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Jehovah Jireh: How Knowing the Provider Changes Your Perspective

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2021 6:00 am

Jehovah Jireh: How Knowing the Provider Changes Your Perspective

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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June 13, 2021 6:00 am

Have you ever considered that all it takes is one verse, one sentence, one word to change your life forever? Pastor Curtis kicks off our series, “This Verse Changed My Life” by taking us to a passage that has carried him more than once—Abraham’s fateful journey up the mountain with Isaac in Genesis 22. God has used this passage—and this Book—to change people, to change lives, to change circumstances, and to change eternities. And he can do it again today.

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Well, Summit family and guests, even if this is your first time ever in church, you are probably aware or probably know this book that I am holding. Some of you maybe have read every single verse from beginning to end.

Others of you maybe have never seen a reason in your entire life to pick up a Bible. Just by show of hands, a little Bible trivia here. I want to know how many verses do you think are in this Bible? Front to back, Genesis to Revelation 66 books. If you think there are at least a couple of verses in this Bible, I want to know how many verses do you think are in this Bible?

Front to back, Genesis to Revelation 66 books. If you think there are at least 1,000 verses at all of our campuses, if you think there are at least 1,000 verses in here, raise your hand. At least 1,000.

Okay, that's the majority of you. How about at least 10,000? 10,000. Any takers?

Okay, a little bolder, a little bolder. How about 20,000? Anybody 20,000?

Okay. Last group, 30,000. Anybody think 30,000? Dr. Jones, you still don't count. You're seminary professor. You don't get to guess on this.

All right. There are 31,102 verses in this Bible. In the Bible. At least in the English language, the Bible is approximately 611,000 words long. Recorded or somewhere upwards of 185 songs, this book that was written over three different continents by over 40 different authors, most of whom have never met one another. It is the number one best selling book of all time and to this day still sells over 100 million copies a year.

Now, why do I tell you that? All of that to say, in some way, it's still a pretty awesome book, pretty popular book. Some might say a pretty controversial book. In this book, there's a whole lot to take in. See this weekend at all of our locations, we're starting a new sermon series called This Verse Changed My Life.

You ask any believer, anybody that calls themselves a Christian, how they met God, and you'll often hear about a single story or a single passage or a single verse that they said ultimately led them to know and to love and to understand Jesus. All of these verses, all of these books, all of these chapters. And yet, as one famous pastor said, it's usually not books that change people.

It's often sentences or paragraphs. It accomplishes that which I purpose. So I'm not here to give you my words. I'm here to give you this word. You didn't come to spiritual TED Talk this morning, all right? If that's what you want, the Summit Church is not the church for you. Anybody still believe God's word changes and works powerfully in your life?

This is what I believe. And so for me, there's a handful of verses that I personally always end up going back to. If you've been around Christianity for a while, you might call these your life verses.

So I found out we're going to do the series and I was like, boom, this is awesome. The sad part is my actual life versus Matthew eleven twenty eight. Come to me. All you were weary and burdened.

I will give you rest. Well, I've already preached on that. So I had to come up with a new life verse that changed my life. OK, but nonetheless, that's neither here nor there this weekend.

Here's what's going to happen. The life versus kind of a verse that you come back to to encourage you that you can lean on in tough times. It's a verse that reminds you of what's most important about God.

Ultimately, they're the types of verses that you feel like were written specifically to and for you. And so this morning, I'd like to invite you to turn to Genesis chapter twenty two, first book of the Bible, Genesis chapter twenty two. And I want to invite you to look at one of my favorite verses together, because again, I believe this verse, this story has the potential to change your life in the same way it has mine. See, Genesis chapter twenty two is the famous story of Abraham and his son, Isaac.

It's also the story. And this is why it's one of my life versus where we get one of the most famous names of God in all of scripture. The Lord is my provider.

Here's a fun fact. When I when I preach, obviously, I get lots of questions, some good, some bad. But inevitably, at least once over the course of a weekend, somebody will come up to me or somebody will email me or Instagram me or something. And one of the questions they ask me is, hey, random pastor, what are your tattoos of? OK, can't help it. I have about half my tattoos are from let's just call them my pre-Jesus days. So basically my whole back's covered. And then I have a handful from the Bible. And then I have a couple from post Jesus days.

