Apples of Gold

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Genesis Chapter 22 Verse 14

Cats!! Ann, my wife loves them, but I have no time for them whatsoever. Why am I telling you this? Well had it not been for an amorous white male testing out its vocal cords under my bedroom window at five o'clock this morning then I doubt if I would be writing this just now!

I am not going to tell you about the thoughts running through my mind of finding something big and heavy to throw at him, as the last time I threw something at a pesky cat, I missed and smashed a pane in Ann's greenhouse!! Guess who got the sermon that day!!

By the time I had managed to haul myself out of bed, he had moved on. Was this God's alarm call for me this morning? It is the way I look at things these days. Everything has a purpose and everything that happens is for a reason. 

Having prayed, I picked up my Bible and I had a real sense of expectancy and an anticipation of blessing. I found that I had a real hunger today for his Word. I wanted to meet with my God through my reading and my meditation, and I found myself wishing that it were like this every morning.
We all know the story of Abraham offering up his son Isaac, and as I thought about what I had read my eye caught the definition for 'Jehovah-jireh' in the margin. It read - 'The Lord shall provide.' Here are a few of my simple thoughts. (though through dreary eyes).

Abraham had great faith. Of that I have no doubt, yet he too, like myself, was a father to his child, just as I am to my sons and daughter. Like me, he must have had a head swirling with questions, but in obedience to the Word of God he got on with the task in hand without any murmuring.

I have not yet lived a long life, yet I cringe when I consider the number of times I have murmured against my God! Even writing that last sentence has put a shiver down my spine.

Isaac also showed tremendous faith and obedience. We are not talking about a toddler here. Isaac was an adult. He also knew that he was the promised seed.
It must have broken Abraham's heart when Isaac asked the question, 'we have the fire and the wood, but where is the offering?'

You know my friend, the loss of a loved one is hard to take at any time, yet it must be especially so for parents losing children. In the natural order of things we parents expect to die before our children, though recently on our Island the Lord has shown us all that He takes souls when it is His time and not ours. Fathers this day ache for their darling daughters and mother's hearts are broken for sons taken in their prime.

We feel so helpless and so inadequate when trying to comfort such folk. Thankfully the Lord knows all the needs of our friends.
But Abraham had waited a hundred years for this promised son. Yet now he finds himself, knife in hand looking down upon his son - ready to bring an end to his life because God had commanded it.

Some things just do not seem to us to make sense! How often do we ask the question, 'why?' Is it that we know something that God does not? Do we think our way would be better?
The sad truth of the matter is that often we do think like that. We want and expect to have things done our way. Putting a knife to the throat of the promise is not part of the plan. If God has given us a precious promise, then are we expecting it to come to pass without any testing?

The characters we love so well within the books of the Bible are forerunners and signposts for us, so surely we should not be surprised if things do not turn out as we had planned them. Abraham had not planned to offer Isaac - God had!
The promise of God was that the Messiah would come through Isaac. Now, with his hand outstretched, ready to slay his son, it looked as though that was not going to happen.

But this is sight talking - without using the eye of faith!

I can imagine someone reading this having received a promise from God. Perhaps it's a precious Word that they have held dear to their heart. It's a promise they have waited on for weeks, months or even years. It's a promise that they have asked the Lord to fulfil every day in their petitions, yet this particular morning their hearts are in their boots as the chances of it happening seem more unlikely than ever.

But God's ways and not our ways, and neither are His thoughts our thoughts. He has a wise purpose in view. He knows the way that we take and He works out every single detail to perfection. He will provide. He does all things well. He will not fail you.
What joy must have filled Abraham's soul when he heard the Lord call his name. He was poised to land the fatal blow when God called. "Jehovah Jireh - The Lord will provide." A ram was caught in the thicket! The Lord had provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham.

Dear friend - God has also provided a Substitute for you and for me. His name is Jesus.

He is the Lamb of God. He is the seed of Abraham. He it is who takes away the sin of the world. He is God's wonderful provision for sinners. He died that we might live. His blood was shed to wash our sins away. Are you guilty before God today? Then accept God's provision for you.
Dear Christian brother or sister, weary with endless waiting - take heart this day. God has not forsaken nor forgotten you, neither has He given up on His promise to you. The Lord will provide.

Author : Iain Mackenzie  Edited by : Pastor Al Moak