December 2, 2015

Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Will Provide.

I attend a Bible study at church where we are studying "The Names of God". Despite how large the church is, there is only a few of us women who gather every Wednesday evening. This group is small, like I'm talking 3 or 4 women a week! It does disappoint me how small the turn out is, because they are seriously missing out on an amazing study! But I guess a more intimate group suits my learning style better anyway. A smaller group makes it easier to ask questions and have your questions be answered in a more detailed way.

Lately we have been focusing on the Old Testament which is awesome and it is even more awesome that I even think reading the Old Testament is awesome because: I have a huge confession to make! Up until I was 19 years old I actually thought the Old Testament was irrelevant. I simply didn't think it applied to my life at all. MY life? How selfish does that sound?

And apparently I completely disregarded the verse in the NEW Testament that says "ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..." (1 Timothy 3:16), even and especially the Old Testament! I was SOOO very wrong!
One of the things that makes me appreciate the Old Testament so much is the fact that it has Jesus written all over it. And Jesus means everything because He is the whole reason for my salvation!

So, anyway! The Bible is filled with several names of God all meaning different things. The name of God that we studied this last week was "Jehovah Jireh" which means "God will see to it" -> Seeing -> Provision -> Providing -> "The Lord Will Provide". This name is found in Genesis 22 the story of God testing Abraham.

I encourage you to read this story! I even provided a link for you: HERE! :)

Genesis 22 contains four amazing references that connect the Old and New Testament all through Jesus Christ!

Firstly, God asked Abraham "take your son, your ONLY son, whom you love--Isaac--and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you".
Sacrifice your ONLY son...sounds familiar, doesn't it?
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and ONLY son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life". (John 3:16). God sacrificed His only Son Jesus on the cross to pay for our sins.

Secondly, on Mount Moriah where this sacrifice was about to take place, is where Solomon later built the temple. In this temple was a place where many lambs were sacrificed. Who was also referred to as a lamb? Jesus was! John 1:29 states "the next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, 'behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world'"!

Thirdly, as Abraham and Isaac were preparing to go up the mountain together, Genesis 22:6 tells us that "Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac...".
Carrying wood...that sounds familiar as well. Of course! John 19:17 says "They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out bearing his own cross, to the place called Place of the Skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha". Jesus and Isaac both carried their own "crosses" to the place of their sacrifice.

Fourthly, as Abraham reached for his knife and was about to kill Isaac, the Lord told him to stop and not lay a hand on the boy. "Abraham looked up and there in the thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son" (Genesis 22:13). A thicket is a dense growth of trees, shrubs and bushes, usually cluttered with thorns and thistles. The rams' head was caught in these thorns. Before Jesus was crucified on the cross, "the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head..." (John 19:2).
The ram caught in the thorns that God provided to Abraham then took the place of Isaac and was sacrificed; Jesus wearing a crown of thorns was sacrificed.

Realizing the prophetic language in Genesis 22 was such a revelation to me. I had heard the story many times in my life but this time it was like a whole new story. Before I had always found it so insane that God would ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son! But the story isn't so insane after all when I saw how much it applied to my own life and the nature and promises of God.

God was testing Abraham to see if he loved God just for who He was, not just because God had blessed him with things. Just like how I want my husband, my family and friends to love me for who I am as a person and because I love them! Not because I do favours for them or buy them gifts, ect.,

God wanted Abraham to show his complete obedience. Just as a parent who wants the BEST for their children, disciplines their children and desires for their obedience, should we as children of God obey Him! James 1:23-25 states that "anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in the mirror, and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do".

So God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. With Abraham leading Isaac up onto the mountain, laying him down on the altar, binding him, and reaching for his knife to kill Isaac...with all of these things, Abraham had already emotionally sacrificed Isaac. He didn't physically sacrifice him of course, but in his mind he had already given Isaac to God. It was like Isaac had already died.
"By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, 'it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned'. Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death". (Hebrews 11:17-19)

For loving, worshiping, and obeying God, Abraham was SO blessed. He was blessed in a way that God saw was good. (Something we need to remember is our version of a "blessing" such as perfect health and stable finances, isn't nearly as amazing as what God sees as a blessing).
Something really cool that I just picked up on was in Genesis 22:20-23, Abraham is told that Bethuel was born and "Bethuel became the father of Rebekah". Who is Rebekah?? She was the future wife of Isaac. So after Abraham obeyed God, he was blessed in the way that his son's future wife was being raised and cared for. Now that is another thing to remember. God is blessing us in ways that we cannot even see right now. We really have no idea what God is orchestrating for us.

So this ended up being a longer blog post than I intended. I guess I just got so excited I couldn't stop! I can only hope that something stuck out to you here or maybe you learned something or was reminded of something! I hope that this Bible study amazed you as much as it amazed me!

I'm going to share a list of practical steps that my Bible study leader shared with me:
1. Practice immediate obedience
2. Learn to trust Him to be fully consistent with His nature.
3. Believe that He is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.
4. Place that which is most cherished in your life on the altar, and surrender it completely to Him.
5. Be prepared to praise Him whether He restores your Isaac or removes it.
6. Practice these principles DAILY.

1 comment:

  1. Another cool thing is that much of the New Testament and a lot of what Jesus says is a direct quote from the Old Testament. He often says "have you not heard" or "it is written"... AND Basically the entire book of Revelation is found in the Old Testament. Check out this neat graph: