Its Scripture like Genesis 22 that is the reason I personally have a super robust view of the providence of God.
The bible is full of Scripture that tells us God is not only sovereign. That’s given. God’s sovereignty extends to his people and the circumstances before, behind, above, and below them. God sovereignly and gloriously and graciously works for the good of his people.
God somehow manages to NOT puppet people who make read decisions that really matter, while working in them and through them and around them, to put them at right places at right times as well as deflect or allow multitudes of both pleasant and unpleasant providences, all for the good joy of his people and the advancement of the great mission of his glory among the nations.
Wow. Just wow.
Genesis 22:8 (ESV) Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
Genesis 22:10-14 (ESV) Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”
Hebrews 11:17-19 (ESV) By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
The basis of God’s good providence is this foundational theology found in God’s name, Yhwh yireh, Yhwh sees.
In English we translate this name as the LORD will provide.
We have to use this glorious word “provide” because the LORD sees needs some translation for our understanding.
Provide has Latin roots and is literally pro – vide…before to see…to see before.
So, when we translate Yhwh yireh as the LORD will provide, we are saying something amazing theologically. We are saying that God called Abraham to go, knowing that Abraham would need to exercise faith, and supplied for that faith, and supplied for the sacrifice before Abraham ever left his home to obey the LORD. Wow.
God sees. Because he sees, he PRO-VIDES…he before sees, and since he does, he makes a way.
Man, that makes me emotional.
What can we take away from this glorious doctrinal truth?
- We don’t have to fret. By all means we need to obediently follow the Lord, but we don’t have to fret.
- We just need to obey the Lord. Our faith is not seen in making the supernatural happen. God does that. We just obey, and he sees to all that is needed for outcomes long before we ever conceived there would be a call on our lives to follow him.
- We don’t have to inform God in prayer. Jesus even said that is why we don’t have to pray like unbelievers who think they need to get God’s attention or inform him. He knows what we need before we ask, therefore, we pray like Jesus taught. So, I don’t have to tell God to let him know. I tell him as a function of relationship, communication, casting my anxiety on him, but not to inform him. He knows, and invites us to come and pray. Somehow God has wired his world to work on prayer, but it’s not because I inform him or provide any power. I just get to enjoy talking to God in asking, seeking and knocking.
- There is no detail about our day that God does not know and care about. He knows and cares and in one eternal moment sees all of history, and can intervene to bring about his good for us.
You know what? That’s enough to get us through the day. There is so much to explore as you study God’s word about his providence, so dig in and know that God sees and will never fail us as we walk obediently with him by faith in Jesus Christ.