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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Genesis 22:14, "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen."

This morning, the world moves so fast that sometimes it seems there is no time for standing still or even breathing. Without consciously thinking about it, hordes of time are eaten up every day. Unless we buckle down daily, we fail to redeem the time as we should during these evil days. (Ephesians 5:19) Yet, with the suffocating pace of life these days, there is another adverse side effect besides the great volumes of wasted, unused time. As we see quite often today, people's outlook on life is much dimmer than in previous days. With economic downturns, money futures are dimmer. With spiritual coldness, church services are less attended. However, there are also dimmer outlooks on the future in general due to emotional malaise. Heightened emotional anguish leads many times to a more depressed prospect of things to come. Yet, no matter the season of life, economic status, etc., we should not have dim, depressed, or down outlooks on life.

In our verse above, Abraham has reached the end of one of the most trying moments in his life. Considering your most trying moments, tempestuous seasons, or difficult situations, I would venture to say that none of us have been tested the way Abraham was in this chapter. He is commanded by God to offer up Isaac on the alter as an offering to the Lord. We learn from Paul's account of this passage that Abraham was fully persuaded by faith that he would not only perform this commandment of the Lord, but that the Lord would be faithful to His promise in Isaac and raise Isaac from the dead. (Hebrews 11:17-19) Therefore, Abraham was not "down in the mouth" about his situation, nor did he seek to shirk from it. (Verse 3) His very own mouth declares his certainty of Isaac returning from the mountain with him. (Verse 5) Yet, consider that even with his persuasion by faith of Isaac's life being raised again, he had the anguish of spirit to perform this deed. No loving parent could lightly take their child's life, even with the persuasion of an immediate raising back to life.

Still, as glorious as Abraham's story is in that he shows great faith in his God to do exactly what he was told to do, there is a more glorious picture in that we (God's family) were spared with a substitutionary sacrifice made for us. Just as Isaac was, we were released from under the knife by God's command. Another stood our place just as Abraham saw the ram caught in the thicket that day. Truly, this was a day that Abraham rejoiced to see Christ. (John 8:56) Even though Abraham did not literally have to see Isaac dead (though he did in his own mind), God's mind saw His Son die, and then He literally beheld it that day at Calvary. That day on Golgotha's hill was the fulfillment of this type in Abraham's day when the LORD was seen on the mount.

Our verse shows what this scene means to Abraham as he names the place Jehovah-jireh, which has two connotations. The first (as we have briefly discussed) is "the place where the LORD is seen." Certainly, Abraham saw the LORD (and Christ) on the mount, but the other connotation is "the LORD will provide." Abraham was made to rejoice in the providing grace of Almighty God in that He provided Himself an offering. (Verse 8) Abraham saw the Lord provide an offering for Himself that day with a ram, and we see the Lord providing HIMSELF an offering in Jesus, who by the grace of God tasted death for us. (Hebrews 2:9) Seeing that this event points to Christ's death and offering and further seeing that this event was likely the most trying of Abraham's existence, let us see what we can glean today from these two thoughts.

First of all, do any of us have doubts as to what we should do? Certainly. None would attest that Abraham left this day never doubting again. Just as he faltered at times after God's initial promise to him in Genesis 15, he faltered after this day, if at no other time, at the time of his death. (Genesis 25:6) Even after some of our most trying events that we stand up to with great faith, we will have weaker moments later and at times, wander about aimlessly. How soon does it take for us to forget about the goodness of the Lord and His providing grace after a Spirit-filled meeting, good day of study in God's word, solid and refreshing prayer and meditation, or fellowship with the saints? Sometimes, the arrows of doubt and fear can strike rather quickly after such pleasant seasons. Abraham's life was not just "peachy" and rosy at every moment, even after this event, but during seasons where he was tempted to doubt, this name (Jehovah-jireh) should be readily called to mind. In our difficult days, we should think often of this verse knowing that the LORD has provided for us in the past and will certainly provide for us going forward into the future.

Therefore, knowing that this event points toward an event we can look back upon (death of Christ), we should draw a brighter consolation knowing that the LORD was seen at Calvary and provided the greatest sacrifice for the biggest need that we had. One of the truly amazing things about the thought of the Lord providing in our lives is a simple contrast between great and small needs. What is the greatest need that we had? Standing just with God. God provided that for us and met that need on our behalf. Therefore, we feel to be secure and preserved in Him. I would seriously doubt that any Old Baptist doubts the security and surety of God's family. (John 10:28) Many Godly people in the world that are not Old Baptist have no qualms about our security in Christ, though many of them would differ with us on how one gets there. How often do we even give that a second thought? How often, even in dark days, would we not still consider that just as bedrock as ever? Yet, in the midst of those dark days, how many times do we doubt that God will provide for us in a much smaller situation?

If God has provided for us in the biggest situation and biggest need that we could ever have, why should we doubt that He will provide for us even in the very smallest things that we stand in need of? Daily bread, food, raiment, and our other needs are not even comparable in magnitude and scope of standing just with God for all eternity. Yet, the LORD is merciful and provides those things too. Whenever we see these "smaller" needs being met, we are in a place, seeing the same God and LORD that provided for us in our greatest of needs: salvation. When Abraham saw the LORD in the mount, He saw the very same one that provided for him down through every scene of his life. When we see the LORD in heaven, we will see the One that Has provided for us in our needs and led us on our journey by His gracious hand.

What is too great for Him today or in our lives? For that matter, what is too small for Him today in His people's lives that He will not address? The simple answer is nothing, but the difficult path sometimes for our minds is assuredly holding fast to that thought. Dear friends, the Lord has provided in our lives, and He will yet provide in our lives. Paul was assured that the same God that had provided deliverance in his ministry in the past, would yet deliver him in his ministry in the future. (II Corinthians 1:10) As one that has had multiple opportunities thus far in my life to have it snuffed out and extinguished, I believe that He has provided for me down to this very hour. May we press forward believing that just as He has been faithful in that great economy of salvation that will remain faithfully steadfast through this world and into eternity, so He will also remain faithful to provide in our lives. May our calls be unto Him knowing that He is able to hear and grant and prayerful that He would be willing to do so as well. Let us ask to receive, seek to find, and knock for opening in our lives with the assurance (no matter the season) that He will be seen and provide.

In Hope,

Bro Philip