Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Is God Jehovah Jirah to you?

I read Genesis 22 today. To be perfectly honest, the story of Abraham and Isaac has never been a favorite of mine. Every time I read it I wonder what Isaac must have thought about the whole event. The Bible doesn't give us a blow-by-blow account of what was said and what was done, so it leaves a lot to the imagination. And some of that ain't too pretty. If you're not familiar with the story, I encourage you to read it. To recap, Genesis 22 tells the story of how God tested Abraham. He asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac as a burnt offering, and Abraham was willing to do so. I don't know about you, but I usually find myself cringing when I read this story. The reality of what could have happened is awful!

But when I read it today, I felt a little different about it. Maybe because I'm determined to be a "glass half full" kind of person. Ha! (See yesterday's post.) Today I meditated more on Abraham's obedience to God rather than the fact that he was willing to murder his son. I thought more about what Isaac felt when he heard God bless his father for his obedience rather than the horrible fear that must have swept Isaac when his father bound him and put him on the altar. I thought about God's watchfulness over Abraham and Isaac and how he intervened at the exact right moment to prevent a tragedy. God didn't want Isaac dead. He wanted Abraham's obedience.

Have you ever been tested by God?

I don't think any of us want to be tested by the Almighty. I do think most of us want to be blessed by Him. It may be that sometimes God needs to test us in order to bless us. And I don't believe the testing is for God's benefit or satisfaction. I believe testing comes in order to teach us more about God and His amazing love for us. Abraham understood this. After he sacrificed the ram that God brought to him, he named the place where all this happened "Jehovah Jirah", which means "The Lord will provide."

The God who tested and provided for Abraham is the same God who tests and provides for us. If He called to me today and asked me to do something I really didn't want to do, would I be willing? Would I answer Him as Abraham answered: "Here am I." (22:1) Would I be willing to sacrifice something I hold dear in order to be obedient? Do I truly believe that God is Jehovah Jirah?

I pray the answer to each of those questions is "Yes!"

What about you? Is God Jehovah Jirah to you?

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