Our great God reveals Himself and His personality to mankind through purposeful situational texts, and by revelation and declaration of His covenant names: our Healer, our Righteousness, etc.
In all times, and of course especially in times of need, we rightfully can call upon our Lord as Jehovah Jireh, our Provider. It is both interesting and sobering to take a deeper look at the biblical situation through which God chose to first reveal that particular covenant name. It goes back to a circumstance of extreme testing.
1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “ Abraham!”
And he said, “ Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “ Take now 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 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Verse 1 has God clearly understanding the relevance and importance of Isaac. Although Ishmael was already born, Isaac is referred to by God as Abraham’s only son, and one deeply loved by Abraham. Isaac was the only son of promised destiny. Isaac was God’s plan for the lineage of promise. Still is, by the way. Faith in Christ adopts the Gentile believer into that family line.
God’s directive to Abraham is clear: sacrifice Isaac on Mt. Moriah – quite a distance from where Abraham dwelt. A trip requiring effort, and the accompaniment as well as likely protection of two associates. There would be plenty of time for Abraham to consider the outcome and impact of this obedience, and therefore plenty of time for Abraham to back down from this extreme test of faith.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said to his young men, “ Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
Abraham, unaware of God’s planned interruption of this sacrifice, declares God’s directive as an act of worship. It is notable to realize there was no Mosaic law yet – Abraham was still discovering God’s righteous personality, and human sacrifice was likely not unfamiliar to a man raised with idolatry and idolatrous practices in cultures all around him. Abraham was about to learn the goodness and mercy of God, as well as the provision of God.
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”
And he said, “ Here I am, my son.”
Then he said, “ Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
Isaac was not only old enough to carry the wood, but wise enough, and trained sufficiently in the fundamentals of faith, to realize that what they were about to do required a living sacrifice.
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
We hear of no resistance from Isaac.
10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “ Abraham, Abraham!”
So he said, “ Here I am.”
Lesson to learn: As Jesus responded to the temptation of Satan, proclaiming: “Man does not live bread alone, but by every word that proceeds (the tense would have us understand: continues to proceed) from the mouth of God” – Abraham in his living faith was able not only to hear God’s FIRST DIRECTIVE to offer his son, but continued to hear the important SECOND DIRECTIVE of God. Had Abraham locked in on only the first directive, and religiously refused to continue to listen for God, he could have slain the son of promise.
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 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.”
THIS is where our great God reveals Himself as Jehovah Jireh (the Lord will provide, or the Lord our Provider).
It is a far cry from Jehovah-our-genie,or Jehovah-our-lottery ticket.
God’s provision is demonstrated in a situation of the most extreme testing, and Abraham’s successful obedience.
I thank my/our great God that His provision extends to us, to situations not necessarily tantamount to father-Abraham’s testing. At the same time it would do us well to once again and in the fear of the Lord appreciate the sanctity of His covenant with us. He will test us. He will stretch us. He will provide for us completely within the context of His will, and our faithful obedience. He will continue to speak, and we are invited to continue to listen, always.
15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven,
16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—
17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (NKJV)