Week 15: Wednesday – The Great I am

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“God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.”
-Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission
 
Have you ever had a desperate moment when you needed a miracle? A time when you faced a desperate situation when you needed the Lord to provide for you? A moment when you needed Him to provide you a way out, sustain you through a difficulty, supply a need or just present you with an answer? Maybe we would like to knock on God’s door and ask him to make the impossible happen.
 
However, God’s concern for you goes beyond your present situation.
 
Let’s read Genesis 22
 
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
9 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. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “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.”
13 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. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” 
 
Often times, we misread this story as God being a big bully: sitting on a throne picking on small people. But that is not true of God at all. He is a wise and caring God. A loving Father that knows what’s best for us. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours that sometimes His plans just seem ridiculous.
 
Even from the beginning, Abraham knew that the God he’s been trusting and following all his years would not leave him disappointed. Although it was a very heavy task, to surrender his beloved son, Abraham listened and obeyed. When we face our trails and storms in life, remember that God is only taking you through these tough moments to bring you somewhere better.
 
Can you just imagine the desperation of Abraham searching for that miracle to happen? Can you feel him, as he got closer to that mountain to offer his son? Can you picture the grieving face as he was tying his son and laying him on that alter? His heart must have been pounding for God to quickly come and tell him it’s all a test. But God waited until the last moment. In that desperate moment, the father drew out his dagger to strike his very own son. In that still, slow moving, heart pacing moment, God’s voice pierced through, “Abraham! Abraham!” And Abraham cried, “Here I am.” What a relief!
 
Maybe some of us are going through our own trials and difficulties, desperate for the Lord to give us a miracle. But God wants to make sure you go through the entire process, no short cuts, no easy way out because He wants you to experience every minute of it and to learn from it.  James, the brother of Jesus (says) tells us “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4 NIV) You see, God allows things to happen for us to grow.
 
And in that dire moment that you can’t bear anymore, when you’re at your breaking point, God will be there to catch you. God did not disappoint Abraham at all. In this trivial experience, Abraham learned to worship (v.5) and to fear God (v.12). But the story does not end there; God promised Abraham that He would be a God that always provides. Provider of needs, provider of love, and what we need the most, the provider of hope.
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