God’s Ram in the Bush, Always On Time!
Our call to savor the Lord close in our hearts is taken from the praise given to God by his servant Abraham after God provided a sacrifice in place of Abraham’s only son Isaac. His words are found in Genesis 22: 14, NIV, where it reads:
“So Abraham called that place ‘The Lord Will Provide’. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided’”.
The scene in the Bible that preceded this statement by Abraham was the ultimate test of Abraham’s faith. God had told him to go and sacrifice his only son through whom he was to receive the promised blessing of becoming a great nation and through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed, ultimately through Christ Jesus. (His story is found in Genesis Chapter 22)
We know that Abraham without hesitation obeyed the Lord, and at the moment of his greatest sacrifice to God “the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’” (Genesis 22: 11-12, NIV) “Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son”. (Genesis 22: 13, NIV)
Can you imagine how overcome with relief Abraham must have felt when the Angel stayed his hand. His heart must have leapt for joy; so much so that he did not notice the ram in the bush that the Lord had conveniently provided to be used in place of Isaac. And it is at this point that he names the place – The Lord Will Provide or Jehovah Jireh, according to the Hebrew transliteration.
I have often wondered why Abraham did not see or hear the ram caught in the bush. It may have been because he was so intent on his task that he did not notice; or it may have been because God did not allow him to see the ram because his test was not complete. It was necessary for him to go all the way to the point where God was satisfied regarding his faithfulness; not the point where he thought that he had done enough.
Perhaps if he had seen the ram in the bush prior to finishing his test, Abraham may have begun to second guess what God really was requiring of him, reasoning after all there was a ram nearby; maybe it was there to be used instead of his son; perhaps God had changed his mind. Seeing God’s provision before it was time may have gotten in the way of Abraham’s obedience.
So too with us Saints, God desires to grow our faith and our obedience. Like Abraham, He will provide all we need to accomplish what He has called us to do according to His timing. If you are waiting on something from the Lord, be confident that God’s ‘ram in the bush’ will be on time! However, we must always be looking not only with our natural eye but more importantly with our spiritual eyes and spiritual heart to see God’s provisions.
And if it seems to be taking longer than anticipated, do not be discouraged; know that God has a very good reason why. Perhaps like Abraham, there is something God is working to perfect in you and the thing you are waiting on if received before His work is complete will only get in the way. Be confident that He loves you and is earnestly looking out for your best interest in all things. Like a father who loves his children, so much more so is the love of our heavenly Father for us for we are told: “What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7: 9-11, NIV)
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