There’s something powerful and unsettling about recognizing our own inadequacy. Abraham must have felt something of his own inability to provide, as he was witness to the miraculous conception and birth of his son Isaac. Abraham’s firstborn was God’s living, breathing promise – a skin and bone sign that God would honour his vow to make Abraham a father of many descendants. Imagine, then, what must have been going through Abraham’s head as he trudged obediently and perhaps reluctantly, up the mountain for three days to sacrifice Isaac. Was God going to turn back from his promise? Did God really ask this of him? Did he hear God correctly? What was going to happen when they got the top?
In the end, God walks with Abraham into his greatest fear and delivers him from it. Instead of sacrificing his son, like other nations around him, God provides. Jehovah Jireh is the name Abraham uses for the LORD when he sees God’s provision in the form of a Ram for the sacrifice.
“On the mountain of the Lord, it was provided for” is what they still say of that event. “On the mountain of the Lord it was seen.” The connection between God providing and God seeing a need is deep. Jehovah Jireh can be translated equally, “God who provides” and “God who sees”. Abraham knew when God sees, he also provides. Whatever was going on in his heart that day, his actions declared, “the Lord will see to it”. This same idea caused the Hebrew people to cry out, “Remember us, O LORD” (Jer. 14:21) and “Hear us, O, LORD!” (1 Kings 8:30). As soon as God remembers, it is provided. As soon as he hears, it is provided. As soon as he sees, it is provided.
In this season, we are joining with Abraham and the ancient Hebrew nation in calling out for our financial provision. We are joining together to ask God to remember us, to hear us, to see us and, ultimately, to provide. We may not feel the same kind of desperation Abraham might have felt as he ascended the mountain, but we are confident we will see provision – that God knows our situation and will hear our prayers. He walks with us into our own inadequacy and meets us there. On the mountain of the Lord it was provided for – it was seen (Gen 22:14). Let it be so in our situation as well!
Please consider joining the Pastoral and Lay Elders as we fast and pray every Tuesday in December.