So after I got saved, my first tattoo here is the first one I got after I got saved. And so it's kind of the creation of Adam. So God, the father on the inside.

I have a lion for the lion of Judah. So God, the son. And then there's a dove representing the Holy Spirit. So kind of the Trinity. And in big letters right here, you can't see it. It says Jehovah Jireh.

It's my favorite name of God. I've experienced God in my life as provider in more ways than I could ever count. I've experienced him when my wife and I first got married and we had upwards of fifteen thousand dollars.

And we made a combined sixteen dollars and seventy five cents an hour. Amen. Praise God for Dave Ramsey. OK, I've experienced him financially as provider. I've experienced him emotionally as provider when I felt like was all alone and had nobody to turn to.

And there was a time when I first became a believer where I thought, man, I had better friendships before I was a believer than I do now. I've experienced God as provider in health and good things. And God's just been so amazing. And I'm not just saying that he's made this life all easy.

We've been through some really hard times, but it's often in the hard times that I've gotten to know him as provider the most. So let's talk about the basic storyline of the Bible. Basic storyline of the Bible is God has existed forever. He creates all things. He makes humans to rule the world and to live in relationship with him.

But instead of rule and relationship, we decide we like sin and rebellion more. The world spins out of control into violence and death, all leading to rebellion and the scattering of Babylon in Genesis chapter eleven. Eleven chapters. Boom.

Done. OK, so the big question when we get to Genesis chapter twelve is what in the world is God going to do to rescue and redeem the world? And that's where the word Abraham comes from at the beginning of Genesis chapter twelve.

So it's natural to wonder what God's going to do to fix it. Insert Abraham, this man called Abraham. God promises to bless this man named Abraham with land and a family and to make his name into a great nation by giving him a son. And through his son, who will eventually become Isaac, the entire world is going to be rescued and blessed because through his son's lineage would eventually come Jesus the Messiah, which sounds amazing. Right? right?

This sounds incredible. But then Genesis Chapter 12, when he receives this blessing, this is awesome. There's two big problems we're dealing with when he gets this promise. Number one, Sarah, Abraham's wife, is unable to get pregnant. So he's going to have a son. His wife can't get pregnant. Problem number one.

Okay. Number two, they're both super old. Abraham's about 75 at the time he receives this promise. And so God's like, no biggie, watch me go to work. And 25 years later, as God always does, boom, son, he makes good on his promise. And Abraham and Sarah have a son, which again, is pretty insane at this point, because Abraham and Sarah are both around 100 when he's born. And so yes, I know you're already thinking it. That year for their birthdays, Abraham and Isaac both got diapers. Pretty exciting stuff.

Okay. So here we are. We arrive at Genesis Chapter 22. This is one little happy family. They've settled in. They've planted roots. They've been blessed. Abraham and Sarah have had their miracle child.

Life's good. 21 chapters, cliff notes. That's where our story picks up.

All right. Genesis Chapter 22. Beginning in verse one. It says after these things, God tested Abraham and said to him, Abraham. And he said, here I am. Now pause for one second.

I just want to be real for a moment. Two very quick things here. First, it says that God tested Abraham. And very simply, this is not something we talk about a lot in church. In fact, what's often and unbiblically taught is that if God loves me and I love him, then nothing bad will ever happen to me. That if I love God and God loves me, I'm going to be blessed and highly favored and I'm going to live a life full of health and wealth and prosperity and happiness. And whether we know it or not, at least in the Western Evangelical Church, we often think that God's love and comfortable life are synonymous.

And friend, that could not be farther from the truth. Second, up to this point, Abraham's already shown some radical obedience to God between chapters 12 and 21. He's left everything and everyone that was comfortable. He has followed faithfully. He's attempted the impossible for God. He's made plenty of mistakes along the way, but he has stepped out in faith over and over and over again. He's promised a son.

It takes 25 years for that promise to come to fulfillment. And yet he still believes. And so here in Genesis chapter 22, at this point in life, I can't help but think that if I were Abraham and God came knocking at my door, I'd be like, babe, turn off the TV, turn the lights down, act like we're not home. This is the guy who's always asking for stuff.

