|"We will walk in the NAME of the LORD our God
forever and ever."
Jehovah Jireh by Alexander Maclaren prince of expository preachers
Jehovah Jireh -International Standard Encyclopedia of the Bible
The Righteous Run into the Strong Tower of
[Note: Not "tempted Abraham". Why not? Read Jas 1:13-note]
Why does God test?
Dt 8:2 "And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these 40 years, that He might humble (means to be bowed down) you, testing (nacah) you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."
What is the purpose of the test in these passages from Deut?
To humble us
1Pe 1:6; 1:7 (see notes 1Pe 1:6; 1:7) In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested (dokimazo) by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ
Jas 1:2, 3, 4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (see notes Js 1:1; 1:2; 1:3; 1:4)
Ge 22:2 Take Your son
Only son parallels the NT phrase "only begotten" the Greek word monogenes which describes Jesus in John 1:14 and Isaac in He 11:17-note
Burnt offering = Hebrew 'olah = burnt sacrifice (Related to our English "holocaust"!)… key feature of an 'olah appears to be that among the Israelite sacrifices only 'olah is wholly burned, rather than partially burned and eaten by the worshipers and/or the priest. Thus, the whole animal is brought up to the altar and the whole is offered as a gift in homage to Yahweh. Whole offering would be a better rendering in English to convey the theology. It is indeed burned, but the burning is essentially secondary to the giving of the whole creature to Yahweh. Thus this offering symbolized total surrender of the heart and life of the worshiper to God!
Ge 22:4 3rd day saw "the place"
Think of what Abe must have been thinking as he walks along! Remember that in Ge 21:12 God had promised him that "Through Isaac his descendants would be named". This would have been about 15 years earlier (estimate based on fact that Isaac now a young lad capable of carrying wood on back). So now the son of promise is to be sacrificed… the dilemma? How will God fulfill His covenant promise that through Isaac the line of Abraham would come?
Ge 22:11 <BUT> contrast
Will the Refiner test us beyond what we are able to endure? See 1Cor 10:13 Do you really believe this?
Ebenezer means… The LORD My Help =Jehovah Ezer
Ge 22:1 Here I am (Behold me)
How immediate and complete was his surrender?
Ge 22:3 Rose early> Saddle> Took> Split Wood > Arose > Went to the place told
Ge 22:5 What will they do at Moriah? What does this express about his faith?
We will Worship
The fact that they will return is clearly an indication Abraham believed God's promise that through Isaac his descendants would be named and that God's promise would not be thwarted. Remember that Abraham is about 115-130 years old (one cannot be dogmatic) so he has walked with Jehovah for at least 40 years and has grown to know and trust God's character and His Faithfulness
Abraham understands that covenant calls for withholding nothing from God
How does Abraham's response compare with Job's when he was severely tried? Job 1:20, 21
Ge 22:6 Wood on Isaac (not child) (cf Jesus bearing His own cross in Jn19:17 and bearing our sins in His body on the cross in 1Pe 2:24 (note)
Note that "wood" is translated in the Septuagint - LXX with the Greek word "Xulon" which is the same word Luke chooses for the cross in Acts 5:30!
Fire & knife
Genesis Rabbah, the Jewish midrash, comments that Isaac with the wood on his back is like a condemned man, carrying his own cross!
Ge 22:8 God will see for Himself
KJV God will provide Himself
RSV "God will provide Himself the Lamb" (Future tense)
Where is Abraham's trust and confidence? In Whom?
Ge 22:9 To place God had told (v2 = Mt Moriah)
Altar/arranged wood/bound Isaac Laid him on altar on top of wood
Ge 22:10 Stretched out hand/knife to slay his son
What is God teaching us about real worship?
How does the burnt offering relate to the act of worship?
If we are to "worship" we must come to Him with total, unconditional surrender & obedience. This is the foundation for genuine worship.
Ge 22:11 Behold me (Here I am)
What parallel do you see in the following passage between father Abraham's actions and God the Father's actions some 2000 years later?
