We last learned that God is Jehovah; The self existing One who is all that we need. When we know God/Jesus Christ as Jehovah then we are complete in our spiritual lives. When we do not know Him in this way then we are empty, there is something missing yet we cannot quite seem to put our fingers on what it is. Now, we want to learn how God is our Provider and in what specific ways has He provided for us, spiritually speaking. God is also called Jehovah-jireh which literally means, “God will provide”. After studying this lesson, you realize just how significant Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross really is. It will impact your life if you understand, accept, and apply. In fact, this article will help you understand the connection between the Abrahamic, Old, and New Covenant and why God acted the way that He did in view of the 3 covenants. According to God, the world is divided into 3 groups of people; the Gentiles (from Adam to Abraham) the Hebrews (from Abraham to Acts 2) and the Church (from Acts 2 until today, composed of the Gentiles and the Hebrews). In the Bible, you see the story of God’s provision for each people group. He begins with the Gentiles, then moves to the Hebrews, and finally, it all culminates with God’s provision for both the Gentiles and the Hebrews in the divine person of Jesus Christ.
I. God begins the process of provision in the life of a simple Gentile named Abraham. We have looked at God’s involvement in Abraham’s life. We have seen the faith of Abraham and the blessings of obedience. Now we get to chapter 22 of Genesis and in this chapter, God paints a picture of a spiritual truth that is coming in the future. I would like to take a look at it and see what God wants to communicate with us. The passage begins with a trial in Abraham’s life. God works in us and through us when we struggle through trials. Why? I believe it is because we are more sensitive to Him and His ways when we are in the midst of a struggle. He is ready to help us at all times yet we usually do not turn to Him until it is the last option that we have in desperation. That is unfortunate but at least we do turn to Him. Abraham is about to lose his son, his beloved promised son whom he has waited for over 25 years to have. In the midst of this trial, Abraham remains faithful and obedient to God. In fact, his hope is revealed in this chapter when his son asks him, “who will provide for us?” Here is how Abraham responds.
8 Abraham said, “God will provide (Genesis 22)
When Abraham says, “God will provide” he literally says, “Jehovah-jireh”. If you read the entire chapter, you see that God does provide and Abraham’s son, Isaac, is spared. God uses a lamb to spare Isaac’s life and all of this takes place on the area that will be the temple mount in Jerusalem many years later, where sacrifices are brought before God daily, because of the sins of the people. God provides for Abraham and blesses him greatly because of his faith and obedience. So the picture is stretched out upon the canvas. God provides a lamb on the place that would be the temple mount in the future. One man is about to lose his only son whom he loves dearly. These are all of the major scenes. Now let’s look at the Old Covenant to get some details which will shed much light on the subject and open the door of understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. In Genesis 22, God promises to provide for the Hebrews and the Gentiles. He continues that thread through the daily life of the Hebrews.
II. God continues His provision for mankind by leading us to the ultimate provision of Jesus Christ, through the Hebrew daily, sacrificial system. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews (I believe he was the Apostle Paul) claims that the entire sacrificial system of the Old Covenant was a shadow of the real sacrifice to come in Jesus Christ. Here are some details about the sacrificial system.
- The temple was built in Jerusalem (II Chronicles 3:1)
- It was built in Mt. Moriah (the place is called God will provide)
- The sacrifices were offered daily/yearly at the place called “God will provide”
- The people were constantly reminded of the fact that “God will provide” (the verb formation is specifically in the future tense)
- For 1,600 years, the people were being prepared for the ultimate provision
III. God’s ultimate provisions takes place in the culmination of human history, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of all mankind (Hebrews and Gentiles). The scene has been set. God painted the picture in Genesis 22. He constantly reminded the people of their need for provision and the fact that He would one day provide it. Now we see the climax of the story. There needs to be a lamb. There is an only Son. There must be a Father who is willing to give up the life of His Son. The location is “God will provide”. This provision must cover both the Gentiles and the Hebrews. Everything must fall into place. Here are the details that surround the life and death of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus is the lamb provided by God, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29)
- Man is in need of provision
- all men will die (Hebrews 9:27)
- all men will face judgment
- Christ is the provision for man’s pending judgment (John 3:36) (Romans 10:13)
- Christ is the provision for man’s death (John 5:21)
- Christ is the provision for man’s life (Matthew 6:28-33)
The entire saga of the Bible is tied together in Jesus Christ. God painted the picture in Genesis 22, He reminded the people and made them aware of their need for provision in the Old Covenant, and then Jesus Christ stepped on the scene after some 2,000 years and fulfilled it all. He is God’s ultimate provision for all of mankind’s needs. Do you know Him as Jehovah-jireh? Have you accepted His provision or do you live life according to your own provision, the way that you think it should be lived? Are you too “proud” to accept God’s provision? Do you think that you need to earn His provision? Trying to earn God’s provision is like trying to pay someone a dollar for a million dollar gift that he wants to give to you, it is an insult. I pray that you will be a wise person like Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount when He says:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man (Matthew 7)
Are you a wise person? Would Jesus say the same about you? His Word says that God has already provided. Your job is to accept the provision and then live accordingly. What keeps you from accepting? Is it worth it?