All right. I feel like Bilbo Baggins from my Lord of the Rings fan. When Gandalf and the doors come knocking, Bilbo tells him, nope, no use for adventures, nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things, and they make you late for dinner. Amen. And sure enough, it's exactly what God does again. Look at verse two. He said, Abraham, I want you to take your son, your only son, your only son whom you love and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.

Now, I just want to make sure we understand what's at stake here. As if sacrificing your own child isn't bad enough. The child who who represents your hopes and your dreams and your affections, as if being commanded to murder him isn't bad enough. On top of that, your child's survival is what the entire human race is dependent on, because through Isaac is going to eventually come who? Jesus, always Jesus.

Okay, church. And so God comes knocking at his door and says, I want you to offer up that child that blessing that inheritance to me as a burnt offering. Now, the obvious question here is how in the world could God ask something like that? When I read this, at least at surface level, I feel like God is being a capricious God. He's being hypocritical. He's kind of willy nilly.

He's he's almost evil in a sense. And that's an entire sermon in and of itself. I promise you, the simple answer for us this morning is that God knew he was never going to let Abraham kill Isaac. Okay.

For now, we already have an immediate action or application point. What the way we should read this is that Isaac represents the one thing in your life that you love the most, the one thing that you treasure the most, the one thing that you trust the most, the thing in your life that makes life worth living for you. And ultimately, what God is asking Abraham here, he says, Are you prepared to love me completely and unconditionally? Are you willing to give me access to what you love the most?

Is there anything or anyone that you love that if I asked you for, you would tighten your grip and you would say no. Because, see, whatever you feel yourself tightening your grip on is an idol. An idol is very simply something that you love more than you love obedience to God. And so what God often does when we make something out to be an idol, he'll say, he'll say take that kid you love so much. Take that relationship that you love so much. Take that career that you love so much.

Take that, that that status that you love so much get off Instagram for the rest of the year. Take those followers that you love so much. God says take that good thing that you have turned into a God thing and offer it up to me because if you don't, you're going to end up destroying your own life and destroying the idol because you're going to put on it a weight that it was never meant to hold that only God was supposed to have in your life. Abraham is to offer his one and only son, his blessing, the future hope of the nation and the entire world, the future hope of the summit church today, many, many years later. Let's look at verse three. So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac.

I was reading this this week and I've read the story a hundred times and everybody, including me, loves that, that phrase. So Abraham rose early in the morning and we always talk about like his immediate obedience and waking up early to do this. And when I was reading it this week, I was like, maybe he was just trying to avoid having to explain to his wife where he was going and what he was doing. It's like maybe he just woke up earlier than her because he's like, it's gonna be a really awkward conversation.

Anyways, all right, so he wakes up early. It says that he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Verse four, on the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, stay here with me or with the donkey.

I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac, his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife.

So they both went, both of them together. And Isaac said to his father, Abraham, my father. And he said, here I am, my son. And he said, behold, the fire in the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt offering? Verse eight, Abraham said, God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.

So they went both of them together. Verse nine, when they came to the place of which God had told them, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac, his son, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham. And he said, here I am.

He said, don't lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked and behold, behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.

And then verse 14, it's my life verse. So Abraham called the name of that place. The Lord will provide as it is said to this day on the Mount of the Lord, it shall be provided. Y'all, this is a story about great faith. I've heard, I almost wanted to preach a sermon on the great faith of Abraham, but ultimately it's not a story about Abraham's great faith. It's a story about God's great provision.

The hero of this story is not Abraham, it's God. The theme that dominates Genesis chapter 22 is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide. The Lord will show his love. The Lord will show his faithfulness. The Lord will prove his promises are true. Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide. In the original translation of Genesis in Hebrew, it more directly says the Lord will see to it. The Lord will provide. He'll see to it. Just think about that attribute.

Think about that name of God. He's seeing to it. He's seeing you. He's seeing your needs. He sees what's going on in your life. He knows what you need.

And wherever he sees, he is acting. God is actively always at every moment, forever more seeing and providing and acting in your life. And so again, I, over the last 12 years of being a believer, I've experienced God as Jehovah Jireh in my life. And I believe some of you are, have a personal word from Jehovah Jireh today.

