So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. Genesis 22:14 (Full context: Genesis 22:1-19)
“Hey Dad, I was just wondering…we’ve got the wood to build the fire,” Isaac said as they walked along, “but where is the lamb we’re going to sacrifice?”
As a father, how do you answer that? God had told him, his very son, Isaac was to be the sacrifice. Abraham’s reply was “God will provide a lamb, my son.”
What was going through Abraham’s mind as he said that? He didn’t know the outcome…Did he feel like he was lying to his son? Did he trust God enough that what sounded preposterous would actually have a good ending? How could the God he loved and trusted his life with ask him to do such a thing? What would he tell Sarah when he returned home without Isaac?
They continued to walk on until they arrived at the place God instructed him to go. With tears in his eyes, Abraham built an altar and placed the wood on it. He then tied Isaac up and laid him on the altar over the wood. At this point, the Bible does not record any conversation between the two of them. I can only imagine Abraham weeping so deeply as he did this, and Isaac so aghast that he already knew what was about to happen. He was in shock. This is the point in a movie where you close your eyes. Abraham took his knife, lifted it up and held his arms over his son, ready to kill him as God requested.
For the reader, it’s almost too much to bear. How would a loving God ever ask anything so deplorable of one he loves?
And at that moment, an angel of the Lord shouted to Abraham to stop and lay down the knife. The angel said, “Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from me.”
We can breathe again. Just then, Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. He was never happier in his life to take that very ram and make the sacrifice as a burnt offering instead of his son. Then Abraham named the place “The Lord Will Provide.”
If you have not yet experienced a crazy ask by God, you will one day. God is our provider and we will never fully understand or appreciate what this means until we go out on a limb of obedience for Him. It is only when we are faced with a situation that seems impossible, where God is telling us to do the opposite of what makes sense, it is only then that we will experience full obedience in God’s eyes.
Be ready. Be ready to know God will provide when you fully obey.
Ornament Credit: Jude Reinertson