Abraham Depends on God To Provide
Abraham is called “the father of faith”; true faith was exemplified through his life. In the life of this “friend of God”, faith is not defined as perfect character or behavior, but simply believing what God says. Abraham’s life also demonstrates how we may grow in believing God’s word and encourages us to persist though we may grow slowly or not see our faith’s immediate fulfillment.
Trust that God will provide as He promises. Remember that God’s provisions are strategically located along the pathway of faithful obedience.
Meanwhile let’s continue with the story of Abraham & Isaac…
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Genesis 22:6-7 (NIV)
Isaac’s question shows that Abraham had not revealed to Isaac what he was about to do. Isaac was beginning to piece all of this together and arrive at the conclusion that he was the sacrifice.
Yes, you read that right…..
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
Genesis 22:8 (NIV)
Notice that Abraham didn’t tell Isaac that he was going to be the burnt offering. He didn’t say that, because he didn’t believe it. Somehow he knew the Lord was going to preserve Isaac’s life (Hebrews 11:17-19).
The wording here is very important. Abraham did not say, “God will provide a lamb.” He said, “God himself will provide the lamb.” This sounds like Abraham understood the symbolism of what was happening, how God would send His Son to be the Lamb for us (John 1:29). Apparently, that took place right here. I believe Abraham knew exactly what all of this symbolized. He was much smarter than most people think, and his revelation knowledge was exceptional.
On what could Abraham depend?
He certainly could not depend on his feelings, for there must have been terrible pain within as he contemplated slaying his son on the altar. He loved his only son, but he also loved his God and wanted to obey Him.
Nor could Abraham depend on other people. Sarah was at home, and the two servants who accompanied him were back at the camp. We thank God for friends and family members who can help us carry our burdens, but there are some trials in life that we must face alone.
It is only then that we can see what our Father really can do for us!
Abraham could depend on the promise and provision of the Lord. He had already experienced the resurrection power of God in his own body (Rom. 4:19-21), so he knew that God could raise Isaac from the dead if that was His plan. Apparently no resurrections had taken place before that time, so Abraham was exercising great faith in God.
When they finally arrived at the place God had shown him, Abraham took some stones and built an altar there and arranged the wood carefully on top of it. Then he bound up his son Isaac with rope and laid him on the altar on top of the stack of wood.
Genesis 22:9 (VOICE)
Flavius Josephus says Isaac was about twenty-five at this time. Some scholars have reckoned him to be thirty-five years old. There was no way Abraham, who was one hundred years older than Isaac, could have physically restrained his son if Isaac resisted. This shows Abraham’s authority and Isaac’s submission. The Lord said that He knew Abraham would command his children after him to serve the Lord (Genesis 18:19). This is a great testimony to Abraham’s parenting and Isaac’s obedience. This also typifies the Father and Jesus. God the Father bound Jesus and offered Him for our sins, not by constraint, but Jesus willingly laid down His life for us.
And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”
“Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”
Genesis 22:10-12 (NLT)
Abraham wasn’t just bluffing. He was going to slay Isaac. This is because he was thinking God would raise him from the dead if needed be (Hebrews 11:19). God had promised that Isaac would have nations come out of him, and he wasn’t married and had no child at this time. Therefore, he had to live. Abraham believed Isaac would live, but he would still obey God.
Most scholars agree that this was none other than Jesus who called to Abraham (Genesis 22:16). It is certain that the Father and the Son were paying special attention to this. They would soon enough be doing the same thing but without anyone to intervene.
Abraham had obeyed God completely. Nothing could be added by the sacrifice of his son.
God never really wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. He only wanted his complete obedience. God would never want anyone to kill his or her son, but He does want our unconditional obedience.
Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.
Genesis 22:13 (NLT)
I don’t believe Abraham had just not seen this ram before. The wording of his answer to Isaac in Genesis 22:8 indicates that he was looking for God to provide an offering. I believe he had looked and probably Isaac too. God had either hidden this ram from their eyes or supernaturally manifested it at the right time. God did provide the sacrifice that was needed, and a ram took Isaac’s place on the altar.
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.”
Genesis 22:14 (NKJV)
Abraham discovered a new name for God—“Jehovah-jireh”—which can be translated “The Lord will see to it” or ‘The Lord will be seen.” The statement “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided” helps us understand some truths about the provision of the Lord.
Where does the Lord provide our needs?
In the place of His assignment. Abraham was at the right place, so God could meet his needs. We have no right to expect the provision of God if we are not in the will of God.
When does God meet our needs?
Just when we have the need and not a minute before. When you bring your requests to the throne of grace, God answers with mercy and grace “in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). Sometimes it looks like God waits until the last minute to send help, but that is only from our human point of view.
God Is Never Late!
How does God provide for us?
In ways that are usually quite natural. God did not send an angel with a sacrifice; He simply allowed a ram to get caught in a bush at a time when Abraham needed it and in a place where Abraham could get his hands on it. All Abraham needed was one animal, so God did not send a whole flock of sheep.
To whom does God give His provision?
To those who trust Him and obey His instructions. When we are doing the will of God, we have the right to expect the provision of God. “When God’s work is done in God’s way, it will not lack God’s support.” God is not obligated to bless my ideas or projects, but He is obligated to support His work if it is done in His way.
Why does God provide our every need?
For the great glory of His name! “Hallowed be Thy name” is the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), and it governs all the other requests. God was glorified on Mount Moriah because Abraham and Isaac did the will of the Lord and glorified Jesus Christ. We must pause to consider this important truth.
The eternal, self-existent God is our Creator. We were created in the image of God, male and female, for high destiny intended for this lifetime and for eternal destiny in intimate relationship with our loving Creator. Understanding this truth leads to dynamic commitment and devotion.
Recognize that we can learn of God’s nature through his names. His nature is to provide; thus he reveals himself as “The Lord Who Provides.”