All right, with that in mind, I want to share three ways this name has changed my life and three ways I believe it can change yours too. So number one, knowing God is Jehovah Jireh means that I can focus on God's promises even when I don't know the particulars. That I can focus on God's promises even when I don't know the particulars.

I've heard it said that faith is often doing what God says even when we don't have all the details. And this is tough. How many of you would consider yourself a planner? A planner. You like to plan things? Okay. I would consider myself a planner. My wife is like Uber planner.

Okay. And so one of the ways this played out recently, I've told y'all before we have four young kids and we've just started kind of going on some family trips, vacations. When I say family trip, I mean like three days to the beach and drive back. And I'm realizing very quickly why families, large families don't like traveling because you have to pack like half your house.

It's insane. And so we've been going on these trips. And one of the things my life does is she likes to pack like three days before we leave. She literally has like notes upon notes upon notes of everything we need to take. And she packs like three days in advance. And she'll be like, babe, we're leaving Saturday morning at 10, 15. And you have not packed yet. I know. And I'm like, I know it's Tuesday at 10 30.

I'll be ready by Saturday at 10 15. I promise. And so the closer it gets, the more detailed her list gets. And so it's like Thursday and she's like, babe, you still haven't packed. And you know, you've got to, you've got to go to work. You got to do these things.

You got to go to sleep. And I'm like, babe, I promise. And she can attest by Saturday at 10 15, my bag will be in the car. We'll be ready to go. Okay. But that's just not how I roll. I'm more than like, I'm going to pack that morning.

Okay. And so again, the closer we get, the more details she starts getting. And so she starts getting nervous. And so come like Friday night, the night before we leave here, here's the conversation. She's like, babe, you still have not packed. And I'm like, what time are we leaving? Saturday, 10 15.

I'll be ready Saturday, 10 15. And she's like, babe, you have waited so long. And then the list just, she's like, here's, what's going to have to happen. You're, you're never going to be ready in time. You're going to have to walk up the stairs. You're gonna have to walk down the hallway.

You're going to have to open the door and then go in our room and go in our closet. You don't have to take the clothes off the closet. You have to fold the clothes, put them in the bag. You don't have to zip the bag.

You don't have to tilt the bag up. You have to pull the handle. You have to go back down. You have to walk down this. And I'm like that, that you're making it seem like every step is like 15 minutes.

Like it's not like I'll be ready. Okay. And so my wife's amazing. By the way, she's incredible. Um, babe, I love you. I don't want to speak for my wife, but all I know is that if she were Abraham, this story is like her worst nightmare.

Okay. If you're a planner and God says, go, you're like, okay, God, I love you. Where am I going? He's like, just take a step and I'll show you. You're like, don't like that.

God's like, Hey, I know you can't get pregnant. I'm going to give you a son. And you're like, how's that going to happen? He's like, just follow me. I'll take care of it.

Just follow me. God says, sacrifice your son. And you're like, first off, why? But I love you. So how? And he's like, just start walking. I'll show you later.

Just climb. For us planners, this is incredibly hard, but following God often means doing what God says, even when we don't have all the details. Now, before we go any farther, I need you to hear something very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very clearly for me, my message today, hear this is not, you need to have more faith and just believe God better. You need to exercise more faith.

You need to trust more. Because if I'm here simply telling you to conjure up more of something inside of yourself, you are destined to be disappointed. I am not here to give you a pep talk to the fervency of your faith. Your faith should never be in the amount of your faith. The strength of your faith rests in the object of your faith. And so I'm here to make sure that the object of your faith is the Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah Jireh, the one who is provider, because then and only then will you experience peace, even when you don't have all the particulars. This is why Abraham is so confident in his obedience, because he knew who he was obeying, even when he didn't know the entire what.

It's actually fascinating. Look back at verse two. God says, take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love. And then look at this, go to the land of Moriah. And all from there is a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you some of y'all that just makes you anxious reading that vagueness. I don't know if that's a word.

I went to seminary. Y'all, this is super important that you need to see this because because I think this is in so many ways is exactly how God still operates with us today. We want to know exactly when and where and why and how and and and all God gives us sometimes is he says, I just want you to go to the land of Moriah. Land could also be translated region. Go to the region, I tell you. And once you get to the region, then I'll tell you which mountain. He doesn't say go to this place. He says go to this region, and then I'll show you.

