Summary: Jehovah-Jireh; the LORD's will provide. Do we really believe this? Do we really believe this correctly? Is the Lord our Vending Machine in the sky or does the Lord really provide even though we may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death?
Genesis 22:1-19 (Please open your Bibles so you can read along)
Think about our Memory Refresher Scripture for today – Philippians 4:6-7.
“Do not be anxious about anything!”
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the things we become anxious about are because we have done something wrong and have backed ourselves into a corner?
Other times the Lord will put us into a situation where we cannot see the answer and our only option is to rely on Him for the solution. Of course, we always have the option of trying to resolve the dilemma on our own which only makes the matter worse.
Let’s go ahead and read Genesis 21:1-19 now and see how the Lord provided for Abraham in a time of testing.
Genesis 22:13-14a NIV
“Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord Will Provide.’”
Do you remember the first song we sang this morning; Jehovah-Jireh?
This passage we read today is where that name, Jehovah-Jireh, The LORD will Provide, originates in the Bible.
And, actually, this is the only place where this name for the LORD is used.
Now, what is one of the basic rules of Bible study? If we see something only in one place in the Bible we need to try to understand what it means especially if it is not reaffirmed in other places in the Bible.
For instance, Jesus is quoted as saying in
Mark 16:17b-18a NIV
“… In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all …”
We know now that verses 9-20 are not found in the earliest manuscripts and apparently were added later. We don’t practice picking up snakes with our hands or knowingly drink deadly poison. Why? Because we don’t find those practices in other places in the Bible.
And yet, there are churches that practice such actions as part of their worship services.
So, what about Jehovah-Jireh? Why do we sing songs about this name of the LORD if it is only found in one place in the Bible?
Well, we sing the songs because the activity of the LORD providing is found all throughout the Bible!
Genesis 1:1 NIV
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Now, that’s a pretty good provision, isn’t it? Where would we be without that provision? Absolutely no where, that’s where!
Genesis 2:8 NIV
“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed.”
It’s not long until we see that Abraham has his son Isaac tied up, laid on a pile of wood for a burnt offering and Abraham, Isaacs’ dad, has a knife in his hand raised above Isaac, about to sacrifice his only son according to the command of the LORD.
Look at verses 1-3 again with me.
Genesis 22:1-3 NIV
“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied.
“Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love – Isaac - and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’
“Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey.”
You will notice:
It doesn’t say that Abraham stayed up all night fasting and praying about this situation. We just don’t know how well Abraham slept that night. I can’t imagine that he had a good night’s sleep and woke up excited about what he was going to do for the LORD that day. And, if I did imagine such a thing or something else it would just be a waste of my time and yours because it would be just that, an imagination and it’s not my imagination or your imagination we care about; what we care about is what we find in the Word of God, the Holy Bible!
Whatever happened that night Abraham’s response was immediate the next morning. “Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey.”
Why would he do that? Abraham had years of experience with the LORD.
When Abraham was obedient to the LORD’s command the LORD provided for him, so, based on that history, that relationship with the LORD, Abraham obeyed.
Just try to imagine Abraham and Isaac walking along together after they have left the servants and the donkey behind. Just think of the wonder and confusion in Isaac’s mind as they have this conversation …
Genesis 22:6-8 NIV