As always, it is an honor to share my mind and my perspective of Christ and His finished work to all.
Last week, Pastor John gave his own perspective on God, particularly on His name, YAHWEH, or just YHWH. What I gathered from his message is his going through each letter of YHWH and how it is significant to us today. For Y (Yod) is a symbol of prayer, H (He) is a symbol of life, and W (Wav or Vav) is a symbol of connection. YHWH – Prayer, life, connection, life.
From one perspective, you can say that prayer is connection, and connection is prayer. And with that said, you can say that a name of God, YHWH, is actually a celebration of connection and life. Twice connection, twice life. Beautiful.
We’re continuing down that path of celebrating who our God is by means of elaborating on how He was named, and that leads us today back to the Book of Genesis, to the life of Abraham.
A bit of background here: We see that Sarah was quite the beautiful wife, for at least 2 rulers, including one Pharaoh, wanted her. Abraham took things into his own hands to protect himself, and lied to these rulers by saying that she was his sister.
In Genesis 16, we see that Sarai was the one who made the suggestion that Abram should have a child through Hagar, her maid. They took things into their own hands, and Ishmael was born. It was only in Genesis 17 where God appeared to then Abram, with the words, ‘No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham’.We see that when Abraham tried to take things into his own hands, it led to dire consequences.
In Genesis 21, God had just mentioned to Abraham that ‘in Isaac your seed shall be called.’ Now, in the waking verses of Genesis 22, God instructs Abraham, “Take your son,your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
To me, it’s as if God was rubbing it in. God had made promises to Abraham which would be fulfilled through Isaac. Isaac had given the family reason to rejoice, and to laugh! Imagine what could have gone through his mind as they set off for the land of Moriah, knowing at the end of their journey, his only son Isaac, whom he loved, would be sacrificed!
And yet we see Abraham did not react. In fact, he rose early in the morning the next day, well prepared, well stocked, even supported by 2 men to help them. At the end of their 3-day journey, Abraham and Isaac set off, alone, and set up the altar. It was Isaac who pointed out that the fire was there, the wood was there, and when asked about the lamb, Abraham responded, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.‘
Abraham bound Isaac and placed him on the altar, and as he was about to slay him, the Angel of the Lord called to him, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your ONLY son, from Me.’I’d like to imagine that in saying this, the Angel of the Lord was saying, ‘You’ve been taking things into your own hands for the longest time, you’ve had all the opportunity to do it today, but you didn’t.’ Only then did they see a ram, caught in a thicket by the horns. Abraham took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
And in the ensuing fallout of emotion, in the aftermath of the rush associated to this event, Abraham, again, could have taken things into his own hands! He could have told God, ‘Screw this! What kind of twisted God are you!?’
No, in what I believe was a moment of exhilaration, he took time to call the name of the place where this happened, ‘Jehovah Jireh’, or, ‘The LORD will provide.’
Friends, he did not name the place, ‘I trusted in God this time’, or ‘I didn’t place things into my own hands’… He named the place, ‘The LORD WILL provide’.
Not even ‘The LORD HAS provided’, or ‘The LORD PROVIDES’… but because God had shown Himself as faithful to his promises, even in the face of such twisted circumstances, Abraham did not only testify, but guaranteed, to one and all, that ‘THE LORD WILL PROVIDE.’
King David said that it wasn’t proper for him to be in a palace while God was in a tent. God told him that he would have a son who would help him out with that… and it was in Mount Moriah, in the same land where centuries ago, Abraham declared, ‘Jehovah Jireh’, ‘GOD WILL PROVIDE’.
In the fullness of time, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be born and to live as one of us. He would lay down His life, as Abraham declared, ‘God will provide for Himself the Lamb for a burnt offering’; He was offered up, and by His death we’ve been reconciled, and by His life we’ve been saved.
Christ is now as close to us as He could ever be, as we are as close to Him as we could ever be… So close, that as at least one believer would attest, every breath that we take is a breath of YAHWEH – every breath we take is a celebration of the connection and life we now have through Him.
Yes, through Christ, every breath we breathe is an elaborate memorial to the faithfulness and goodness of God. Through Christ, every beat of our hearts is a song of praise to our Savior whose blood washed away our sins. Every second that I exist a lavish worship service projecting to one and all, of the mercy and grace God has poured out on me.
We’ve already been given the greatest provision we could ever have in this lifetime and the next. Christ is the power that is projected even if we try to take things into our own hands. Christ is the peace that is expressed even in this twisted and wild world that would have us focused on what we don’t have.
Christ is the power and peace which brings us to declare, as Abraham declared… ‘God will provide.’
Thank you for your time.