This is hard. How often do we open our Bibles wanting God to give us a final destination when all he gives us is a general direction? How often do we desire to know the place God is taking us, but all he'll give us is promises about who he is?

How often does God operate by saying go to the region, and then I'll give you the specific place? Church, how much more will we open our Bibles to God? How much more would God show us if we just took one step and began to walk on the pathway of obedience? John 14 15. Jesus said, If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Where his commandments found what Jehovah Jireh, what God has provided for us is his word, his word, which lays out principles and promises and parameters to live by. And it's often only when we choose to focus on these promises and live by these parameters and obey, even when we don't have all the details, often it's then and only then that God is going to reveal to us the place that he is destined for us. It's right here in verse four.

On the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes. He was in the region and saw the place from afar. He was only able to see the place because he was already in the region of obedience. Many of you have never scaled the mountain to experience God's great provision because you've never first taken the step of obedient faith and ventured to the region he is calling you to. You want to know what step 100 is when God just wants you to take step one.

You want so badly to know the particulars, but God just wants you to take the first step and trust him as provider. Friend, I have to ask, are you even in the region of obedience today? Where has God called you to obedience now?

What area of your life are you holding onto so tightly and rationalizing saying, surely God would never call me to give that up? If we're honest with ourselves today, are you searching for a place when you haven't even obeyed and going to the region? Because if you are, we have no right to expect the provision of God if we are not first in the will of God. And in the will of God is found not in the details or directions or circumstances, but in the principles and promises and parameters that are found in this book, the word of God. So you want to know the will of God? Study the word of God. You want to know the place God has for you? Study his promises and first venture to the region of obedience. Y'all, Summit Church, we have his promises right here. You probably have a handful of them at home. You've got it on your phone.

They are readily available at your fingertips. So we should pray his promises. We should pour over his promises. We should proclaim his promises over our lives, believing that he is provider and he will show us the place if we first venture to the region of obedience. Knowing God is Jehovah Jireh means I can trust his promises found in the word of God and obey instead of being paralyzed by my lack of particulars in understanding.

That's number one. Number two, knowing God is Jehovah Jireh means that problems are opportunities for God to prove his faithfulness. Problems are opportunities for God to prove his faithfulness. See, from Abraham's perspective, he faced a pretty big problem.

What God has promised to do through Isaac and what God has commanded him to do to Isaac stand in very stark contradiction to one another. Now, remember, this is a three day journey he's on, and I don't know about you, but I just can't imagine the doubts and the fears and the questions that filled his mind during that journey. I mean, three days is plenty of time to change your mind.

It's plenty of time to turn around, to devise another scheme, to think of a loophole, to justify why this whole thing makes zero sense. I mean, honestly, how many of us have stepped out on a spiritual journey of faith only to turn back within three days, if you will? We don't know a ton about this three day journey. What we do know, however, is that over the course of three days, at some point, Abraham decided that this problem was an opportunity for God to prove his faithfulness and to come through on his promises.

How do we know that? If we were to flip over to the New Testament, Hebrews Chapter 11, it's called the Hall of Faith. Hebrews Chapter 11, verse 19 tells us this. It says during that three day journey, Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead. Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead. Abraham didn't know how, he didn't know why, he didn't know when, he didn't know what.

But instead, even in all those unknowns, instead of disobeying God's instructions and doubting God's promises, Abraham was focused on who he knew God to be, provider. So what he did is he got busy brainstorming how God might work all this out together for his good, right? And so the best solution he comes up with is resurrection.

So he's like, I don't know how this is going to work. But perhaps this is what God's going to do. I mean, after the sacrifice, God's going to God's going to raise him from the dead because God always keeps doing his promises. Okay, so that's like the best Abraham comes up with. He reasoned that God could raise him from the dead.

And now I do think it's important. That being said, for us, as we consider this, consider Abraham's posture here in faith, I think it's important that we kind of hold these, let's call them like holy brainstorms, if you will, in our mind really lightly. Abraham, for instance, he wasn't right in the way that he imagined God working. God didn't ultimately raise Isaac from the dead because Isaac was never killed. And often when we try to figure out how God's going to work something out, we're going to be wrong too.

