When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide [Jehovah Jireh]. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:9-14

This story of Abraham is such a powerful story and God has been speaking to me about it recently. There is so much to it but this story starts out with God telling Abraham to go and sacrifice his son on a specific mountain. Abraham set out the next day with his servants and son, but then ends up continuing up the mountain just with his son. 

Abraham At The Altar

When Abraham arrived at the place that God directed him to, he built an altar and proceeded to make the proper arrangements for a sacrifice, putting the wood and getting the altar ready. During all of this, Abraham did not back down, did not pause for a moment while preparing the altar he was to sacrifice his son on, simply being obedient and faithful towards what God had told him. He didn’t pause when he was binding up Isaac and putting him onto the altar. Abraham put what he loved most of all on the altar before God. Abraham was at a place in his relationship with God where he knew and believed that God would, in some way restore and bring back what he gave up. But image the pain Abraham was going through, giving up what he most loved, giving up what he had received as a promise from God, the vehicle in which God had promised Abraham that He was going to bless him through. What faith Abraham had to respond with this level of obedience. 

I can imagine this moment with Abraham and God because I have been in that moment with God and I’m sure you have too. There have been things, good things I’ve had, that God asked me to give back to him—asked me to put back on the altar. Things that I knew were a part of my promise here on earth, things that I knew where vehicles themselves to bring into fruition all that God had for me. I have felt that pain of putting what I loved most on that altar, of bringing up that knife up and swinging it back down, ready to give it all back to Him.

But thats what I love about this story. That Abraham swinging that knife back down is not the end. No, God does not have us put what we love most on the altar for us to give it away. He has us put it on the altar so that He knows He can long term trust us with it.  

Jehovah Jireh

It wasn’t until after Abraham laid what he loved the most on the altar that God revealed himself as Jehovah Jireh, The Lord Provides. A new name, a new understanding of God was revealed to Abraham after that experience. Abraham, who knew God before that, who walked with God, did not come to know him as Jehovah Jireh until AFTER he put what he loved most on the altar. 

God moved supernaturally in Abraham’s life in that moment, stopping his sacrifice and providing miraculously. God moved when He saw Abraham had passed the test, providing in that moment by sending his angel and a ram. Provision came, but after the completion of the test. I believe that is such an important lesson for all us who are looking for the supernatural provision of God in really any areas of our lives. Jehovah Jireh comes after we have proven ourselves faithful with all that He can entrust us with. 

Is there pain with the sacrifice? Yes. Is there endurance and suffering that we all must undergo in order to past the tests of refinement? Yes. But I am here to encourage you (and me!) that is not the end. Jehovah Jireh wants to show up in all of our lives with miraculous, supernatural, almost unbelievable provision to equip us for our God-given mandate. 

My prayer for you is that you have the faith to endure the testing, the courage to lift up unto the Lord what He asks of you, and the belief that once proven faithful, Jehovah Jireh will reveal Himself to you in your life. He is good and His goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.

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