Providing for Christmas

One of my favorite passages related to Christmas is hardly associated with Christmas at all:
“Abraham said, ‘God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’ So they went both of them together… so Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided” (Genesis 22:8, 14). In this passage, God is first introduced to us in Scripture as Jehovah Jireh, “the Lord who provides,” or literally “the Lord who will see to it.” Of all the names for God we celebrate at Christmas, perhaps this one is the most understated, yet perfectly sufficient. Abraham knew Isaac was the promised son for whom he had waited (albeit impatiently) for years. God’s own trustworthiness was on the line. Against all logic, Abraham trusted God to provide a sacrifice, and God did provide miraculously and unexpectedly. Moving forward 2,000 years, God once again provided a promised son, in a manner none would expect: the King of Kings, born a humble baby to a poor working class family; Jesus, named so because He would save His people from their sins. He is the God who provides, eventually on a cross near that same mountain, to meet the greatest need of all humanity.
When we consider trusting God to provide, we usually have specific expectations: we have a need, we ask God to meet that need, and we expect that He will respond to our prayer and meet the need. Rarely, in my experience, has God provided in the logical ways I expect. The Christmas story reminds us that God in His goodness knows our needs and lovingly provides. He may not provide in the way we expect or want at the time, but He will perfectly see to it.


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