And that's okay. What I love about the Hebrews chapter 11 verse 19 verse is that Abraham is commended for his faith, even though he made the wrong guess about what God would do next. Now, this sounds really simplistic. But this is the type of assurance you can have in life if you come to know God as Jehovah Jireh. You can believe that God will work a seemingly impossible problem out and in the end, prove his faithfulness, even if he does it in a way that you don't anticipate. What that means is for those of you who feel like you are walking up that mountain today with Isaac, I don't know how it's all going to turn out. I can't tell you how it's going to end. I can't promise that things are going to be easy. I can't tell you it's all going to go your way in the end. But what I can promise you is that God is with you, that God has you, that he's promised to see to it.

And you may not know how, you may not know when, you may not know why. But what I do know is that God is Jehovah Jireh, that he is there and he will provide. It's that knowledge about God that drove Abraham up the mountain. It was not Abraham's strength of his own faith. It wasn't Abraham marching up this mountain saying, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this. It was the strength of God's character and faithfulness where Abraham's marching saying, God is faithful.

I know he's provider. And that's what I think he was doing during this three-day journey. I think as he was marching up this mountain with his son, that he was rehearsing the promises of God. He's saying, God, I know what you've promised me in Genesis 12 and chapter 15 and chapter 18. And he's saying, God, I know your character. You've shown yourself as provider. You've shown yourself as faithful. You've shown yourself as loving. You've shown yourself as true.

He's rehearsing the faithfulness of God. God, you've given me this family. You've given me the son. You've given me this land.

You've done all these things. So when Isaac says, Hey, dad, where's the offering? All of Abraham's thoughts and ponderings and contemplations and faith are summed up in three words. When he says, son, God will provide. See, if you truly believed in God as provider, then you can have peace even during life's problems, because you're going to see problems actually as portals for God to prove his faithfulness. Your faith rests in his great name and on his promises, not on your picture of how you believe everything should turn out. It's just such a freeing way to live.

And can I say something specifically right here to parents? This is amazing. This blew my mind this week. I've told you one of my favorite Bible stories.

And this just, I've never saw this till this week. Crawford Loretz, who's our very own Pastor Brian Loretz. It's Pastor Brian's dad.

I was a pastor for a long time, just retired, actually. But Crawford Loretz says the greatest thing we can do as parents, two things he says, at the end of the day, it boils down. Our job number one is to heighten the word of God and help our kids keep their minds filled with truth from Scripture. Their minds are going to be filled with all sorts of things outside. Heighten the word of God in your family.

And then number two, this one's incredible. He says, talk about God's ability to step into every situation in their lives. That God is sovereign.

Talk about God's ability to step into every situation of their lives. In verse six, give us an example of why this is so important. Look at verse six. In verse six, we read that, who is it? It's Isaac, not Abraham that carried the wood.

Now, why is this important? Because often when we think about the story, we think about this young little scrawny boy, right? We think about like a chubby toddler that he ties down. This was no chubby toddler. This was no scrawny boy. This was a big strapping teenager. In fact, some scholars believe he was anywhere from age 16 to 34. What you should see from that is that Isaac could have easily outran, out wrestled, or flat out got out of this situation if he wanted to. I don't know about you.

If I'm a betting man, I'm betting on the 20 year old, not the 120 year old in a fistfight, okay? So that gives us the picture of what's really happening here. Abraham was only able to tie Isaac down to the altar because Isaac was willing to be tied down to the altar. And why was Isaac willing?

Here it is. I have to believe it's because his father's faith in the God of the impossible had rubbed off on him. He believed what his father had said in verse eight when he said, son, God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering.

And if God was choosing to be the lamb, then God knows best. Parents hear me very clearly. Kids like that do not come out of nowhere. Kids like that do not come out of families that are thoroughly moral, but only marginally Christian. Kids like this come from families where Christ has come to have first place in absolutely everything. Kids like this come from families who follow the Holy Spirit and trust God's promises.

Families like the Boyd's that we just commissioned to go over and over again. They follow God's mission to go overseas and they follow God's promises even when they don't have all the particulars. Young Isaacs do not come out of nowhere. Isaacs come from parents whom they observe obeying the Lord.

Even when it's tough, they come from parents who believe and live as though they believe that the Lord will provide. There's a small part of me that that believes this test was actually more for Isaac than it even was for Abraham. That it was to show Isaac what his daddy would rely on God.