Ro 8:32 (note) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
In light of God's gift of His Son as our substitute "ram caught in the bush" what should our response be as those who by faith are "Abraham's offspring" (Gal 3:29), "like Isaac… children of promise" (Gal 4:28)?
What do we learn about real worship from the following passage?
Ge 22:2 Moriah
What do the following passages teach us about Mt Moriah?
Site of Solomon's Temple = Temple Mount = same ridge as Golgotha ("skull") (See explanatory note in previous column)
What did Abraham believe?
What had God promised?
He 11:17; 18; 19 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son. It was he to whom it was said, IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED He considered that God is able (dúnamai = possesses inherent ability) to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type. (see notes Heb 11:17;18; 19)
Philippians 4:19 all of your needs…not all your "greeds" (see note)
Jehovah ("I Am"… everything you will ever need) sees our needs & provides for those needs. The greatest gift ensures all the rest.
Ge 22:7 Where is the Lamb?
Abraham trusting wholly in his Covenant Partner explains that God will provide the lamb. This clearly foreshadows God's provision of the "Lamb of God" some 2000 years after Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son.
Jn 1:29 Lamb of God (see notes on Jehovah Roi the Shepherd Who became the Lamb)
What did God "know"?
Ge 22:12 Abraham feared God
Not withheld your son, your only son from Me
Fear of God is manifest is obedience to His commands, which also equates with faith.
To fear God means to believe his word fully and absolutely, and to be loyal to his directives.
Fear God here means to reverence Him as sovereign, trust Him implicitly & obey Him w/o question. (Related topic: How To Handle Fear)
God does not delight in the external acts and the ritual of worship.
God always inspects the giver, before he inspects the gift.
Ge 22:13 Raised eyes, looked, behold
What principle do you see pictured in Abraham taking the ram caught in thicket and offering it instead of Isaac?
Clearly we see the pattern of a substitutionary sacrifice.
The ram was God’s provision in place of Isaac, and Jesus Christ is God’s substitutionary provision for the whole world. In this experience, Abraham saw Christ by faith (or because of his faith and obedience).
John records Jesus' words to the disbelieving Jews in which He declared "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." John 8:56
Ge 22:14 Named place Jehovah Jireh
Jehovah will provide
The-Lord-Will-Provide" is a play on the verb translated "provided." The verb means basically "see". The English word "provide" is from the Latin (pro = before + videre = vision) meaning literally to "see beforehand." God sees our need before it arises and makes provision for it. Have you come to know Him as this kind of God?
can never substitute for
purity of heart
Who revealed Himself to Abraham?
What did Jesus promise us in the NT in Matthew 5:8 (note)?
What is Jesus' incredible promise in John 14:21?
What is the warning in He 12:14 (note)?
Faith not shown to be real until it is tested
God's ways are so much higher than man's ways -- we tend to look at the temporal when we need to focus on the eternal!
Immediate unconditional obedience (absolute surrender, whole hearted response)
Delayed obedience = immediate disobedience
Partial obedience =
Real faith is not believing in spite of the evidence but obeying in spite of the consequences
From this study of Jehovah Jireh, how would you define real worship?
Worship is surrender of all we are to God. It is holding nothing back. It is obediently giving Him what He wants and trusting Him to supply whatever we might need.
'worship involves a willingness to surrender all to Him, holding nothing back. How foreign to the modern concept of ''worship'' where one's senses are pampered to rather than having one's heart laid bare, broken and contrite!
God did not want Isaac's life
He wanted Abraham's heart.
Paul writes that "if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." (Galatians 3:29 )
What does God want from you beloved descendant of Abraham, the "friend of God"?
Do you obey without reservation when God tests you or allows you to be tested?
Do you hesitate, negotiate, argue or resist and in so doing avoid obeying immediately?
What is your "Isaac" that you dearly love and you would rather God not ask you to release to Him?
How would you answer God's question…
"Do you love Me more than ___________ ?"
Can you honestly say…
"Whatever you want God"?
