Summary: Journey of Faith, part 10 “Jehovah Jireh: God will Provide”
Journey of Faith, part 10
“Jehovah Jireh: God will Provide”
A faith that remains unchallenged remains unchanged. Just like us, he is far from perfect but grew in his relationship with God. Maturity or transformation is not instantaneous but grows over time as we respond to God in the daily life. Transform lives by winning, training, and sending.
Main idea – God’s infinite provision is always greater than our finite problem.
1. God Testing our Faith Produces Growth (vs. 1-3 )
God spoke and Abraham listened. It is our right as Gods children to hear his voice. Jesus said my sheep hear my voice. When God spoke, Abraham was ready and willing to heed Gods voice, ‘here am I.’ Then God gave him deliberate instructions that were difficult and painful. Take your son, your only son, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering. I want to look at a couple of reasons why God test us.
God tests us to expose the condition of our hearts
ESV Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.
Everything about Abraham’s future was dependent upon Isaac. Isaac represented the promise of a great nation, a land, and the blessing to all the families of the earth. Would he trust God or not? Was God wise and faithful and true or not? Do not become defeated and discouraged when God exposes unbelief in our hearts because he is exposing it to root it out. His goal is transformation.
God tests us to refine us
ESV Exodus 20:20 Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin."
James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Trial/test and temptation is the same word in the Bible. The same event or circumstance is a trial from God to test our faith to produce perseverance (spirit); Satan uses that same event to cause us to respond in unbelief or not trust God, which produces disobedience (flesh). In a sermon on Genesis 22 Alexander Maclaren distinguished between being tried and being tempted. He said that...God tests us to bring out the best, which is exactly the result in Abraham's life. Satan tempts us to bring out the worst in us. God tests to confirm and strengthen; Satan tempts to corrupt and weaken. Abraham obeys immediately. He rises early the next day, takes his servants and supplies and heads out in response to the command of God. A faith that remains unchallenged remains unchanged. As your faith grows you will experience Gods transformation in your life.
2. Confidence in God’s Future Provision Brings God’s Power into the Present (vs. 4-9)
This three day journey to mount Moriah may have been the longest journey of his life. Consider the struggle in his heart that went on in his mind during those three days. How could you ask me to kill my only son, the one I love, the one whom all your promise depends upon? I treasure Isaac . . . maybe I treasure him too much. What we hold on to most shows what has the most hold on our hearts. God did not want to kill Isaac he wanted Abraham’s heart. At some point on his journey, Abraham found confidence and peace that God would provide a way out. Listen to what he says in verse 5-8. ‘We will go worship and come back to you.’ His confidence that God would provide gave him power in the present to persevere (Heb 11:17-19). As Abraham and Isaac, his only son, climb the mountain, Isaac notices something is missing; they have everything to worship except the sacrifice! So he asks his father, ‘where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham responds slowly and confidently, ‘God will provide.’ Abraham had a big God; he had a faithful God; he had a trustworthy God; he had a God who will provide. How big and powerful is your God? The God who delivered Israel is big enough and powerful enough to deliver you. The God who parted the red sea is big enough and powerful enough to part the obstacles in your life. The God who defeated the enemies of Israel is big enough and powerful enough to defeat the enemies in your life. The confidence that God will provide gave Abraham power in the present moment to obey God.