God Will Provide | Dr. Ed Young

♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ ♪♪♪ Ed Young: The theme of this
Scripture is Jehovah-jireh, God will provide. So, when I say Jehovah-jireh
in the service, you will answer– congregation: God will provide. Ed Young: Jehovah-jireh. “Now it came to pass after these
things.” After these things is where we
begin as we ascend Mount Mariah. In 1953, May the 28th, 11:30 a.m., Sir Edmund Hillary ascended to the top of
the world. He climbed the top of Mount
Everest after an almost impossible climb up with his
friend, his guide. Ice, storm, cold, rain, lack
of oxygen, fatigue, slides. Sheer effort, he reached
the top, the top of the world, 29,002 feet. No human being will ever climb
higher than that. That’s the apex. That’s the highest that anyone
will ever climb. Unless you would climb
the mountain we’re going up today, Mount Moriah. And we have two men, Abraham
and Isaac, Isaac meaning laughter, climbing that
mountain. And spiritually, Moriah is
the highest mountain you can ascend in the Old Testament. In fact, you move to the New
Testament, it is on the same Mount Moriah you found Mount
Calvary, and that’s the highest mountain anytime, anywhere,
any place. Same mountain. Perhaps the same place. Jehovah-jireh. Jehovah-jireh. So we look at Genesis 22, verse
1 says, “Now it came to pass after these things that God
tested Abraham and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here am I.’ After these things–”
What are these things? We read the Chronological Bible
beginning in chapter 12, all the way through to chapter 22. That’s the life of Abraham,
and what a life. Here he was at Ur
of the Chaldees between the Tigris and Euphrates
River. A decadent place, a godless
place, a pagan place. And God called Abraham to come
out of Ur, and to go to the promised land,
and to build a nation, a people. And you read in Hebrews chapter
11, he said Abraham was to find a city and to build a city who
has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Foundations. And that was a quest. That was the faith of Abraham. He left everything he’d known. He left all the history,
everything behind him, and he climbed that mountain. He went there all the way
to a promised land. And we read about it. Abraham was known as a friend
of God. Let me tell you something. You can’t do better than that. Who’s your buddy?
God. Who’s your best friend?
God. And he’s known that all the way
through the Bible. And we see he got
to the promised land with his nephew, Lot. And you read Lot, notice this. Lot pitched his tent and then he
built his altar. Abraham always built his altar
and then he pitched his tent. We operate like that. We get our things together,
then, “Oh, yes, we’re going to worship.” Or we start off and say, “I’m
going to worship,” and then out of worship, “I’m going
to get all my stuff together.” Built an altar, pitched his
tent. That was Abram, and what a life
he lived. God blessed him. He was prosperous. Man, he fought battles to rescue
his nephew, Lot, and he went into Sodom and Gomorrah, and he
tried to negotiate with God and be the mediator
so the judgment would not come down upon those decadent,
godless people. What a guy, quite a man. And the angel spoke to him
earlier and said, “Abram, you’re going to be the father
of a great nation.” And his name then was called
Abram, which means big time father, foremost father. The angel said, We don’t call
you that anymore. By the way, people meet Abram
and said, “Man, you’re called foremost father. How many children do you have?” He said, “Not a one.” Oh. Then the angel said, “We’re
gonna name you Abraham, which means father of multitudes,
father of many.” And he said, “Well, what’s
your name?” “Abraham.” “How many children you have, you
father of multitudes?” “I don’t have a one.” So, they’d see him coming. “There’s Abraham. He calls himself the father
of many. He doesn’t even have a single
offspring. What a goose. What a joke.” But Abraham believed God. But the last time God told him
and said, “Abraham, father of many, you’re gonna have that
promised son and he’s going to redeem the world. He’s gonna build a peculiar
people who love me and follow me. He is going to be the progenitor
of a whole new congregation of God-fearing people that’ll go
all the way through eternity.” And Abraham said, “You know,” as
he talked with angel, “it’s getting a little late. I’m 100 years old. My wife is 90. I mean, you know, it’s a little
late for this. I don’t know what you’re talking
about, but by faith I’m gonna– you know, I believe ya.” And Abraham laughed. Don’t know what that laugh was. Later on, another angel
reaffirmed that promise, and Sarah, behind the curtains,
his wife, she laughed. She said, “I’m 90 years old. I’m going to have a baby? He’s 100. My goodness, we–whoo, no, no,
no, no.” She laughed. But guess what? Sarah got pregnant and then
a baby was born. And they named him what? Laughter. That’s what Isaac means. So they had a little laughter
and they were thrilled. Unbelievable. Laughter. Now the son of promise. Now it is through him
the Messiah would come. What a promise. And then we see that he was
tested. Fortissimo. These musicians know that word. It’s a musical word. That’s what the word “tested”
means there in the Greek, fortissimo. It means with passion. It means with, voom. Man, all the way, it was a test
that was severe, overwhelming. Fortissimo, passionate test. The passion that Clay Walker has
when he sings, right? Fortissimo, that’s it. And he was tested. It’s important that we
know this. And that’s what the first verse
tells us. God says, “Abraham!” and Abraham answered and said,
“Lord, I’m right here.” And then we see the test that
happens and it begins with a conflict. Look at verse 2. Then God said, “Take now your
son, your only son Laughter, 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.” Offer Laughter as a burnt
offering? And a burnt offering, ladies