Dearly beloved, remember that Jehovah stands behind His name and is forever the Covenant keeping God!
In light of so great a Substitute Who provided for our salvation and so powerful an example in Abraham's offering, how can we each not be willing to…
"Watch over (guard from dangers = pix of watchman standing guard on the watchtower of the walled fortress) your heart with all diligence (calls for vigilant effort, not just letting go and letting God), for from it flow the springs of life (Life is the ability to exercise all one's vital power to the fullest; death is the opposite)." (Pr 4:23-note)
"like the Holy One who called us, be holy ourselves also in all our behavior" (1Pe 1:15-note)
"cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2Cor 7:1-note)
John Flavel very wisely observed that, "The greatest difficulty in conversion is to win the heart to God; and the greatest difficulty after conversion is to keep the heart with God." Christianity is a religion of the heart. It is not a system of moral conduct. It is the life of Christ in a man's soul. Salvation is the work of God in a man's heart. The conviction of sin, repentance, faith, and worship are all works of the heart. The kingdom of God is not in meat and drink, things of the body; but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. These are things of the heart.
What is my "Isaac" that I need to lay on the altar?
Remember that God's infinite provision is always greater than our finite problem.
Although we do not know when God revealed the truth of resurrection to Abraham, we know that Abraham had such knowledge. The important application for each of us is to not doubt "in the dark" what God has told us clearly in the light.
God is Jehovah ("I Am") and He says "I Am… everything you will every truly need to live this Christian life.
As Jehovah Jireh God can and will provide exactly what we need when we need it, for His timing is perfect. Remember that with God, His delay is not necessarily denial, but as with Abraham is so ordained that it might bring about a deep "surgery" within our heart. May it be true of us that when we come through the Refiner's Fire like Abraham, that our Father will say "now my son or daughter, I know that you fear Me in a right, reverential sense."
1Samuel 15:22, 23 Records these fearful words to Saul…
Behold (listen up!), to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion (reserving the rights to make the final decisions in my life) is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.
David pleads with God for he understands God's desire for an "internal offering"…
O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Thy praise. For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it. Thou art not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. (Ps 51:15, 16, 17-note)
If your desire is to be holy and set apart for Jehovah, play and pray the beautiful chorus…
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold and precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold, pure gold
My heart's one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for You my Master
Ready to do Your will
1 Now it came about after these things (Ask "When?", "What things?" time phrases), that God tested (Hebrew = nasah = try, prove, often used in OT of God testing the faith and faithfulness of men; LXX = peirazo [word study]) Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
2 And He said, "Take now (Not later! Don't debate. Delayed obedience is disobedience!) your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering (Heb = olah = a whole burnt offering, a voluntary offering by fire, the smoke of which ascended as a soothing aroma to the Lord. Nothing was held back. When the person offering the sacrifice laid his hand on the head of the sacrifice, it was accepted as an atonement on his behalf. The Greek or Lxx translates it with = holokautoma = wholly consumed, root of English "holocaust") on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
Comment: Oswald Chambers warns us that "Abraham did not choose what the sacrifice would be. Always guard against self-chosen service for God. Self-sacrifice may be a disease that impairs your service. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; or even if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him. If the providential will of God means a hard and difficult time for you, go through it. But never decide the place of your own martyrdom, as if to say, "I will only go to there, but no farther." God chose the test for Abraham, and Abraham neither delayed nor protested, but steadily obeyed. If you are not living in touch with God, it is easy to blame Him or pass judgment on Him. You must go through the trial before you have any right to pronounce a verdict, because by going through the trial you learn to know God better. God is working in us to reach His highest goals until His purpose and our purpose become one." from The Supreme Climb [Nov 11] - My Utmost For His Highest. See also another devotional by Chambers of same title The Supreme Climb [April 26] - My Utmost For His Highest
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Comment: Notice Abraham did not confer with others, not even his own "thoughts" on what was God's will in the matter. When you know God's will, then do it! He never asks us to do what He does not enable us to accomplish. In this way truly it is from Him, through Him and to Him! And so we can rightly exclaim, "To Him be all glory, honor, power and dominion in this age and throughout eternity. Amen!"
5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship (shachah = to bow down, prostrate oneself, crouch, to do reverence; English "worship" means to look at someone's "worth-ship", so to worship God is to respect and honor Him for Who He is; Lxx = proskuneo = from pros = toward + kuneo = kiss = literally "to kiss toward someone as token of respect or homage) and return (Lxx has first person plural = "we ill return"!) to you." (How could Abraham be so confident "we" will return? See note Hebrews 11:19-note)
12 And He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear (Hebrew = yare' = means a reverence and respect toward God, not a shaking fear. God is reverenced when a person respects Him for Who He is and this rightly understood fear of God is seen when we walk in His ways motivated by loving obedience, cf Jn 14:15), God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD (Jehovah) it will be provided."
(Most conservative sources feel that 2000 years later, Mt Moriah, if not identical, was at least in the same mountain range north of Jerusalem, on which stood a lonely hill named Golgotha ["Skull"] where God the Father offered up His Son, His only begotten Son Whom He loved, as a substitute for all who would one day by faith enter into the Abrahamic Covenant and by extension into the New Covenant in the precious blood as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ, our "Jehovah Jireh")
17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your SEED (not plural seeds but masculine singular "seed" see Galatians 3:16 for the prophetic significance) as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your SEED (singular) shall possess the gate of their enemies.
Offsite - Booklet by Joe Stowell - When The Going Gets Tough
2Sa 24:24-25 However, the king said to Araunah (also called "Ornan), "No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the LORD was moved by entreaty for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.
2Chronicles 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mt Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
Hebrews 11:17; 18; 19 By faith Abraham, when he was tested (Greek = peirazo [see word study] = a morally neutral word = whether the test results in good or evil depends on the intent of the one giving the test and the response of the recipient to the test) , offered up (prosphero = used over 50 times in Leviticus to refer to offering of sacrifices) Isaac; and he who had received the promises (referring to the Abrahamic Covenant) was offering up his only begotten son (same Greek word is used of Jesus in John 3:16) 18 it was he to whom it was said, "IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED (quoting Ge 21:12)."19 He considered (Greek = logizomai [word study]= to think about something in a detailed and logical manner and then drawing conclusions through the use of reason) that God is able (dunatos = pertaining to having the ability to perform some function) to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type (parabole from para = alongside, beside + ballo = throw = describes an illustration thrown alongside truth to make the latter easier to understand). (He 11:17; 18; 19-see notes He 11:17; 18; 19)
1Co 10:13 (note) No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man & God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also that you may be able to endure it.
Eight Cows On The Altar - Ge 22:1-12 - Pastor Ed Dobson was speaking to a congregation on “putting all on the altar” in total surrender to Christ. After the service, an old German farmer came forward. He told Dobson that he had eight cows that were dying, which would mean great financial loss, and he had been struggling with accepting this as God’s will. Then he said, “Because of your message, I have found peace. Tonight I put them all on the altar.”
Christ’s lordship touches every area, every relationship, every concern of our lives. If we are willing to submit to Him, any loss in life will be seen as an opportunity of giving back to God what is rightfully His and trusting Him to provide what is needed.
When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, He seemed to be undermining His own purposes. Isaac was the son of promise through whom God would bless the world. Yet Abraham’s faith had grown strong over the years, and baffled though he must have been, he said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb” (Genesis 22:8).
The issue is the same for us. Can we entrust everything to God—our possessions, job, health, family? If we commit ourselves to Him each day and thank Him for every blessing, our confidence in Him will survive any test. — Dennis J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
You have longed for sweet peace and for faith to increase,
Imagine Abraham's feelings when the Lord told him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Think of what went through his mind when they climbed Mount Moriah and Isaac asked, "Where is the lamb?" Yet Abraham had faith that God would provide, and he assured Isaac of his confidence. He was right. God pointed out a ram in the thicket. As a result, Abraham called the place Jehovah-Jireh, which means "the Lord will provide."
