The Lord has provided

There is this very profound statement in 2Chronicles 3:1

Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.”

Hundreds of years earlier Mount Moriah is also mentioned in the Bible.

There was a father, a son and a sacrifice. The father was Abraham, the son Isaac, and the sacrifice—the father’s son! We know the story and how it came to pass. God said to Abraham:

Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” (Genesis 22:2)

The sacrifice could not be mistaken.  It was Isaac, the one whom Abraham loved, his only son, the one God had promised to give him, the one Abraham had waited for till it was humanly impossible for Sarah to have a child, the one whom God appointed to grow into a nation more numerous than the sand on the seashore and the stars of the skies.

Take him, sacrifice him!

When young Isaac asked his father where the lamb for the burnt offering was, the giant of believers answered:  “God himself will provide.”

The statement in the Scripture is very pregnant:  “And the two of them went on together.” But all along, as they walked along, Abraham must have wrestled with God.

At the appointed place, Mount Moriah, he built an altar and arranged the wood. The Bible is silent about what exactly happened between Abraham and Isaac between arranging the wood and putting Isaac on the altar.  I can only imagine the tears rolling from Abraham’s face … And the stunned amazement and resistance from Isaac, not understanding that his loving father who had told him about how the Covenant God provided an heir, and how his descendants would multiply under the blessing of the loving God.  And now this!  Maybe Abraham kept looking for a miracle to happen, so that his beloved son would be spared. But faith in God and obedience to the Father who always provided kept him from doing anything else but what God demanded.

And then, as always, God provided.  There was the ram stuck in the thicket.

Isaac learned a lot that day.  He saw his father trust the Lord till the very end; he saw his father obey God, no matter the cost.  And he learned that God can be trusted. God always provides!
That mountain was called The Lord Will Provide.

In his deepest need David called to God to not consummate his righteousness to destroy the people because of their unrighteousness and disobedience (1Chron 21:13).  God commanded that David should built an altar on the threshing floor, right there where the angel of the Lord was ready to draw the sword and destroy the people.  He bought the threshing floor of Araunah, who was from Jebus.  There, on Moriah, God once again provided:  He answered the prayer of David with fire from heaven on the burnt offering after David had built an altar for God. The sword as withdrawn and the people saved.

There, on that mountain, The Lord Will Provide, the temple was built.  There the city of David, Jerusalem was built.  There God dwelt with his people, accepting their burnt offerings and sacrifices, forgiving them their sins.

Moriah, The Lord Will Provide, was the scene of another father and son engaged in a moment of life and death.  That Father was God, the Son Jesus Christ. God once again provided a sacrifice to bring salvation.

There the last High Priest brought the last sacrifice:  Himself.  Just outside of the city they reared three crosses.  On the one in the middle they nailed the Son of God.  There the blood of a ram was not enough, because the sacrifice then needed had to take the sin of the world away once and for all.  Jesus cried out “Why have Thou forsaken me!” and the Father turned his face away.

Christ died; thus God has provided eternal salvation for those who would believe in his Son.  On Zion’s hill. On Moriah, on The Lord will Provide, the Lord has provided.

Now we don’t need a temple anymore; we don’t need priests, or sacrifices, or a mountain anymore.  There is no Most Holy anymore, and there is no Ark of the Covenant with the Tables of the Law anymore.  It is all fulfilled in Christ.

Christ is our The-Lord-Has-Provided.  By faith we are children of Abraham, children of the New Covenant, children of God.  Hallelujah!

Gracious God in heaven, we praise You for your faithfulness.  You kept the covenant You made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  You gave us a new Covenant Head, Jesus Christ.  Receive our thanksgiving for remembering  us in our misery and darkness of sin, by giving us a Saviour who provided an everlasting sacrifice.  We submit to Him, acknowledge Him as our Lord, and worship Him as our King.  Through Him we have become new Israel and in Him we have a city which is not built by hands.  We look forward to the day You will send Jesus Christ to take us to inhabit the New Jerusalem, that city full of splendor. Amen.

© D Rudi Schwartz

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