To be honest, I did not immediately know where the reading was taking me or how it would apply to what I considered Advent. But, the gift it gave was bigger than my body, so simple yet often missed. So purely perfect that my spirit leapt and faith, an explosive growth. Sometimes we only need to view things with fresh eyes.
Today we begin with the story of Abraham and Isaac from Gen 22:1, 6-14.
God called out to Abraham.
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take you son, your only son, whom you love and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you “
Abraham did exactly as God instructed.
When they had reached the place, Abraham built an altar, bound his son and placed him upon it. Then he reached out and took the knife to slay his son.
But The Angel Of The Lord called out.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” He said, “NOW I KNOW that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your only son.”
If I could, I would bold type every word of that sentence! Two things here and one yet to come that I want you to pay special attention to — “Now I Know” and “you have not withheld from me your only son”.
Abraham looked up and there in the thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. So Abraham called that place THE LORD WILL PROVIDE.
Having read this, do you see God? The inkling of Christ and what was to come playing out before you?
It is a thing: to call a place “The Lord Will Provide.”
It is a thing to name where you live Provision, to name the place you call home “The Lord Will Provide.”
To take your tired hand and turn the knob of that front door marked Provide and step right into the widening vista of Advent and find that the literal translation of ” To Provide” means “To See.”
Is it a coincidence that one of the names of God is El Roi….The God who sees me and Jehovah Jireh, The Lord will provide?
There are no coincidences in scripture. God is never frivolous but always, always detailed, specific and purposed.
God always sees and He will always see to the matter.
Your legs may be weary, your heart may be heavy and your questions may be many but whatever you are facing…it is always named Mount Moriah: The Lord will appear. The Lord sees. And He will see to the matter— And He will be seen.
God’s constant vision is your constant provision.
You don’t need to climb mountains. Every mountain that every Christian faces, the Lord levels with sufficient grace…The Lord Will Provide.
This is what Abraham knew. It is evidenced in the way he obeyed unafraid and unquestioningly, the way he walked unhurried and unworried, the way he lived.
Worry is belief gone wrong.
Peace is belief that exhales…because you believe that God’s provision is everywhere like air.
In the thin air of Advent, no matter what mountain you are facing, God reaches out, “I WILL PROVIDE- ME.”
God gives God. That is the gift God ultimately gives — Himself…because nothing is greater and we have no greater need.
All that we need to unwrap the greatest Gift is our time…time in His Word, time in His presence and time at His feet.
Advent is the time to see the Tree in your thicket and whisper back to Him the echoing words of your God:
NOW I KNOW. NOW I KNOW.
SINCE YOU DID NOT SPARE YOUR ONLY SON, how will you not also graciously give us — even me —all things You know I need?
Now I know. Now I Know, because You have not withheld from me Your SON, YOUR only Son. Now I know how you love me.
How He always has a ram in the thicket.
How He always provides — this bleating love calling you home.
(The Angel Of The Lord is mentioned 65 times in the OT. He speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, exercises the responsibilities of God and He has the power to give life. I am at this time, reading an article written by a Jewish man, now Christian, making a case for The Angel Of The Lord being Christ Himself…The Word of God)
And for this faithfulness God would choose Abraham as the lineage to bring forth His own Son.
I adapted this from Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift Unwrapping The Full Love Story Of Christmas, with commentary from myself.
I hope it blesses you – Laura