And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.”… And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
GENESIS 22:7–8, 13–14
The well-known story of God’s request of Abraham to sacrifice his son has much to show us about what it means to abound in the trusting of God for both critical provision and when we find ourselves in uncomfortable positions.
The story begins with God calling Abraham to go sacrifice his son Isaac. But notice the nature of the call—God calls Abraham to sacrifice “your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love.” It would have been enough to point out just once that Isaac is to be sacrificed, but God mentioned it three times with each mention reflecting a deeper relationship. It is as though God intentionally wants Abraham to recognize the magnitude of the challenge He is giving to Abraham. God is putting him in an uncomfortable position.
On their journey to the location of the sacrifice, Isaac ponders on the elements that are required for a sacrifice and realizes something is missing. He noticed the fire that is needed to burn the sacrifice, the wood which the sacrifice will be laid upon, and even the knife needed for the slaughter is present; however, the most critical piece is missing– the sacrifice. Abraham’s response is that “God will provide.” But there is more to the depth of his response that can be encouraging to us. The literal Hebrew translation of the word “provide” is “to see.” Abraham’s response to his son is not a vague cliché statement, but rather it is an expression of confidence that the God who instructed them to go on the journey will indeed “see to it” himself that they have all that they need. The God of Abraham will “see to it” that the critical lamb for sacrifice is available.
Indeed God “saw to it” that there would be a sacrifice; he provided a ram for Abraham and Isaac but thousands of years later, He also provided The Lamb. God “saw to it” that we, His people, would have all that we need to be alive and free when He sent His Son Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb. Like Abraham, we come to God abounding in trust knowing He will “see to it” that we experience the overflow of His blessings both in uncomfortable situations and for our critical needs.
- Have you experienced circumstances where God has “seen to it” that you were provided for?
- List out some that come to mind.
Today’s devotional was prayed over and prepared by Temidayo Akinsanya, Adult Ministry Resident