and gentlemen, they would take all of the animal, all
of the animal, and put it totally on the altar, and let
the fire consume it completely. That was a burnt offering. And that’s what God asked
Abraham to do. Unbelievable, isn’t it? Go take Laughter, the
promised one. And then we have, follow me
carefully, a conflict, a conflict between the promise
of God, “Laughter is going to bring all the truth of God,
the revelation of God, with a new kind of people,”
and now we have a command that says, “Take laughter and put him
on the altar as a burnt offering.” So here’s God’s promise
and God’s command, and they’re in conflict with one another. How’s this gonna happen? Jehovah-jireh. Jehovah-jireh. Elisabeth Elliot was visiting
in Northern Ireland and she visited a sheep farm or ranch. And she saw there the shepherd
was taking the sheep and putting them in vats, vats that were
held with all kind of medicinal oils to rid the sheep
of parasites and other things. And she watched a shepherd take
the sheep, and put them in the vat, and put them down,
and they’d come up, and he’d put them down again. And she said, “I wonder what
that sheep thought. Here’s my shepherd now tryin’
to kill me.” Ladies and gentlemen, sometimes
what we may interpret that God is trying to kill us, he’s
really trying to save us. So here we have a conflict
between the promise of God and the command of God. How does this work? How does this happen? I’ve gone to the Lord many
times. You have too, and you have
thanked him for when he said yes to us. “Lord, I pray that this will
happen,” and he said yes. “Lord, I ask that you would
guide me,” and he said yes. We thank him when we petition
to him and he says yes. But how many times have we
thanked him when we petitioned him when he said no? If Keith, when he proposed
to that girl and she turned him down, what if they had gotten
married? Thank God that God said, “No,
this isn’t the one.” Most of us could have that
testimony. We’ve gone to the Lord and said,
“God, you know, I know this is your will. I pray believing that you do
this,” and God said no. And I don’t understand those big
no’s in my life. You don’t understand it either. But one day when we get
to heaven, we’ll look back and we’ll understand when God
said no and we’ll thank him for that no. When he says yes, it’s easy
to thank him, but it is the no’s that gets us. Let me tell you something,
folks. There’s nowhere in the Bible
that says that we’re to be healthy, wealthy, wise,
prosperous, and live long lives. If you’ll find that passage,
would you bring it and show it to me after service? You can’t find it because it’s
not there. God is in control of life. Some are brief, some are long,
some are tragic, some are full. You see, our purpose is
to glorify the Lord and we do that by seeking him
and understanding one thing, Jehovah-jireh. So we have the test, severe
test. Take your boy, climb that
mountain, make him a burnt offering. And then we have the obedience. This is stunning to me. God gives this breathtaking
command, and look at the next verse here. “Abraham rose up early
in the morning.” Man, the next day. “Saddled his donkey, and took
two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split
the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place
of which God had told him.” By the way, after one of our
services, Clay asked me, “Why did they cut the wood right
at the beginning of their trip and Laughter had to carry, 18
years old probably, all that wood on his back all the way
up to Moriah, a three day journey?” And I said, “You know, I’ve
never known–” then I knew exactly why. This is a shadow of Jesus
carrying his wood up that same cross as he died for you and me. As the Father offered him
a burnt offering, a living sacrifice on that altar for your
sin and for my sin. They went up the mountain,
and then notice this. This verse is so very
interesting. “Then on the third day,” verse
four, “Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place far off. And Abraham said to his young
men–” two went with him beside his son. “And Abraham said to his young
men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; and the Lad and I, we will go
yonder and worship, we will worship,”‘ and look at this, “we
will come back to you. We will go, Laughter and I, we
will worship, Laughter and I, and we will come back to you.” But the command was to take
Isaac and make him–and burn him up and make him up a
burnt offering. What’s goin’ on here? You got a conflict here. How does it work? I sing a little chorus to
myself usually. It goes like, “Are there any
valleys that seem to be uncrossable? Are there any mountains you
cannot tunnel through? No, God specializes on things
that seem impossible. He knows a thousand ways to make
a way for you.” So we have this conflict. We will go, we will worship,
will come back. We’ll come back? Man, Isaac, Laughter, is to be
a burnt offering on this mountain. Now, we understand that. We read it
through with jaundiced eyes. Soren Kierkegaard wrote a little
book called, “Fear and Trembling,” and in this
book, Kierkegaard says he doesn’t get this story. He’s saying it’s a horrific
story, a father asked to burn up his son. And he just says–boy, he talks
about the obedience of Abraham, how exacting it was. And a lot of people stumble
over this test, but it’s because we don’t understand it
in the context of how Abraham saw it. Follow me. In that day, people didn’t think
individually. They thought in terms of family. And therefore, when the head
of the family would die, he would leave most or all of his
inheritance to the firstborn. Why? If he sorted it out to all
the individuals, they had 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15 children, all
the power in the family would be dissipated. But if they stayed together
and the firstborn would control that family and be
the progenitor there of the family, man, that gave
