He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
What do you need the Lord to provide for you–health, a job, wisdom, comfort, hope, patience…? Abraham needed a miracle. God tested him by telling him, “Take your son, your only son whom you love, Isaac” and offer him as a burnt offering. You don’t have to be a parent to grasp the intensity of this test. The tests that involve the ones we love most are the hardest.
Abraham passed the test and can show us how to pass our tests. Abraham believed God. He demonstrated his faith by preparing the wood for the sacrifice and set out early the next morning with Isaac on the journey to the place God had designated.
We aren’t given Abraham’s private thoughts and emotions during the three day journey but I imagine a dagger pierced his heart when Isaac, who was probably a teenager by now, asked him “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
“God will provide,” was his simple answer. If Abraham had focused on his circumstances he may have said, “Will God provide?” But he focused on God, not on the provision or how it would happen. Genesis 22 tells the story.
Hebrews 11:17-19 tells us that because God had already promised to make a great nation from this son, Abraham believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham was wrong in his guess of how God would provide, but right in His focus; God, not Abraham, would solve this dilemma. Abraham demonstrated his trust by obeying and God demonstrated His worthiness by providing.
After God provided the ram to replace Isaac, Abraham named the place The LORD Will Provide. He didn’t say The Lord Provided, though He had, but–The LORD Will Provide. He recognized God’s never changing character and essence. We can look forward with confidence that God will provide.
How do we know whether we can trust God to provide for our needs? When God provided His only Son, whom He loved, He demonstrated beyond any doubt His love and worthiness. Nothing that we think we may need can compare with this provision. We can trust Him.
A small change in word order may have changed the wonderful ending to this story. What if Abraham had said, “Will God provide?” Which word order are you focused on today? Let’s put ‘God’ in the right place. The LORD will provide.
For some extra inspiration enjoy this short movie about Johnny the Bagger.
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Debbie, thank you so much for this very special reminder. I could spend the rest of my life thanking God for His provisions in my life, yet sometimes I still fret and worry. I pray for trust and faithfulness like Abraham. Bless you