Articles

Articles

“The Lord Will Provide”

After God spared Isaac, Abraham's unique son, "...Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son" (Gen. 22:13). It was at this point of climax, immediately after Abraham's knife was stayed from slitting the throat of his son of promise, the LORD did what He always does: He provided what was needed, in this case a sacrifice in the form of a ram. That is why "Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide..." or, in Hebrew, YHWH-jireh (Gen. 22:14).

 

God is given many names and designations in Scripture and none of them are without significance. The act of providing is one way God has revealed and defined Himself to man. His providential care falls on all men, the just and the unjust (Mt. 5:45). In reference to physical provision there was never a soul who did not owe all to God, "for in Him we live and move and have our being..." (Acts 17:28). But our God who wears this name "YHWH-jireh" has provided much more than food, clothing and shelter to His creatures. He brought salvation to all men by His grace (Titus 2:11).

This hope of eternal life may not be accepted by all men but it is surely offered to all men as Paul says in Romans 10:13, "whoever calls on Him will not be put to shame." All men are given the power (authority) to become "sons of God" (Jn. 1:12). God, the great Provider, has "granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence" (2 Pet. 1:3). Let us meditate on God's spiritual provisions.

 

First of all, God has provided the PRICE for our salvation: His own Son, Jesus. In Romans 8:31-32, Paul says, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" Our salvation was purchased with the most valuable substance of all, the very blood of God in human form (1 Pet. 1:18-19). The vast weight of sin that had accumulated for all of human history and even now continues was taken by Jesus to the cross in His body (1 Pet. 2:24). In return there is nothing man can offer but a broken spirit and a contrite heart (Psa. 51:17).

 

Secondly, God has provided the PROMISE of our salvation: His reward for obedient faith. In His great commission to His apostles, Jesus used plain language in explaining how salvation would come; "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned" ( Mk. 16:15-16). Christ summed up this faith as He concluded His sermon on the mount by saying that everyone who hears and obeys His words would endure the judgment (Mt. 7:24-27). Thankfully, our salvation does not necessitate our perfection. (God has taken care of that too!) God knows our weaknesses and the struggles of this body. That is precisely why He appointed Jesus as High Priest who could sympathize with our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15). Having an Advocate with the Father we are now able to be granted forgiveness of sins (1 Jn. 1:9; 2:1). The Hebrew writer says that in His perfection, Jesus our High Priest became "to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation" (Heb. 5:9).

 

Finally, God has provided the PLAN of our salvation: His perfect and eternal word to guide our way. James tells us that God's word is "able to save [our] souls" (Jas. 1:21). In His word we have all that we need to be pleasing to Him (2 Pet. 1:3). God used to speak to mankind through direct revelation and through prophets but now He speaks to us "in His Son" (Heb. 1:2). By studying the life of Jesus and seeing how He lived by faith we have our pattern of conduct. It is no wonder Jesus told Thomas that He is "the way" to the Father (Jn. 14:6). He doesn't point us to the way. He doesn't give us a list of directions that lead us to the way. Instead He says, "I am the way." We are on the right (righteous) track when we deny ourselves and pick up our cross daily to follow in the footsteps of Jesus (Lk. 9:23).

 

God, fulfilling the name ascribed to Him by Abraham, has abundantly provided us with everything we need to be what we were always meant to be. He paid the price, He gave the promise, and He provided the plan for our salvation. And, by working providentially through others and through us as we follow His word and even through circumstances mysterious to us, He is saving mankind.