“The LORD Will Provide”
(Genesis 22:14)

“Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided’” (Genesis 22:13, 14).

This was after Abraham had been willing to obey God’s command to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. He was willing to do this because He completely trusted God’s promise that Isaac would be the father of his posterity (Genesis 17:21).

This is explained in the New Testament: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Hebrews 11:17-19).

In this faith, Abraham told his servants, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). Although he fully intended to obey God’s command, he was confident that both he and Isaac would return.

In this faith, when Isaac asked him, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” he replied, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:7, 8).

According to the faith of Abraham, God has indeed provided the Lamb for an offering. Like Abraham, we can trust the providence of God. Abraham’s offer of his son prefigured the giving of God’s Son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Isaac carried the wood on his shoulder that would be used for him being sacrificed. Jesus bore the cross on His shoulder upon which He would be nailed.

In addition to providing the sacrifice for our sins so we can be saved, the providence of God extends to all aspects of our lives, “for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

As Elihu states: “If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust” (Job 34:14, 15).

How sad that so many people place their trust in the shifting sands of humanistic philosophy rather than in the word of God. They believe life exists by the providence of mindless materialistic evolution, rather than by the providence of God who in six days “made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Exodus 20:11).

Such people have “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25).

It makes God angry when men, whom He made in His own spiritual image, are ungrateful and deny His providence: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:18-21).

If God withdrew His Spirit and His breath, life on earth would cease. God did not create the universe like a wound-up clock that now runs by itself. The Son of God, through whom the worlds were made, upholds “all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

All good that we enjoy is by the providence of God: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).

Although God has given man a choice between good and evil, and although all men choose to sin, God guides the affairs of this world in such a way that good will prevail. He has promised “that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

As Joseph told his brothers, who had sold him into Egyptian slavery: “As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20).

God’s use of their evil action to bring about good does not relieve them of responsibility for their choice.

They requested forgiveness from Joseph: “Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father” (Genesis 50:17). Joseph was willing to forgive and to leave their final judgment in the hands of God: “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?” ... “Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones" (Genesis 50:19, 21). “And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”

This is an example of the providence of God in spite of evil. The very one the evil brothers rejected and sold into slavery, was used by God to provide for them and their children. This prefigures God’s provision of salvation through Christ.

After saving us, God also helps us to avoid evil and walk in righteousness: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

God, in His mercy, provides us with all we need to be saved: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4).

God’s providence does not mean there is nothing for us to do. Peter continues: “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (2 Peter 1:5-9).

God provides all we need to be saved. It will never be God’s fault that anyone is lost. But notice the word “if,” “if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful.”

Our calling and election leads to ultimate salvation only if we make use of the spiritual resources God provides. Peter continues with this conclusion: “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10, 11). Notice the word “if” again, “if you do these things you will never stumble.”

Who controls your life? “A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). If things do not work out exactly as you planned, do not worry. God knows what He is doing.

Go ahead and make your plans, but keep in mind that God may have something completely different in store for you. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that’” (James 4:13-15).

Like Abraham, let us fully trust in the providence of God. “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided” (Genesis 22:14).

Prophetically, the Mount of the Lord represents the church of Christ. Isaiah said of the Messianic reign:
“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the L
ORD's house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
Many people shall come and say,
‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the L
ORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the L
ORD from Jerusalem”
(Isaiah 2:2, 3 // Micah 4:1).

This was fulfilled in the first century when the church was established and the gospel went forth from Jerusalem into the whole world.

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven” (Hebrews 12:22, 23).

In the church of Christ we are provided with all we need to be saved, and God has promised that if we seek His kingdom and His righteousness first in our lives, He will provide for all our daily needs as well (Matthew 6:33).

“The LORD will provide” (Genesis 22:14).

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)