Provisions for the unexpected
So I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:19
6 So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together,
7 Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”
8 “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.
9 When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.
10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice.
11 At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”
12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”
13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.
14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “The LORD will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
On planet Earth, unexpected losses and calamities occur. On June 24, 2021, Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront condominium in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed. The pancake collapse destroyed 55 of the 136 units in the building.
The building had been sinking since the 1990s at a significant rate of about two millimeters (0.079 in) per year. In 2018, an inspection showed a “major error” in the construction of the pool deck, whereby the waterproofing was not sloped. Consequently, water collected there until it could evaporate. Over the years, the concrete slabs below the pool deck became severely damaged by the collected water. The report noted the waterproofing below the pool deck was beyond its useful life and must all be completely removed and replaced. The firm wrote that “failure to replace waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially.”
How can such eventualities be prepared for? How can people in need be helped? In the business world, particularly banking, to cover future potential adversities, “provisions” must be set aside.
What are provisions?
Provisions represent funds put aside by a company to cover unanticipated losses in the future. In other words, a provision is a liability of uncertain timing and amount. Income tax liabilities, warranties, loan defaults, asset devaluation, future litigation fees, etc., are typical provisions. To account for these risks, companies must make provision to ensure they have enough money set apart to cover them.
The Scriptures are clear that the Father is all-powerful and loves each child of the King. He has made ample provision and promised to take care of our needs. But exactly how does that work?
Abraham walked with the Father for some time. He learned much from previous experiences. But what he was asked to believe in Genesis 17 was, humanly speaking, impossible. He was past the age of being able to have a child. The same was true of his wife.
Genesis 17:17 He laughed to himself in disbelief. “How could I become a father at the age of 100?” he thought. “And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?”
Genesis 18:12 Sarah laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master – my husband – is also so old?”
Human limitations do not present an insurmountable obstacle to the Father. He did the impossible and overcame their human inadequacies. They were once again able to have children. And miracle of miracles, Isaac was born.
The Bible is replete with stories of the Father doing the impossible. Contemplate for a moment, why does He do this? The simple answer is to demonstrate that He is real and that He is actively involved in our lives.
It is incumbent upon each child of the King to learn to exercise faith and trust in His promises and provision. The assignments and tasks He gives us are intended to grow our faith and trust in Him. As we depend upon Him and follow His guidance, we find ourselves in the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude. The Father does the rest.
“At the age of 75, Abraham enrolled in the ‘School of Faith.’ Now he was over 100, and he was still having soul-stretching experiences. We are never too old to face new challenges, fight new battles, and learn new truths. When we stop learning, we stop growing; and when we stop growing, we stop living” (Wiersbe).
REFLECT & PRAY
“Life is difficult. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult” (M. Scott Peck).
Father, I struggle to trust You. It is so easy to take matters into my own hands. Encourage me to remember that You have made provision for my needs and that You fulfill Your promises. I have re-enrolled in the School of Faith.
In Genesis 22, Abraham is prepared to fully believe the Father’s promises no matter what. He has grown to maturity. He is walking by faith and will now demonstrate how real his faith is. This chapter is one of the rare and remarkable times when the Father enters the time-space continuum. He makes Himself visible to Abraham and interacts with him. Further, the Father sends His angel to prevent a horrendous tragedy.
The lesson of Genesis 22 is straightforward. The Lord will provide!
Genesis 22:8 “God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering”
Genesis 22:14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”).
Yahweh-Yireh literally means “The Lord will see to it,” that is, “The Lord will provide” (Wiersbe).
In modern English, we have an analogous expression. When we make a promise, we simply say, “I’ll take care of it.” Regarding His provision, the Father says, “I’ll take care of it.” to each child of the King. How amazing! He’s got our back.
“In times of testing, it is easy to think only about our needs and our burdens; instead, we should be focusing on bringing glory to Jesus Christ. We find ourselves asking ‘How can I get out of this?’ Instead of ‘What can I get out of this that will honor the Lord?’ We sometimes waste our sufferings by neglecting or ignoring opportunities to reveal Jesus Christ to others who are watching us go through the furnace” (Wiersbe).
“The Lord will provide – always. He may surprise us, He may perplex us, He may make us wait. But He will always provide exactly what we need, when we need it” (Stanley).
© Dr. H 2022