So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together (Genesis 22:6-8).
Consider this scene from the perspectives of the different people who made this journey to Moriah. At some point during the three days of traveling, Abraham’s servants may have wondered, “What is so special about this place?” As Abraham and his son parted company with the servants and finished their journey alone, one can easily imagine an uneasy tension. They had the wood which Abraham had cut, the fire he had kindled, and the knife for slaying the offering. Only one element seemed to be missing, and Isaac was old enough to notice its conspicuous absence. At last Isaac broke the silence with the question Abraham had surely anticipated for three days—“Where is the lamb?” Whether inspired, rehearsed, or otherwise, his response was brief, yet marked with profound wisdom—“God will provide.” (vs. 14). There are times when we wonder how we will ever be able to do what God has required of us. Rest assured that God will never demand anything without giving us the tools to get the job done! This is a point we would do well to remember in every aspect of life.
Remember that God will provide every material need we have.
He has since the beginning. In the garden, He provided Adam and Eve with abundant food and water (Genesis 2:9-10). They needed no shelter from the elements since there was no rain (vss. 5-6). He even provided clothing when sin made it a necessity (3:21). Just as God provided Abraham with everything that he needed for keeping His word (including the courage to do it), He will do the same for each of us. When we are powerless to take care of ourselves, God provides (Matthew 6:25-34).
Remember that God will provide a way of escape for every temptation.
He gave Noah a way out of the wickedness among which he lived (2 Peter 2:5; cf. Genesis 6:5). He likewise provided Lot with an opportunity to escape the overthrow of Sodom (2 Peter 2:6-8). He provided Joseph with a way of escape (Genesis 39:12), but that way led through prison before it reached the throne next to Pharaoh’s. Paul assures us that God always provides a way of escape for every temptation and that, because of this, there is no temptation that is truly impossible to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). That way may require years of hard work (as it did with Noah). It may require that we leave some people behind (as Lot did). It may require patient waiting and suffering, but God will provide.
Remember that God will provide judgment against those who wrong us.
When we see people living in sin and prospering from it, we do not need to fear that justice will never be served. We do not need to concern ourselves with punishing evil, for God says that He Himself will repay it in His own way and time (Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30).
Remember that God will provide joy for every struggle.
When God took Israel into captivity for their sins, He promised to provide “beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:1-3). There would be good to come from their suffering. God will also provide a reward, both for the faithful (Matthew 5:11-12; 16:27) and the unfaithful (2 Peter 2:13). God also provides for His exiled children peace and joy even in a world filled with uncertainty and anxiety (Philippians 4:4).
We have so much for which to be thankful, for we serve a God who always provides.
Copyright © 2018. Originally published in The Elizabethton Edifier, September 4, 2017; copyright © by Roby Ellis