In the centuries that have followed, God has continued to demonstrate that He provides for His own. Dr. Robert Schindler and his wife, Marian, founded a mission hospital associated with radio station ELWA in Monrovia, Liberia. In their book Mission Possible they wrote, "For us, it was a continued exercise of faith that we would have the right drugs and supplies at the right time. We recall how much we counted on our X-ray machine, something we take for granted [at home]. We even had the opportunity to get an extra one when a friend of ours, a doctor with the U.S. Embassy, asked if we could use a portable X-ray machine… But then as the months dragged out, we knew it must be lost at sea. Then one day our big X-ray machine stopped working. We found it was a major problem which would take several months to fix… But that very afternoon, the ELWA truck pulled up to the hospital with a huge crate from port. You guessed it—it was the portable X-ray machine! We plugged it in, and it worked! We didn't lose a day for X-rays."
Lord, thank You for being our Provider. —D. C. Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Life At Its Best - Ge 22:1-14 - Abraham's heart must have pounded as he stood on Mount Moriah with his son Isaac. He had offered many sacrifices during his lifetime, but this one was different. God was asking him to place his promised son on the altar and yet retain his confidence in God's love and integrity.
All to Jesus I surrender,
Jehovah-Jireh - In my early years as a pastor, I served in small churches where finances were often tight. Sometimes our family finances felt the weight of that pressure. On one occasion, we were down to the last of our food and payday was still several days away. While my wife and I fretted about how we would feed our kids in the next few days, our doorbell rang. When we opened the door, we discovered two bags of groceries. We had not told anyone of our plight, yet our provider God had led someone to meet that need.
I know not by what methods rare
The Father's Love - In his autobiography, a well-known TV personality describes the time when he asked, "If God the Father is so all-loving, why didn't He come down and go to Calvary?" That comment reveals how little he understood the love of a good earthly father and the depth of love revealed in the Trinity.
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
Promises And Commands- Author and pastor Steve Lawson says he often hears a disturbing statement from people involved in a lifestyle that directly contradicts a command of Scripture. In order to justify their actions, they say, "Hey! God wants me to be happy, and this will make me happy." Apparently these people want to believe God's promises to bless them, but they ignore His commands to be holy.
Obeying God at first seems hard
A Test of Faith - When I was a boy, I disliked the story of Abraham going to Mount Moriah to sacrifice his son Isaac. Why would God tell Abraham to do such a thing? I was an only son, and I didn't want that happening to me! My parents assured me that God was testing Abraham's faith. And he passed that test. Even with the knife in his hand, Abraham believed God (Gen. 22:8, 9, 10). He had learned that the Lord could be trusted.
Be still, my soul—the Lord is on thy side!
He Will Provide - Pastor Roy S. Nicholson told of a time when he had no money to buy food. Determined to trust God for his needs and not tell anyone, he and his wife presented their case to the Lord in prayer.
Prayer - Lord, forgive us for not trusting You more. When we face times of testing, may we follow Abraham’s example and believe You will provide exactly what we need.
Man’s poverty is never a strain on God’s provision.
Lightning and Thunder - When we see lightning flash across the sky, we expect the roar of thunder to follow. If there were no lightning, there would be no thunder because one causes the other.
It's like that with faith. Just as thunder always follows lightning, good works always follow true faith.
The relationship between faith and works is explained in the New Testament writings of Paul to the Ephesians, and in a brief letter from James. At first glance, these authors seem to contradict each other. Paul insisted, "By grace you have been saved through faith, … not of works" (Eph. 2:8, 9). But James declared, "A man is justified [declared righteous] by works, and not by faith only" (Jas. 2:24).
In context though, James wasn't denying that we are saved by faith. He referred to Abraham, saying that he "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Jas 2:23-note). This belief occurred years before Abraham gave evidence of his faith by preparing to offer his son as a sacrifice (Jas 2:21-note). Nor was the apostle Paul denying the value of works, for right after stating that we are saved by faith alone he said that we are saved "for good works" (Eph. 2:10-note).
