Summary: While Abraham was walking Isaac up one side of the mountain - God was preparing his miracle on the other!
On the Other Side of the Mountain
Abraham – God will provide – ram in bushes
There are at least 2 sides to every mountain… There is the side that we see... It is where we live, breath… It is our challenges, our temptations. Then, there is the side that we do NOT see.
In the plain, we can see far in all directions… We are more comfortable because we understand. But we don’t live our lives in the plains – we live them in the mountains. By very nature of a hill there is an incredible amount of space that we cannot see.
WE LIVE IN THE MOUNTAINS
Abraham chose the mountain – contrasted with Lot, who chose the plains (Gen 13:10).
• No surprises (can see surroundings)
There is a saying “The path of least resistance makes both men and rivers crooked.” Lot’s desire for a pampered existence eventually cost him his entire family – only by the grace of God did he escape with his own soul. And where did God call him? To the mountains!
GOD LIVES IN THE MOUNTAINS
• Mount Sinai (Gen 19)
• Mount Zion (Heb 12:18)
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. Psalms 121:1-2 (KJV)
If we want to live with God, to walk with God, to talk with God… We will live in the mountains.
GOD OFTEN ASKS US TO GIVE MORE THAN WE CAN AFFORD
Notice Jesus watching the offerings arrive at the temple – the widow’s mite. His grace is sufficient. David refused to sacrifice that which cost him nothing. When we obey God we will always place ourselves in circumstances that are beyond us.
What is amazing is that Abraham understood this so well that he did not balk at God’s request. He did not mope and cry all of the way up the mountain. He spoke with great confidence to his servants – The lad and I will go, and will return… God will provide himself a sacrifice.
Notice that we now view that statement as a great prophecy… When we give more than we have, and when we are forced to speak faith for our own sake, only then can we speak faith into somebody else’s life.
ABRAHAM FOCUSED ON THE CHARACTER OF GOD, NOT THE CIRCUMSTANCES
Many of us have received promises from God (Isaac). Abraham knew that God would not go back on His promise… There was a blessing to come from Isaac’s posterity, and Abraham knew that Isaac had no posterity yet. And so Hebrews tells us that Abraham believed that God was able to raise him up (Heb 11:17-19). Abraham did not understand why, or how, and he had the solution wrong. God worked in a way that Abraham did not expect, but did that matter? No – the fact is, Abraham was not worried about it!
Abraham had a Promise from God – which always ends with a Provision from God (2 Pet 3:9) – so it didn’t matter when in between the Promise and the Provision there was a Problem.
God is too wise to be mistaken; God is too good to be unkind. When you can’t trace his hand, trust his heart.
For all that Abraham could see, there was so much more that he could NOT see.
He did not see that as he spoke to his servants, a ram wandered from the flock on the other side.
He did not know that as he told Isaac, “God will provide”, that this ram was bounding from rock to rock in pursuit of a higher place…
He did not see, as he unloaded the wood for a sacrifice, that the ram was trying to break through some thick shrubs in order to get to water.
It was not until the knife was in the air that the angel stopped him and pointed out the ram with its horns stuck. But all the while God was at work on the OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN.
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Isaiah 64:4 (KJV) quoted in 1 Cor 2:9
God is always working… Not a day goes by that God is not “preparing”.
This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:23-24 (KJV)