That his daddy really did believe and trust in God as his Savior, his provider, and Lord of his life, and he was willing to follow him wherever God sent him. This is so convicting because it begs the question, what is my life teaching me or teaching my kids about the character of God? In the way that you lead your household, does it truly declare Jesus as Lord of your life who was sovereignly in control and providentially providing exactly what you need exactly when you need it? Moms and dads, we have such an incredible opportunity to demonstrate faith, especially during crisis and hardship and conflict and confusion for our children. Every single day we are gifted with the opportunity and the responsibility of demonstrating to our kids who and what is really Lord of our household. And so when crisis hits, do your kids see you running toward Jesus or away from him?

When there's conflict in your schedule, does your schedule say that Jaira is more important or the gym? When you are excited about things, even things God has blessed you with, do you spend more time at the dinner table giving praise and talking about the Messiah or about the created material things? Young Isaacs do not come out of families that are thoroughly moral, but only marginally Christian. They come from families where Christ, where Jehovah Jaira has come to have first place in everything.

And lastly, this is where we'll land the plane. Knowing God as Jehovah Jaira means that no matter what happens in this life, my eternity is secure. He already said it once, but you see there's something more important than Abraham's impressive obedience that's demonstrated to us here. It's God's commitment to us church. See, just as Abraham was about to drop the knife on Isaac, at the last moment God shouts stop and supplies a sacrifice, a ram.

So verse 14, come full circle. So Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jaira, the Lord will provide. It's said to this day on the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.

Jehovah Jaira, God will provide. God will see to it. And in seeing to it, God will be seen. God sees a need in your life. God supplies the provision for that need. And in supplying the need, he is seen as having been seen to our need. And then we see him.

Does that make sense? So what Abraham does is he names this anonymous mountaintop, not by a name that's going to remind him of his problem or his trials or even his own obedience, but by a name that proclaims God's faithfulness and provision in his life. He calls the mountain Jehovah Jaira. See what God provided for Abraham and Isaac is a picture of the provision and sacrifice that God would one day make on our behalf because of our sin with his son Jesus. I mean if you think about it, Isaac and Jesus, Isaac and Jesus were both sons of a promise given many years before their birth. Both born of miracles, both who are firstborns, who are loved by their fathers, Isaac and Jesus both embark on a three-day journey to arrive at a place of sacrifice.

And they carried the very sacrificial wood on their own back. Isaac and Jesus both willingly laid down their lives to their fathers. At the time of sacrifice, Isaac and Jesus both asked a question. Isaac, like we saw in Hebrews 11, was brought back from the dead. And Isaac and Jesus both asked a question. Isaac, like we saw in Hebrews 11, was brought back from the dead figuratively, but Jesus was brought back from the dead literally. You see Abraham promised Isaac that a lamb would be provided for the sacrifice and friend Jesus Christ is that lamb. But that's where the similarities between Isaac and Jesus end.

Because for Jesus there was no ram in the thicket. For Jesus there would be no substitute. God the father would go through with his son, when Abraham the father didn't have to. God sacrificed his son, his one and only son, for the sake of sinners. God did not spare his own son, but delivered him up on a cross for us all. For all of our sin, for all of our shame, for all of our doubt, for all of our guilt, and for Jesus there couldn't be a substitute, because Jesus was our substitute. Jesus took my place on the cross. Jesus took your place on the cross. He was pierced for our transgressions.

He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brings us peace was placed upon him, and it is by his wounds we are healed. And he did it church, because he loves you. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever would believe in him will not perish, but have everlasting life. He did it because of our sin, because of our guilt, because of our shame.

He did it because we were the ones that rebelled. And we need to hear this bad news, because it doesn't matter how much faith you have. It doesn't matter how much good you do. It doesn't matter what your attendance record at church is. We cannot erase the fact that we are sinners who stand guilty before a holy God, which means that apart from Jesus Christ, you and I sit in the place of Isaac in verse 10 with God's knife of judgment raised above us, ready to come down on our throats as a just penalty, as a right penalty for our sins against his holiness and justice. That is the bad news, but that is also why the gospel is such good news, because God showed his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Not when we started coming to church more, not when we had more faith, not even when we started obeying. It is salvation that leads us to obey, not obedience that leads to salvation, but God being rich in mercy because of the great love with which he loved us. Even when we were dead in our trespasses and sins, made us alive together with Christ, for by grace you have been saved through faith, faith given to you by Jesus.

