Jehovah-Jireh; as it is said to this day, in the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.
The only question Isaac is ever said to have asked of his own accord was, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” The answer was categorical: “God will provide.” This is typical of Isaac, whose privilege as heir was simply to receive what was freely bestowed upon him by his father. He did not have to dig wells; the most required of him was to reopen those his father had dug. Nor indeed had he any say in his own marriage; he was not consulted about the woman, and was not expected to make any effort to seek her out. Even the tomb in which he was buried was already purchased by his father.
We, too, like Isaac, have been born into a wealthy home. What God our Father has provided for us, we are expected to receive. The God of Isaac is our God, and is He not God the Giver.
The greatest liberty we could ever experience comes from the total trust in God. Our struggles in life are in direct portion with our trust in God. The more we trust, the less we struggle and the more we struggle, the less we trust. The lesson that Isaac teaches us is powerful. The fact that a human could attain such level of trust tells us that while it is amazing, it is also attainable by you and I.
I have no doubt that Isaac grew up hearing about how he was the answer to a prayer and that even his birth was miraculous. We all know the story. Gods had promised Abraham an heir through Sarah, but time had slipped by and now they were for all practical purposes, beyond childbearing years. Their attempt to bring the promise to pass was a failure and yet at the right time, God reaffirms and carries out His promise. The heritage of faith that Isaac was given taught him the most valuable lesson any can learn- the confidence of faith.
Isaac enjoyed a life of blessing, not because of his efforts, but as the heir of Abraham. He watched, enjoyed, and benefited from all his father accomplished. Nee points out that he dug no wells. Later after his father died, the enemies filled up the wells and Isaac was tasked with reopening them. Even in that, he didn’t have to seek the source of water. Instead he went to the place his father had dug, knowing that water was there. You might say that getting the water cost him some effort but no energy was spent seeking for it.
His trust in Abraham was so great that he took Rebecca, the bride Abraham- or Eleazar, Abraham’s servant chose for him. Scripture tells us that he loved her so it wasn’t just an arranged marriage for the sake of custom. Knowing that his father had sought the best, Isaac opened his heart and found that she was indeed a jewel.
Nee points out that even his tomb was built for him by his father so that in life and death, everything he need was provided by his father.
We turn now to the text verse today where we read the answer to Isaac’s only question- “Where’s the lamb?” The answer came, “Jehovah-Jireh- the Lord’s provision will be seen.” The question comes as Abraham and Isaac are traveling to the mountains to offer a sacrifice as instructed by the Lord. At the foot of the mountain, they leave behind the servants and father and son travel up the mountain. Isaac observes that they had brought no lamb and he wonders what they will do. Abraham, who knows that Isaac is the sacrifice responds, “God will provide.” We get to read the rest of the story but Abraham and Isaac are watching it unfold. Finally they reach the top of the mountain and build the altar and lay the wood. Abraham turns to Isaac and tells him that he is the sacrifice. We know the by this time Abraham is an old man and Isaac is a young man in his prime. There’s not doubt that Isaac could have resisted and there was no way Abraham could have forced him to lay down on the altar. It required as willing, trusting, submission. That submission stemmed from a lifetime of knowing the love of his father and experiencing the lavish affection and blessings. I’m sure that Isaac didn’t understand how his father could ask such a thing of him. I’m sure that laying on that altar, bound hand and foot and watching the knife plunging toward his heart must have been a moment of intense anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. I know none who face death without at least some concern for the unknown. And at that moment, the answer came. “Stay your hand, Abraham, “ God said. “Look in the bush, I’ve provided a ram.”
You and I may not be the children of wealthy influential parents but if we have been born again, we have been adopted by the Lord of all creation who delights in giving good things to His children.
God has already prepared such blessings, provisions and gifts for us through Christ who “paid it all.” Our response is to simply be, “all to Him I owe.” We often struggle, wondering whether God will provide our needs. While not minimizing the effects of inflation and rising costs, let me say clearly that if God has provided for our salvation, eternal life, and future with Him in heaven- and we know He has- then do you suppose it’s beyond Him or beneath Him to provide for us now in this life and world?
Let’s be like Isaac and just go to the well of provision that’s God has already dug. We might have to use a little effort to open it again after doubt, fear, and unbelief have filled it in. But one thing’s for sure, the provision is still there. We might be tempted to make important decisions on our own, thinking that we are wise enough. Instead, like Isaac trusting his father to choose his bride, let us trust our Father to guide us in the right way.
Finally, when God asks us to go with Him to the place of testing, let us do so knowing we will be in His love and care and whatever the outcome, we can trust that we, too, will see the provision of God.
Today you can cease your struggle even when you see the knife of devastation and despair plunging toward your heart for nearby is the Ram- the Lord Jesus Christ who has stood in our place as the Sacrifice that was sufficient and pleasing unto the Father.
If you will trust God when He leads you to the place of testing, you will testify of His provision and love for He has provided for us in life and death.
Dr. John Thompson