And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. (Genesis 22:7-8, ESV)
In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, we read, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” It’s the scene where John the Baptist saw Jesus walking toward him to be baptized. As the burnt sacrifices at the temple continued daily, most who heard these words did not understand that Jesus would soon be the last sacrificial lamb.
The first reference to a lamb for a burnt offering occurs when God told Abraham to take Isaac up the mountain in the land of Moriah and offer him, his only son, as a burnt offering (Genesis 22:2). I imagine torment burned inside Abraham with every weighted step upward. And yet, Abraham obeyed.
As Abraham reached out his hand to slaughter Isaac, the angel of God intervened and provided a ram in the thicket instead. Abraham named the place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided (Genesis 22:14).”
The Hebrew word for provide is ra’ah (raw-aw). It means to make appear, to make visible, to present, to provide, to reveal. The Amplified Bible notes, “We must not suppose that this was the language merely of faith and obedience. Abraham spoke prophetically, and referred to that Lamb of God which He had provided for Himself, Who in the fullness of time would take away the sin of the world, and Whom Isaac was a most expressive type. For Abraham was a prophet.” In the early pages of his love story, the Lord revealed his provision that would be made visible in his perfect time.
Mount Moriah: where the Lord provided a ram for Abraham and where the Lamb of God was crucified for all humankind. The visible place where Jesus bled and died, fully revealing himself as he took away the sin of the world.
God will provide. His provision is for every need, every heartache, every fear, every unanswered question, and every unfulfilled longing. Our families and communities are experiencing many different challenges during this time in history. Some are busier than ever as “essential” businesses, others are seeking unemployment relief. Too many are fighting for life, and many are feeling bored at home. A chasm of disparity.
With countless unknowns and what-ifs before us, trusting that God will provide feels really hard. My prayer today is for us to be encouraged through Abraham’s faith and obedience to walk the path set before us and trust that God will provide. It may appear in ways we can’t anticipate, but his provision will be revealed and be made visible in his perfect time.
April 23, 2020
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