our friend Abrahamis about to be tested like no other.
and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 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.” 3
- Isaac was Abraham’s promised son
God had promised Abrahamthat he would have a son, and through this son would come a great nationeven kingswere promised to come from his lineage. Yet we find that God is askinghim to do something incredibly difficult. That promise that he had hoped forand which came to fruition was the very promise that God was askingAbraham to lay down.
Remember this is just a test. God does not delightin the sacrifices of human flesh. In fact, later we see in the book of Jeremiah and Ezekiel that God was appalledand even furiouswhen the Israelites (the future descendants of Abraham) had sacrificed their childrento demon gods.
This was not about sacrificing Isaac, this was a test of Abraham’s obedience. Would Abraham be found faithful even to the point of laying down the promisethat God had provided him?
- Has God ever asked you to lay down something that was so dear to you?
- How hard was that?
So often we want God’s provision, We want Him to be Jehovah Jireh our providerbut we are not willing to obeywhat He is asking us to do.
Watch how Abraham responds
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. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 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.” 6 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. 7 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?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
9 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. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
- Abraham was obedient in sacrificing his son
Abraham held nothingback from God.
Look at all the stepsAbraham took to walk in obedience to what God was asking Him.
- Rose early
- Saddled his donkey
- Gathered his servants and his son
- Cut the wood for the sacrifice
- Placed the wood on Isaac his son
- He took up the knife and the fire
- Built an altar
- Laid the wood
- Bound his son
- Raised the knife to kill his son.
All these stepswere taken to walk in obedience to the one step that Godhad commandedhim “offer your son as a burnt sacrifice.”
The little things were necessaryfor Abraham to do if he was to fulfill the greater thingthat God was asking him to do. He had to do what was humanly possibleto see God do what was divinely possible.
Before he would experience God’s provisionHe must be obedient in the smallerthings.
Perhaps the big thing that God is calling you to, is to be debt free. Then you must also be obedient in the small things for that to happen. Meaning you must quit buying junkevery time you go to the dollar storeor the convenient store.
If you feel the big thing that God is calling you to is to work on your marriageor other relationship, then you must likewise be faithful to doing the small thingsthat lead toward a healthy relationship.
If you are wanting freedom from an addiction or sin problemthen you need to be obedientin overcoming the smallthings that lead to that addiction or sin.
I’m sure every stepthat he took was a painful reminderof what was about to happen to his son. But every step that he took we see his obedience.
Obedience Precedes Provision
11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 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.” 13 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. 14 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.”
- God provided a ram for the sacrifice
Abraham had passed the test. Because he was obedient, God had provided himself a ram. This ram was to take the place of Isaacas a burnt offering to the Lord. The sacrificemust continueas a form of worshipto the Lord. Because Abraham had purposed in his heartto worshipso therefore worship he must give.
It is not goodto onlyhavegood intentions, but our good intentions should be accompaniedby following through with our actions.
Abraham set out to worshipthe Lord, he thoughthe was going to have to sacrifice his son, instead God provideda ram for the sacrifice. The ram was an acceptablesacrifice to God.
Abraham can now worship Godwith the revelationthat He is Jehovah Jirehhis provider. Because God had provided Abraham a sacrifice.
We cannot talk about this storywithout talking about the provision that Godhas made for usthrough His Son Jesus. Because what happens in this story is a direct parallelof how God provided a sacrificethat was a sufficient paymentfor our sins.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are not talking a physical deathonly but aspiritual death.
Isaac was boundwith ropesand was about to face death by burning. We too were bound by sinand we were headed to a place of fire and tormentto be eternally judged for our sin.
Just as Abraham was willing to giveup his son as a sacrifice, Goddid in fact give His son Jesusto die a death that we deserved.
God provides a ramin the place of Isaac, and God provides Jesus to die in our place.
- Jesus was the son of God
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
- Jesus was obedient in laying down his life as a sacrifice
Just as Abraham was obedientto what God had called him to, Jesus was obedientto the Father as he willingly laid down his life.
- God provided a means by which we can be forgiven of our sins
Because of Abraham’s obedience Godhad provideda ram, because of Jesus’ obedience, Godhas providedus with forgivenessof our sins.
- God’s provision extends beyond salvation
Matthew 6:25-34 (Jesus talking about the birds…. Are you not of more value than they?)
But the greatest thing that God has provided to us is salvation through faith in Jesus.