I also told you before how one of the things I wanted this year was to know God better. Turns out I'm not the only one and the gal who leads my Thursday Bible Study chose this book for our study this semester. God has a way of doing that, doesn't He? The cover says, "A Devotional Study on the Names of God." Well, again, in a way that could only be God, I opened it up today and wouldn't you know it, this week we're studying Jehovah-jireh - God the Provider.
The study on this aspect of God focuses on Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. For those of you who may not be familiar with the story, God tells Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him as a burnt offering! This is a passage I've struggled with in the past. Why would God ask anyone to do something so horrific? Couldn't he have witnessed Abraham's obedience in a much "nicer" way? I still struggle in understanding that, but despite my struggles and lack of understanding, I know God can still speak to me from this story and today I saw this passage in a new way. I saw it as God's call to me to lay the things that are important to me on the proverbial altar. That I need to be willing to do that with everything in my life. I don't think God will ask me to lay my kids on a literal altar, but I do pray daily that He would help me remember that they're His and not mine. Today He asked me to lay Mike's job on the altar. In the story of Abraham and Isaac, God provides an alternate sacrifice for Abraham - a ram. This is where Abraham sees God as his provider. In the study I did over the Summer, we read this same passage. That author thought Abraham fully expected to sacrifice his son and believed with his whole heart that God would raise him from the dead. I pray for that kind of faith.
I was expecting Mike to walk in the door at lunch with a box of his belongings in his hands. When he came in with a bag full of something, my heart skipped a beat. Lucky for me it was our annual delivery of Girl Scout Cookies! I told him about my study this morning. And then I said to him, "So, it's there. At the top of a mountain. On the altar. That's where your job is. I don't know what God's going to do with it. I don't know if he'll provide a substitute sacrifice. But I've given it to him. It's up there. On the altar."
My Jehovah-jireh is my provider. Not only did he foresee my need for salvation, and provide an alternate sacrifice - his only son - but he sees my day-to-day needs. Matthew 6:7-8 says, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." He both sees and knows my needs. A dear friend shared Psalm 34:4 with me this week - "I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." God didn't deliver Abraham in the way he expected, which tells me it's probably not all going to work out in the way I hope or expect. But whether Mike has a job tomorrow or not, I know that God will provide. He sees my needs and promises he will be faithful. I'm clinging to that and remembering to Consider the Lilies.