them–that’s the way it worked in the Middle East. And you read in the Bible, what
were the Jews taught to do? What were all the other cultures
taught to do? You give to God that which is
first. The fruit would come in, they’d
give firstfruits to God. The harvest, the grain would
come in. They’d give the first part
of the harvest to God. And look there, remember
the plagues in Egypt? What was one of the plagues? A judgment on the Egyptians,
“Your firstborn will be killed.” Ooh, but the Israelites
escaped that. How? Because a lamb was killed
and a lamb became the substitute for the firstborn. And therefore, when Abraham
heard the call to present Laughter, Isaac, as
the firstborn, as a burnt offering, it wasn’t like God
said, “Abraham, I want you to go to the tent and kill Isaac,
Laughter.” He’d say, “No, that’s not
the voice of God. I had too many falafels
last night.” I mean, God wouldn’t
do that. “Abraham, I want you to go
kill Sarah.” No, God would never do that. But when he said, “Abraham, I
want you to go offer Isaac, your firstborn, as an offering,”
he got that. He got that. He understood that. That’s in the principle
of the whole posture that we work through here. See, a totally different thing
to–and by the way, Isaac, Laughter, got it as well. Look at the next passage. Oh, the passage of the lamb. “So Abraham took the wood
of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac, Laughter, his son;
and he took the fire in his hand, a knife, and the two
of them went together. And Laughter spoke to
Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ He said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ Then he said, ‘Look, the fire
and the wood, but where is the lamb for the offering?'” Abraham answered, “I don’t know.
I don’t know.” But he said, “Jehovah-jireh.” Oh yeah, Jehovah-jireh. “I don’t know where the offering
is, and you’re supposed to be the burnt offering,” but he
didn’t know how this was going to happen. “And he said, ‘God will
provide for him the lamb for a burnt offering.’ So the two of them went
together. Then they came to the place
of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there
and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son,”
18-year-old, 19-year-old son, much stronger and more powerful
than his dad without any question. Isaac knew he was the firstborn. He understood what was going
on and not what exactly was going to take place. “And he bound Laughter his son
and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his
hand and took a knife to slay his son. But the angel called to him from
heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!'” And the Lord said,
“I’m sure glad to hear from you. Here I am.
Here I am.” And then look what happens. “And God said, ‘Do not lay your
hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you
fear God, there you have not withheld your son, your only
son, from me.’ And Abraham lifted his eyes
and looked, and behold there was a ram caught in a thicket
by the horns. So Abraham went and took
the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering. And Abraham called the place
Jehovah-jireh.” You see what’s going on? God knew the firstborn was to be
given to him and he says, “Abraham, you’ve taken little
Laughter and I want to make sure he hasn’t taken my place in your
heart, he hasn’t become an idol. He hasn’t become what all your
life revolves around this 18 or 19 years you’ve had this son
of promise. He is the firstborn. I want you to take firstborn
and submit it to me as a burnt offering.” And Abraham–God saw
the willingness of Abraham and then God knew that he was
now first place and nothing was ahead of him in the heart
and the mind of Abraham. Beautiful thing. George Jagger, you might
remember the story, tragic story. George took his father and three
sons out into the Atlantic fishing and a storm came. Six foot waves. The water was filling
in the boat and he had all the Jagger boys put on their
life jackets, tied them together, went into the ocean. They fought the waves. They couldn’t make it to shore. The youngest son, Cliff,
at the bottom, he finally said, “I can’t fight any longer. I’m going to Jesus.” And that father watched his
youngest die, his next son, his next son, and then his daddy
died tied close to him. Nine hours later, he swam
to shore, never cutting loose any of his family, though he
knew they were dead. George Jagger saw, as a dad, all
his father die and his boys die. And he saw them as they died,
died with confidence because he built into them Jesus. Laughter got on
that altar, why? Because he’d been on that altar. He had been a worshiper. He’d watched his dad worship. He’d been many times
with his dad. He knew he could be
that offering. He knew he was a miracle son. He knew if somehow he was killed
that God would bring him back to life again. He didn’t have any problem. He was taught to climb and live
his life on an altar. Parents, that’s what we must
build in our kids so when the bottom of their lives falls
out or the bottom of our lives falls out, when we want God
to say yes and he says no, they will see that we have a firm
foundation on Jesus Christ that is beyond this life
and beyond the suffering of the day. Two little principles. That which you and I grip
the tightest, that which we make most important, most valuable
for us to go on, for us to live, whatever that which you and I
grip the tightest is that in all probability we need to give
to God. Because that which we hold
on the tight–I couldn’t have this without this. I wouldn’t want to live
without this person, this thing. Oh, that which we hold
on the tightest is probably where the testing will come
and that which we need to give to God. Second word. That which we surrender and give
to God we will receive back a greater treasure, hopefully
in this life, but certainly in eternity. Jehovah-jireh. Jehovah-jireh. Jehovah-jireh. ♪♪♪

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