God of Providence

Read: Genesis 22:1-14

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.” (v. 14)

These words translate a name of God that you may sometimes sing about: Jehovah Jireh, your Provider, whose grace is sufficient for you. What Abraham now learned about God was what Hagar had learned earlier, but here the focus is even sharper. This is a God of seeing and foreseeing, vision and provision. Hagar knew him as El (God); Abraham, drawn into the center of the covenant plan, knew him as Yahweh (the Lord). Yahweh, who sees the end from the beginning, provided the lamb as a substitute for Isaac (v. 8), just as he was going to provide “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) as our substitute.

At the crucial moment Abraham saw, caught in a bush, the creature that should die in Isaac’s place. We are told later in John’s Gospel (8:56) that he also saw “the day of Jesus,” and was glad. Was this the moment? Was it a kind of double vision, so that seeing the ram in the thicket he also saw beyond it, in some far distant future day, the Christ on the cross?

It was the all-providing God he saw at work; for if this God “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). —Michael Wilcock

As you pray, thank God for that all-embracing gift.

About the Author

Rev. Michael Wilcock was formerly director of pastoral studies at Trinity College, Bristol, and vicar of St. Nicholas' Church, Durham. He is now based in Eastbourne, England, as a writer and speaker.