Abraham “Sacrifices” Isaac • Devotion #6: “The Lord Will Provide”
Caleb Combs | Gathering Pastor
The story in Genesis chapter 22 is one with which I have always struggled. God had just blessed Abraham and Sarah with a baby when all signs pointed to them being too old. Yet, now God challenged Abraham with the blessing. He told him to take Isaac to Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice. Now, this is where I struggle. This seems totally opposite of the character of God. Yet, Abraham was obedient. He took his only son, some supplies, and headed to the mountain. On the way, Isaac asked his father, “Where is the sacrifice?” Abraham responded that God would provide. Several times Isaac asked his father on the journey, and every time the response was the same, “God will provide!” I am not sure if you have children, but if God asked this of me, I am not sure I would have responded the same way Abraham did. I would ask, “Really God? I prayed for years that you would give us a child, and now you want to take him away?” Abraham had to be thinking all of these thoughts, yet his actions showed a resilient faith. When they reached the top of the Moriah, Isaac built the altar and then his father laid him on it. The Bible tells us that when Abraham lifted the knife, God called to him, “Abraham, Abraham, Abraham, don’t lay a hand on Isaac, I have provided the sacrifice.” Just as God said, there was a ram stuck in a bush nearby, and Abraham and Isaac made a sacrifice to God. Genesis 22:14 says, “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.’”
This is an incredible story of God’s provision and testing, yet I have always struggled with understanding the desperation in which God put Abraham. Ultimately, it was a calling by God to Abraham for him to trust Him. Recently, I was able to travel to Durban, South Africa to serve at Key of Hope. Key of Hope is a ministry that works with children throughout Durban. It is an incredible ministry, founded and run by Dan and Rachel Smither. Before we went to South Africa, I thought it would be a great idea to bring some supplies. We brought suitcases packed with school supplies to be distributed by Dan and Rachel. I also know how big soccer is there, so I called in a favor. My friend, Caleb Stanko, plays professional soccer in Germany and he has a huge love for missions, and so he provided soccer equipment and jerseys for me to take with us.
On our first day in South Africa, we dumped all of the bags out in Dan’s office, and he was excited about all of the supplies. That same day the director of his soccer programs came to him with a dilemma. He had spent most of his soccer supply budget on something other than supplies. He came to Dan and explained that his team had been unable to train and even play in games because they had not eaten. You see, most of them barely have enough money to eat once a day, and that was not close to enough nourishment for them to be able to play games or practice. The soccer director decided to use the supply of money to feed them and now was not sure how he was going to supply the needed soccer equipment. In the same response Abraham responded to Isaac, Dan responded, “God will provide!” Dan told him to turn around and see the very equipment he needed had already been provided by God. The young man was absolutely amazed at how real God was and is.
As I sit typing this devotion, I am challenged by that exact statement, “Do you realize how real God is?” I am ashamed of my unwillingness to trust that God will provide. I want to take control of situations myself and not trust that God will intervene. Maybe you are just like me and are a “control freak.” Or maybe you have no issues in trusting God. I know in the easy situations, I have no problem trusting. But when the rubber meets the road, and our situations turn dire, that is when we truly see the extent of our faith. Do you trust that God will provide? I can say definitively that God will provide! It may not look the way you thought or imagined, but we have a real and active God working for our favor.