We have been looking at Abraham’s walk with God. Do you understand how Abraham could actually put his son on an altar with the intention of chopping him up for a burnt offering? I can not. I never have.
We can rationalize God’s side of the issue by realizing that He never intended for Isaac to be killed. It was a test of obedience. But even so, I don’t understand how Abraham could possibly obey God to that extent.
This story is found in Genesis 22, where God is identified as “Jehovah Jireh,” meaning “God our Provider.”
We use this name of God often. But do we consider what Abraham’s use of the name is all about? “God our Provider,” based on this story, feels like a bit of a misnomer. Or maybe it is just that we use it out of context. We sing and chant that God will provide “for me, for me, for me.”
Let’s look again at Abraham. This was not about a God who provides our daily bread. (God DOES provide our daily bread). But that is not the “Jehovah Jireh” aspect of God that Abraham experienced here. Rather, this is a God who meets a need, a life-and-death need, at the point of our ultimate sacrifice and obedience.
There is a counterfeit Christianity “out there” that does not know about surrender. It does not know about giving when you do not feel like giving, about serving when the service needed is not based on your area of passion, about going when you do not know where God will take you. Instead, we have become very self-serving. God has become like an ATM to us. Prayer is our PIN number — the key to unlocking provision.
I saw a t-shirt recently that read, “The latest scientific research now confirms that the world revolves around me!”
That might be funny, but the fact is that the world screams at us, bombards us, convinces us, that “It’s aaaaall about me.” In that milleau, we need to intentionally preach a different gospel — THE gospel.
This gospel will include, of course, the truth that at the point of obedience that is sacrificial beyond imagination, God IS faithful.
Obedience is willing submission to the will of another: in this case, God. Obedience is releasing spiritual sons, just when they are ready to take over so that you can move on to ‘bigger and better things’. Obedience is going to the prayer meeting when you would rather stay home . . . you can fill in what it means to you. Obedience for me has also been moving ‘fully’ to Kenya.
A year or two before our oldest son went to college in the States, I told God that enough was enough. “We were not planning to move to Kenya forever, God. It was supposed to be for 5 years. I think it is time to go home now.” I wanted to find a reason to go back — but there was none. That was a very difficult season. Yet God requires obedience.
Jehovah Jireh does provide, when we obey no matter the cost. That is when we truly know Jehovah, our God who provides.