What about you? Has the "lightning" of personal faith in Christ been followed by the "thunder" of good works? — Haddon W. Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Not Taken, But Given- All of us hope that we will be the exception to Jesus' words, "In the world you will have tribulation" (Jn. 16:33, cp Acts 14:22, 2Ti 3:12-note, Php 1:29-note). But if we realize that hardship may be our Father's wise plan for our lives, we will not be surprised and shocked when painful difficulty or tragedy occurs.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
In a sermon titled Faith Tested and Crowned on Genesis 22 Alexander Maclaren distinguished between being tempted and being tried. He said that…
the former word conveys the idea of appealing to the worst part of man, with the wish that he may yield and do the wrong. The latter means an appeal to the better part of man, with the desire that he should stand.
"Temptation says, 'Do this pleasant thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong.'
Trial or proving says, 'Do this right and noble thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is painful.'"
Satan tempts us to bring out the worst in us.
God tests us to bring out the best, which is exactly the result in Abraham's life in his supreme test in Genesis 22.
Warren Wiersbe adds some practical thoughts on the great Name Jehovah jireh…
|Below is an excerpt from C H Spurgeon's sermon Jehovah Jireh…
I believe that the truth contained in the expression “Jehovah-jireh” was ruling Abraham’s thought long before he uttered it and appointed it to be the memorial name of the place where the Lord had provided a substitute for Isaac. It was this thought, I think, which enabled him to act as promptly as he did under the trying circumstances. His reason whispered within him,
He answered that suggestion by saying to himself,
As he went upon that painful journey, with his dearly beloved son at his side, the suggestion may have come to him,
That answer still sustained his heart —
This was a quietus to every mistrustful thought.
I pray that we may drink into this truth, and be refreshed by it.
If we follow the Lord’s bidding, He will see to it that we shall not be ashamed or confounded.
If we come into great need by following His command, He will see to it that the loss shall he recompensed.
If our difficulties multiply and increase so that our way seems completely blocked up, Jehovah will see to it that the road shall be cleared.
The Lord will see us through in the way of holiness if we are only willing to be thorough in it, and dare to follow wheresoever He leads the way.
We need not wonder that Abraham should utter this truth, and attach it to the spot, which was to be forever famous: for his whole heart was saturated with it, and had been sustained by it. Wisely he makes an altar and a mountain to be memorials of the truth which had so greatly helped him. His trials had taught him more of God, — had, in fact, given him a new name for his God; and this he would not have forgotten, but he would keep it before the minds of the generations following by naming the place Jehovah-Jireh.
Our Fifth Tower is JEHOVAH-JIREH.
It is always desirable for a conquering army either to be near its supplies, or to keep up its line of communication. That broken, all is lost. The Christian has his promise of assured help—"My God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:19). "The Lord will provide." Ah, that future! that unknown, sometimes dark and chequered future, how many a thought it costs! Who can forecast the varying scenes of changeful life? It is like walking up some sequestered dell; every turn in the path presents something new. A cluster of flowers here, a rotten branch or decaying tree there—now a flowing stream, now a quiet pool, now a sprawling cascade; now a gleam of sunlight, now the driving rain or muttering thunder. But each apparently capricious turn in life's way, all its accidents and incidents, are the appointments of Infinite Wisdom and "those who know Your Name shall put their trust in You."
