In Genesis 22:1-19 We read the story of Abraham & Isaac. Abraham took Isaac up on a mountain with the intention of sacrificing him to God by God’s request. Then with the knife drawn God finally puts a halt to it. It was a test of Abraham’s love & obedience to God.
But what about Isaac. Rarely do we think about the damage done to a son who was bound up by his father and had a knife held above his body nearly killing him. His father nearly killed him ON PURPOSE. So what happens to a son like that? He has a hard time trusting. If we follow Isaac’s story we see that he has two sons and clings very closely to the eldest. We use Abraham’s servant finding Isaac’s wife as a love story, but it is extremely unromantic and to say they have a healthy relationship would be untrue. She is sabotaging her own husband and son to benefit her favorite son. This is one messed up family…If I was Isaac I would be messed up to. Over the course of the past year God has brought my heart to a near death experience. And although everything looks okay on the outside, the damage that experience did to my heart will not heal easily.
In the past I have always read this passage and tried to imagine how I would respond. As I read this passage in preparation for today, my eyes welled up with tears, and they fell in abundance as I imagined how hurt Isaac was to have trusted his father and then have his father turn on him. I understand God was testing Abraham, and I have no doubt that my heart’s near death experience was not also a test, but it still makes me frustrated. I still feel hurt. I still wonder how a loving God could use an innocent soul as the bait for a test.
Now before you throw me out for doubting God, let’s be honest. Have you ever wondered why God has let someone so dear to you and innocent (maybe your own heart) be destroyed by someone else? Have you ever questioned why God could allow something so detrimental to happen? Cancer in a young parent? Death of an innocent child? Broken home with a loving family?
I think we would be missing the opportunity to be transparent and really go deep in our walk with the Lord if we didn’t allow ourselves to ask these difficult questions.
I am asking this same question everyday in my life. I know the hurt and despair that can plague the depths of your soul and shake your faith.
I also know that feeling of wanting God to provide the ram at the bottom of the mountain rather than after the loved son is already bound, lying on the wood with a knife in his face. I know that scared moment when you don’t know whether or not God will provide at the last minute or if the proverbial knife will actually kill you. We live in a fallen world and to say the name Jehovah-jirah: God will provide can sometimes seem trite when you are like Joseph in the bottom of a well being sold to slaves, or Jonah living for 3 days inside a fish, or Jesus hanging on the cross asking, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”
But it seems that when the words “God will provide” seem trite–these are the times that knowing in the depths of your being that you can lay it all at His feet because He will provide can comfort us the most.
What can he provide?
He can provide the strength to drag yourself out of bed and into the shower. He can provide the strength to choose love when bitterness seems justified. He can provide love when you feel unlovable. He can provide the lens to see yourself as He sees you rather than person you see and criticize. He can provide stability when your world has been shattered to pieces.
God won’t always provide what you want, but He will give you everything you need. He has given us His only son out of his immense love for us. We are never facing the knife alone. He is with us and by Jesus’ outstretched arms on the cross, we avoid the wrath of the knife on our personal Mount Moriah.
God is Jehovah-jirah.