I think this statement was actually the first double-take in my studies…
“My son, God will provide Himself a Lamb for a burnt offering.”
Some time later I learned this marked passage is so venerated the scholars actually gave it a name…”aqedah”-“the binding of Isaac.” But at the first, I was way too shocked to care, that is, until I stumbled right into this statement, “My son, God will provide Himself a Lamb for a burnt offering.”
“Wait. Didn’t He just say, ‘God will provide for Himself a Lamb for a burnt offering?’ No, wait a minute…I see it. He’s going to provide Himself, not for Himself. ”
At first I thought I was seeing things. Lord knows I’ve been there, so I checked several times. I checked the Hebrew. I even checked other English versions. This is the same revelation I got back in the beginning when God pronounces war and introduces the Seed of the woman and I say to myself, “You’re kidding. You mean, those ’50’s throwbacks I used to love to hate were right? Jesus was there the whole time?”
I must say I thought I had something unique and all to myself for one moment…but it really was like striking gold. I suspect it had to be much more so for Abraham.
We know his history. And though he’s a highly respected patriarch who earned international acclaim in wartime, he didn’t always live up to that in peace or at home, especially during the whole family affair with his wife’s servant. Something real happened to Abraham by the time Isaac was born, because years and tears later, Abraham was too committed to hesitate when the LORD gave this command.
Right, and that’s a command, not a request or suggestion. I’ve seen others say in their reference journals that He “asked.” Forgive me this wrong, but it’s people like that who motivated me to get in the Word in the first place, if for no other reason, to find out who isn’t in His Word…starting with me.
Anyway, Abraham must have known by now something big was in the works. Look at how he names the place, “YHWH-Yireh”…or, if you will, “Jehovah-Jireh.” By now, I was familiar with that catch-phrase, “the LORD will provide.” Man, was I a witness. After a long series of failed effort AFTER I got saved…(pause)…the Lord surprised me with more than I ever had at one time. I even had time to study without having to make time. ‘Can’t tell me He won’t provide, OK?!?
However, that is not our message here. Look again, “…as it is said to this day, ‘in the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.’ ” Abraham learned something big he would want everyone to know. This all started with one announcement given to a wandering idolater. Now the LORD had a deliberate and simple message He wants everyone to know, a message derived from one man’s deliberate and simple act of worship.