Trust—trust in the goodness, and mercy, and faithfulness of God, is surely one at least of the great lessons which a Communion Season inculcates. Looking to these symbols and pledges of unutterable love, you can confidently make the challenge—"He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). A child in the midst of the storm can muffle its head in its father's arms and fall asleep. God is your Father! Walk up and down in the strength of that Gospel Name. Every earthly father does in a small scale to his family what the Great Parent does on a large scale to all His people. From that glorious Tower on the Hill of Ordinances you can look through the embrasures behind, as well as before. Survey the landmarks of the bygone pilgrimage! Count up your Ebenezers (Ed: Ebenezer means "Stone of help" [ 1Sa 4:1, 5:1, 7:12] - see Related Study of God's Name Jehovah Ezer: The LORD our Helper)—the providential interpositions of the past, and then say—taking these as pledges and guarantees for the time to come, "You have been my help—leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation." The future, as we have already said, with all its vicissitudes, is in His keeping and ordering. You may work the loom—the shuttle may be in your hands but the pattern is all His—the intermingling threads of varied hue, even what are dark and somber. Talk not of a tangled web, when it is that of the Great Craftsman. Confide in that heart of Infinite Love. Shall we dream of being wiser than God? Shall we dream of correcting His Book of Sovereign decrees? of altering the building-plans of the Divine Architect? No! trust His loving heart, where sense cannot trace His hand. Trust is a staff not for level plains and smooth highways. It is the alpenstock, the pilgrim prop for the mountaineer, for the rugged ascent, the slippery path, the glacier crevasse.
As the El-Shaddai—the All-sufficient, God has said, "I will never leave you, I will (in the redundant emphasis and energy of the original) "never, never, never forsake you." He is a Rich Provider, a Sure Provider, a Willing Provider, a Wise Provider. JEHOVAH-JIREH! "We will walk in this name of the Lord our God forever and ever."
"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose"—
"The Lord will provide." Genesis 22:14
The Elim-palms only environed Israel's temporary resting-place—marked one of the many wilderness camping-grounds on the way to Canaan. In the very next words after the recorded tent-pitching by the twelve wells, we read, "Then they left Elim" (Ex. 16:1).
If "Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place," be the watchword for all God's pilgrims still, what, it may be asked, of the untrodden journey? What of tomorrow's march? What of the unknown future?
"The Lord will provide!" That future is in the keeping of the God of the pillar-cloud, and we may well leave it there. These refreshing palm-groves at one encampment may well be taken as pledges of His faithfulness and loving care, until the last stage of the wilderness journey be reached, and 'the fields of living green' appear in view.
How beautiful the impress of the Divine hand in the works of outer nature. Every blade of grass, every forest leaf, how perfect, in symmetry of form, and in tenderness of color! With what exquisite elegance He has pencilled every flower, delicately poised it on its stalk, or spread a pillow for its head on the tender sod! The God who has "so clothed the grass of the field," will not be forgetful of the lowliest of His covenant family.
It is for us to say, as we lie passive in His hands, "O Lord, come to my aid!" He, portioning out for us as He sees fit, and having His own infinite reasons for what may appear perplexing to us—we, with an unquestioning and unreasoning faith, fully trusting His power, tenderness, vigilance, love. He does not consult our short-sighted wisdom in what He does. The clouds do not consult the earth as to when they shall visit its fruits and flowers—its cornfields and forests, with their watery treasures. The pining plant does not dictate to the cloud-reservoirs as to when they shall unseal their hidden stores. These give a kindly and needful supply "in due season," and the earth has never yet (for six thousand years) had to complain of them as miserly distributors of their Creator's bounty.
So it is with the soul. He who makes the clouds His chariot—who opens and shuts at will the windows of heaven—locking and unlocking the springs of the great deep—says to all His people, 'Trust Me; I will give you all needed present blessings; I will come to you like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. I do not pledge myself as to how or when the rain shall fall—but I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.'
Happy for us, if we are able to respond with a declaration of entire confidence in a present, personal God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being! Behold the sun of the natural heavens, the great central luminary—a dumb unfeeling mass of matter—holding its dependent planets in their orbits, controlling their unerring movements; they, in calm, silent submission, yielding obedience to the will of this sovereign lord! How much more may we hold on our way in the orbit of undeviating obedience, exulting in Jehovah's ever-present power and love; so that in the most remote solitude, as well as the most dense crowd, we can say, 'Alone, yet not alone, for my Father is with me!'
And if we thus confide in God, He will confide in us. Beautiful are the words of the prophet, "You meet him who rejoices and works righteousness; those that remember You in Your ways." Those that remember You and confide in You, "You meet them!" The Lord comes out halfway to meet the confiding heart.
