This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “provide.”
It must have been the hardest journey.
Father and son walk together up the mountain, but this is no jolly family day out because the father knows what he must do. God has asked for a sacrifice, and he must obey. His heart must be breaking as he walks alongside his son, carrying the fire and the knife while his son lugs the wood. He knows only too well what awaits them when they reach the top.
As they continue their journey, the son breaks the silence:
“Father, we have the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7 NLT)
An innocent question, but how these words must have pierced Abraham’s heart!
When he finally opens his mouth in response, he’s not sure where the words come from:
“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering.” (Genesis 22:8 NLT)
He’s not sure how God will provide- maybe Isaac, the long-awaited child of the promise, is the provision, and this is his destiny…
But maybe God has something else in mind…
In the midst of the fear and uncertainty, there is one thing Abraham knows. God is faithful to his promises. And the promise is not just for a son, but for many descendants, a great nation. He remembers God’s words: “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” (Genesis 21:12 NLT)
He clings to the hope that maybe God can raise the dead. Surely, somehow, God will provide…
But it is not until the knife is lifted, ready to take his son’s life, that he hears the voice, and he looks, and he sees the provision- a ram caught in a thicket, ready to take his son’s place.
God has provided a sacrifice!
And, in doing so, he is pointing ahead to a time, centuries later, when an even greater sacrifice would be provided.
“Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people.” (Hebrews 9:28 NLT)
May we hold to that truth in our own times of fear and uncertainty, when we can’t understand what God is doing.
He has already provided all that is needed!