Thoughts in Worship
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, October 16, 2014
Based Upon Genesis 22:8
“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”
Abraham was accustomed to hearing the voice of God. It was this familiar voice that made the promise of the son though nature seemed to say otherwise. Although Abraham and Sarah had a temporary lapse of faith, God kept His word. When the son of promise was a young lad, the Lord brought upon Abraham the most severe test imaginable. God commanded Abraham to sacrifice His promised son, the one through whom Messiah would come. Surely God must be mistaken, right? Abraham, fully armed with faith did not flinch at the command, though the road was a difficult one. Abraham demonstrated that he believed that by some miracle God would bring Isaac back to life. “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,” Genesis 22:5. The last phrase is instructive, although he fully intended to sacrifice his son, he told his servants that they both would worship and return. This is a model of great faith.
At a critical point in their journey, the strong young man realized that all that was necessary for the sacrifice was present besides except sacrifice itself. A double meaning burst into my thoughts when Abraham responded by saying, “The Lord will provide himself a ram.” On one hand God Himself (the Father) would provide the ram. On the other hand, God (the Son) would provide himself as the ram. The first interpretation is preferable, although the second is also glorious. Whatever the case, when the moment came for Abraham to lower the knife, God revealed the ram of provision (Genesis 22:13).
Isn’t it curious that the story of the sacrifice is about a loving father and a strong, yet submissive son? Isn’t it interesting that the ram was caught in a thicket? Isn’t it also interesting that the ram was sacrificed instead of the boy?
Our heavenly Father loved us so much that he provided Jesus, the only Lamb, which takes away the sins of the world. God the Son, who could have decided not to be sacrificed just as Isaac could have refused, decided to submit to the will of His father. Jesus wore a crown of thorns, just as the ram had its horns caught in a thicket. The Lord stopped the sacrifice of a mere human, signifying the insufficiency of such a sacrifice. God provided, in Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The Lord will provide!–L. David Harris