And this is not your own doing. It is the gift of God, not a result of work, so that no one may boast. That's why the gospel is such good news. Sin is like anything else.

It can't be in two places at one time. So if God takes my sin, places it on Jesus, that means I don't have the sin anymore. And what Jesus did is he said, I'll take your sin on the cross.

You can have my righteousness take it. And so now when God looks at me, God sees me not even as a forgiven sinner. He doesn't look at the first 21 years of my life and say, okay, that was bad.

And at 21, you started living good. And now you're 34 and you're saved. No, God looks at my life, sees me through the lens of his son, Jesus, who is perfect and righteous and holy. And God sees me as one who is not perfect and holy. And God sees me as one who has never sinned.

That is the good news. For God so loved the world that he gave. His son to bear the wrath that you and I deserve. He gave church. He provided. We needed a savior and he sent his son as the lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. Jehovah Jireh, the Lord is our provider. But we can only have him if we, like Abraham, stop trying to create our own solutions and just submit ourselves to God.

Have you done that? If not, then today you can know who God is and how he has provided. And you can believe and behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Normally this would be the time that I'd tell you to bow your heads and close your eyes and that whole thing. And I still want to give you an opportunity to respond.

But I thought this weekend at all of our locations we might do this a little bit differently. I feel like in so many ways the spirit was leading me this week that almost everybody falls into one of three categories in the story. Number one, for the first time you have realized when it comes to your salvation, when it comes to your eternity, that God has provided for you.

For the first time you've truly seen God as your provider in giving you Jesus to save your life from the condemnation that you deserve because he laid it on Jesus. And so today you're somebody that wants to receive Jesus and start new life and a new walk with him. I think there's a second group that hears me talk about obeying God even when you don't have all the details. And there's something in your life that you've yet to take a step of faith because you're waiting on God to give you more of the particulars. And today God's calling you to be obedient. Or maybe you are being obedient in something and you're still scared to death. So that's a second group.

And then there's a third group. You hear me talking about God as provider. But over the last 12, 18 months you've felt like God has been anything but provider in your life.

And so you're here and you're like, Pastor, this all sounds incredible, but God has been anything but. I've experienced loss. I've experienced financial loss. I've experienced health loss. I've experienced relational loss. All these things. I have no idea what God is doing.

And I would give anything to feel him as provider today. Here's what I'm going to ask you to do. I'm going to ask you to be bold. This isn't going to be weird.

I promise you. I'm going to ask you to be bold. If you fall into any one of those three categories that for the first time you've seen Jesus as your provider in salvation. If you need to step out on faith or you're stepping out in faith, but you're still anxious about it. Or number three, if you need to experience something on your behalf or something in your life for your family, can I just ask you to stand at all of our locations?

Would you just stand? You say, I need to experience God as provider. I'm nervous. I'm anxious about something that God is calling me to. You can say I'm stepping out in faith, but I still need to sense God as provider at all of our locations. Could you just stand? I think if we're honest, there's so many of us that need to stand.

And here's the way I want to end. This is church. Prayer shouldn't surprise you. Okay. I'm not going to ask anybody to, I'm not going to ask anybody to ask you your name or what you need prayer for.

But if you are sitting around one of these people, don't touch them. I just want you to kind of turn toward them, extend your hand like we do when we commission somebody. And can we end by just praying for our brothers and sisters? Can we end by just encouraging one another in the faith, believing that when we call upon God, his ear is not too deaf to hear that his hand is not too short to save. Can we do that? Y'all okay with that?

Set all of our locations right now. I just want you to turn toward anybody that's standing. Don't ask them anything.

And I want you just to extend your hand. Pray for them. You don't know their name. You don't know their need.

God does. Just pray for them. And we're just going to sit in this for a moment.

And then someone at all locations, someone at your campus will come and lead you. You can stand. You can still stand. Let's pray together, Summit Church. Let's go to our Lord together for one another. Let's pray.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-07 17:02:40 / 2023-09-07 17:22:16 / 20

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