It’s been an expensive week or two around here. We don’t often “need” many high ticket items all at once, but that has been the case in the last ten days. The driveway had to be patched and sealed. The chimney is ready to fall down, so that will be repaired this week. The air conditioning in the car went out and it was an expensive fix. Bob suddenly needed a new computer for his business. We had to replace the recliner we bought for Robbie just six weeks ago with something more comfortable (the “throne” I wrote about last month just is not working out for him. Anyone want an almost brand-new recliner for half price?) And then there were the quarterly estimated income taxes we mailed out yesterday. Big OUCH! As I added up the total and wrote the final check I muttered, “You’d think we were rich around here!”
Well, we certainly aren’t rich, but our Father is! I reflected this week on the many times in the past He provided miraculously for us when only He knew we had a need. The time our cupboards were literally bare and we prayed with our daughters during our morning devotions that somehow the Lord would help us get some groceries. Three hours later a man knocked at our door and told us that the Lord had told him to leave his job on his lunch break and bring us $50. The time I had a bad sinus infection and no money for a doctor or medicine. I was miserable and asked God somehow to help me. Two hours later there was a free sample of sinus medicine in the mail. The time winter was coming and I prayed for a warm jacket for Robbie. All he had was a little windbreaker and we had no money. A day or two later someone gave us a heavy parka—the nicest he’d ever had—not knowing we had that need. It had a little rip that I mended—and the next day it turned cold and snowed. The time we had no insurance and the Lord provided it the same week I had a heart attack and had to have quintuple bypass surgery. I could go on and on with stories of times God met special needs when only He knew we had the need. There were times when He met a need before we even knew we had the need!
My mother and I were just talking about this yesterday. She said, “You could have asked us for help, you know. Your dad and I would have been glad to help.”
“I know, Mom. But think of the lessons our girls learned when they saw how God provided. And to this day, I look back and remember those times when I am tempted to worry. He provided in the past. Why should we doubt He will provide in the future?”
Jehovah Jireh. One of the many names of God, it means “The Lord will provide.” Genesis 22 tells us the story of Abraham and Isaac. “And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. (Genesis 22:1-14)
Because of Abraham’s great faith in Him, God provided a sacrificial ram to take the place of Isaac. Abraham memorialized that event by calling the name of the place on Mt. Moriah “Jehovahjireh” whereupon God immediately reconfirmed His covenant with Abraham. “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:15-18)
We are thrilled when God provides for our physical and material needs. You can imagine the relief on both Abraham and Isaac’s parts when the Lord provided a ram! This story represents so much more, though. It is an illustration of the grace of God and His provision for our eternal salvation. Mt. Moriah, the mountain of the Lord as found in verse 14, foreshadows Calvary’s hill. When Abraham in faith declared to Isaac that “God will provide himself a lamb” it was a prophetic picture of John the Baptist’s declaration “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Jehovah-Jireh provided a sacrifice to save Isaac—a foreshadowing of the gift of His Son for our salvation.
The name Jehovah Jireh does not mean “The LORD did provide,” but “The LORD will provide.” We can trust that it does not apply to only past events, but also to future ones! His salvation is not simply a one-time event, but a continual, eternal one. The tender loving care and provision our Father has for His children is always there for us. Sometimes we “have not because we ask not.” (James 4:2) Sometimes we don’t have to ask at all—He surprises us with His provision, abundantly overflowing!
I came across this poem a month or two ago and have been saving it to share with you. I am so thankful for God’s provision—His salvation and all the spiritual blessings with which we are blessed, and yes—the material gifts He gives us, as well! My cup overflows!
Drinking from My Saucer
by John Paul Moore
I’ve never made a fortune and it’s probably too late now,
But I don’t worry about that much ’cause I’m happy anyhow.
And as I go along life’s way I’m reaping better than I sow,
I’m drinking from my saucer ’cause my cup has overflowed.
Haven’t got a lot of riches and sometimes the going’s tough,
But I’ve got loving ones around me and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for his blessings and the mercies He’s bestowed,
I’m drinking from my saucer ’cause my cup has overflowed.
I remember times when things went wrong my faith wore somewhat thin,
But all at once the dark clouds broke and sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I’ve hoed,
I’m drinking from my saucer ‘cause my cup has overflowed.
If God gives me strength and courage when the way grows steep and rough,
I’ll not ask for other blessings ’cause I’m already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads,
Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer ’cause my cup has overflowed.