Words of Worth

“One and Only”

October 21, 2011

When I was a new teacher, earning a salary that was slightly above poverty level, I had attended a professional development conference with several hundred educators. One evening, a group of students from area schools performed a dramatic presentation for our enjoyment. I can’t recall the actual drama, but I do remember enjoying it, that an offering was taken for their expenses, and that I sat in the very back of the huge auditorium. That gave me plenty of time to think through the fact that while I wanted to support the students, the only bill I had in my pocket was a $20 bill. That $20 was the sum total of all the money I had until my next paycheck a week later.

While waiting for the offering plate to reach me, I had a little conversation with God that sounded like this, “You want me to give my only bill? Are you sure? No, you’re just kidding, right? How will I live until my next paycheck? Do you want me to ask for change when the plate comes by?” In the end, I gave the $20, but God had to pry my hands open in order for me to drop my bill in the plate.

The next day, I found a check for $2,000 in my mailbox from some forgotten investment I had made as a college student that had now matured. God saw beforehand exactly how He would take care of me by blessing my reluctant obedience one hundred fold.

In Genesis 22 God gives a powerful test to Abraham, who long awaited a child promised by God. God told Abraham to take his only son whom he loved, his only son, Isaac and offer him as a burnt offering to God. Unlike me, who clung to my only $20 bill which I loved, Abraham did not carry on any conversation with God but rather obeyed without delay and set out to do exactly what God had asked. Not one word of objection is recorded in the entire text even though Abraham must have struggled with deep inner turmoil.

As we read the rest of the account, we learn that an angel of the LORD stops Abraham from sacrificing his son just at the point that Abraham was wielding his knife. (Genesis 22:12) As Abraham lifted his eyes he saw a ram in the thicket that was the LORD’s provision for a sacrifice in the place of Isaac. And it is then that Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”. (Genesis 22:14) This is the name Jehovah Jireh…the God who sees beforehand (prevision) and provides (provision)

14 Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.”

It might be tempting to stop reading the account at that point but the revelation is not complete. The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time and reveals the blessing for his obedience…Abraham’s seed would be greatly multiplied and in his seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed. (Genesis 22:16-18).

Have you come to the place in your faith walk where you know you can trust God with your “Isaac”? Your “Isaac” could be your family, your career, a relationship, or simply the twenty dollars you need for tomorrow. Do you believe that God can provide for your needs? Are you willing to place your “Isaac” upon the altar?

Starkly paralleling the provision for Abraham at Mount Moriah is a later provision when another Son was stretched out on an altar in the form of a Roman cross on Mount Calvary. Before the foundation of the world, God had prior vision of man’s later sin and rebellion. Seeing man’s need, He made provision for our redemption by providing a lamb of sacrifice, His only Son. (John 3:16)

Jehovah Jireh is the one and only God Who can provide for our every need, if we would but trust and obey. (SV)

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