Let us listen to the words of Him who spoke as never man spoke, "Take no thought" (that is to say, Do not be over-anxious or over-careful) "for tomorrow." That 'tomorrow' is in the hands of One boundless in His resources, infinite in His compassion. He not only distributes the destiny of His people, but He molds and adapts them for their lots and positions in life. Just as in outer nature He adapts the varied classes in the vegetable world for different climates. As the palm was the tree of the desert, the olive that of Palestine, the cedar, of Lebanon—so is it with every tree of righteousness. They too are "the planting of the Lord;" and wherever planted, there, in their varied ways, they may 'glorify' Him.
Do not charge God with insincerity, when He declares, through His inspired Apostle, that all things work together for good to those who love Him. "No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." If He leads you along a rough and thorny road, hear His loving voice thus reassuring your faith and lulling your misgivings, 'Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.' He foresees and anticipates every emergency that can overtake you. He can ward off every danger, and disarm every foe. As you may be now surveying the yet-untrodden road, leading 'uphill and downhill, to the city of habitation,' remember the words of Him who has said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."
"Leave, oh leave your fond aspirings,
Abraham named the place "Jehovah-jireh." (The Lord Will Provide) This name has now become a proverb: "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided." Genesis 22:14
I would assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.
"Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases!" Psalm 115:3
"For I know that the Lord is great; our Lord is greater than all gods. The Lord does whatever He pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths!" Psalm 135:5-6
"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!" Revelation 19:6
God's Providence Results from His Nature. It is Holy, Just, Benevolent,
Wise, Supreme and Sovereign, Sure and Stable, Powerful and Irresistible
Some Explanation of the Delays of Providence in Punishing the Wicked
How Divine Forbearance Should Be Regarded—and How it May Be Abused
Several Principles of the Doctrine of Providence over Wicked Men Illustrated in the Life and End of Judas Iscariot
Alternate Light and Darkness in Providence,, Illustrated in the Case of Job
God's Providence Towards His Church Renders Unnecessary All
Tormenting Fears Respecting Her Safety and Final Triumph
Providences are long chains with many links in them. If one link were missing, the event would fail. But it is God's chain and God's plan. The thing is fixed. The outcome is not doubtful.
"I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2
"My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do." Isaiah 46:10-11
"The plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will." Ephesians 1:11
"This is the plan determined for the whole world." Isaiah 14:26
Matthew Henry on Genesis 22…
A new name is given to the place, to the honour of God, and for the encouragement of all believers, to the end of the world, cheerfully to trust in God in the way of obedience: Jehovah-jireh, The Lord will provide (v. 14), probably alluding to what he had said (v. 8), God will provide himself a lamb. I was not owing to any contrivance of Abraham, nor was it in answer to his prayer, though he was a distinguished intercessor; but it was purely the Lord's doing. Let it be recorded for the generations to come,
1. That the Lord will see; he will always have his eye upon his people in their straits and distresses, that he may come in with seasonable succour in the critical juncture.
2. That he will be seen, be seen in the mount, in the greatest perplexities of his people. He will not only manifest, but magnify, his wisdom, power, and goodness, in their deliverance. Where God sees and provides, he should be seen and praised. And, perhaps, it may refer to God manifest in the flesh.
ILLUSTRATION - "BUT YOU WILL NEED THIS" - Able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20 ). A young bride was going to entertain some friends, and lacking a few necessary things, went to a neighbor to borrow. "Is that all you want?" asked the generous neighbor. "Yes, I think so," replied the bride. "But you will need this, and that, and the other," said the experienced woman, naming the articles. "I was so thankful," said the young hostess afterward, "that I went to some one who knew just exactly what I needed better than I did myself, and was willing to supply it." Our Heavenly Father knows our needs better than we do, and in the richness of His love He supplies our known and unknown lack. From the C. E. World.
The saints should never be dismay’d,
Other Related Music…
The Lord Will Provide
In some way or other the Lord will provide;
My feeble hope in miracles had waned,