OceanSide church of Christ
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GOD WILL PROVIDE
Victor M. Eskew
It is easy to be a person of faith when all is going smoothly. It is easy to say the words: “I trust God,” when there are no difficulties weighing us down. It is when faith is tested that our words come under fire. When the struggles come, we not only have to say the words, but we have to live the words as well.
In Genesis 22:1-2, the faith of Abraham is put to the test. “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” This test was tough for several reasons. First, it was set before Abraham out of thin air. It was not something that had been long the making. Second, it involved a son that had been promised to Abraham by God. He had waited for Isaac’s birth for many years. Third, it involved a son that he dearly loved. Fourth, the command involved a father taking the life of his son. Abraham would have to raise his knife to slay his son.
Abraham’s faith is evidenced in Genesis 22:3. “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and cleaved the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.” Abraham did not reject the command of God. He did not plead with God to change His mind. He did not quit serving God. His faith expressed itself in simple obedience.
From the book of Hebrews, we learn that Abraham did some thinking about this command of God. Note, he did not doubt the command. He merely reasoned about “how” God would fulfill all the promises He had made about Isaac. Listen to the words of the inspired penman. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure” (Heb. 11:17-19). Abraham’s trust in God’s faithfulness and power was so great that he reasoned that God would raise Isaac from the dead after he was offered and that the promises would still be fulfilled through him.
Abraham and his small company made the journey into the land of Moriah. “Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Abraham still expresses his faith, even with the mountain of sacrifice in view. He told his servants that both he and Isaac would return to them after they worshipped. Truly, Abraham was a man who put his full confidence in the God he served.
Abraham and Isaac gathered all their provisions for the sacrifice, “and they went both of them together” (Gen. 22:6). As they climbed to the place of sacrifice, Isaac took note that the sacrifice was missing. “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (Gen. 22:7). Abraham did not hesitate in his answer. “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together” (Gen. 22:8). Abraham’s answer contains the words of the title of this article: “God will provide.” Again, we hear the faith of this great patriarch. He had no doubts about his God. “God will provide.”
Dear readers, is this the attitude that you manifest when life’s trials come upon you? Do you push forward doing God’s will, saying over and over: “God will provide”? Or, do you doubt and fret? Do you just sit and wring your hands? Some want God to work on their behalf. If asked whether they believe that He will help them, they will reluctantly reply: “Yes.” However, there is little, if any, confidence in their answer. Yes, they want God to provide for them, but they have major doubts that He really will. Notice, that their faith in the midst of trials is different than their faith before the trial. The test of faith shows the true measure of their confidence in God. Sadly, the measure of their faith is very low when passing through the fiery trials.
Abraham’s faith continued to be demonstrated on the mountain top. He “bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son” (Gen. 22:9b-10). It was at this point, God responded just as Abraham believed He would. An angel of the Lord commanded him not to take Isaac’s life. “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and look, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burn offering in the stead of his son” (Gen. 22:13). God provided a ram. The important words are: “God provided.” My friends, is our God compassionate? Is He benevolent? Is He good? Is He loving? Is He kind? Is He strong? Does he have all resources at His disposal? If your answer to these questions is: “Yes,” then, trust Him to provide for you in every trial, struggle, and difficulty in life. Keep Abraham in mind as you climb your mountain. Let his words of trust fill your heart: “My son, God will provide a lamb for a burnt offering.”