Summary: A message on the name Jehovah Jireh - the God Who Provides.
Hello I Love You Let Me Tell You My Name
Jehovah Jireh – Gen. 22:1-19
Intro: I grew up playing sports, but my favorite sport was baseball. Sadly, I grew up in Atlanta where the Braves were perennial cellar-dwellers. They were so bad we used to attend games w/ paper bags over our heads for fear someone might see us. Yet despite how awful the Braves were, one of my greatest sporting experiences came during a Braves/Expos game. The Braves were down 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th when Biff Pocoroba came to the plate w/ the bases loaded and 2 outs. I watched as the count ran full. Bases loaded, 2 outs, bottom of the 9th, full count – The pitcher grooved one and Biff jacked it! A game winning, walk-off, grand slam!
Trans: We’ve all had those “bottom of the 9th” experiences in life where we’ve come to the point that the pressure is on us to deliver. In Gen. 22, we find God in this position – and God comes through revealing as Jehovah Jireh – the God who provides.
Trans: Other than the cross, there may not be another story in the Bible w/ this sense of drama – certainly not in Abe’s life. All of the previous tests God put Abe through pale in comparison to this one b/c Abe had longed for, hope for, and prayed for a son – this one was personal – God wanted Abe’s son, his only son. (Read Gen. 22)
Recap: It’s a simple story. After 24 years of fatherless father’s days, God blessed Abe w/ a son – who was to be the cornerstone of God’s promise to make Abe a great nation. But as Isaac reaches his teen years, God asks Abe to he offer Isaac as a sacrifice.
Insert: If you read this story casually, you might misinterpret the intent. God’s not saying He’s for human sacrifice, God is opposed to such behavior – this was a pagan activity. Yet God is about making sure we have nothing on the throne of our lives in place of Him. See God longs to bless us according to His will for our lives. He enjoys giving us “Isaacs”. Yet if we love “Isaac” more than Him, then our “Isaacs” will have to be sacrificed. God will not allow another god before Him in our lives.
I The REQUEST (Sacrifice) v. 1-2
Recap: God offers a test to confirm Abe’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac. By this time Isaac is 15 and Abe has a teenager in the home. God asks Abe to…
Note: Take your son, your only son, Isaac, the one you love and kill him.
Insert: For those w/ teenagers at home don’t misconstrue this text as a means of solving your problems at home. God doesn’t want you to offer your children as a sacrifice.
Insert: God did this to test Abe. The word test means “to qualify through a thorough examination.” God gives tests to strengthen and approve us – to test us to see if our faith is genuine and to humble us and bring us under His care.
Verse: Consider it pure joy whenever you encounter trials and testing, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance so that it may have its perfect result that you might not be lacking in anyway. James 1:3-4
Trans: In Duet. 8, the Bible says God sent the Israelites into the wilderness to humble them and to test what was in their hearts and to see if they would obey God’s commands.
Note: God gives test bring out our best – Tests are intended to improve us and conform us.
Trans: So what does God usually tend to target when He deems it necessary to test us?
A The TARGET?
Note: W/ Abe, God takes the (1) thing most dear to him (Isaac) and puts it under the knife.
Trans: God’s at work conforming us into His image and drawing us to dependence upon Him. By nature we strive for independence, but He requires our surrender. To attain this goal, God goes after those items that vie for supremacy in our hearts. God will not share His throne w/ anyone or anything – He targets all competitors.
B The CONDITIONS
Trans: What does He require? God requires that we have an open-handed faith.
Note: God outlines (3) conditions of activity for Abe: Take – Go – Sacrifice
• Take your one and only son who you love w/ all of your heart.
• Go to the land of Moriah
• Sacrifice him on an alter to me
Trans: Abe saw this before when God asked him to leave Ur for an unknown land – he left family, security, and comfort for the unknown. This time the cost would be higher.