John 6:5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
John 6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
John 6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
John 6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,
John 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
John 6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
John 6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
John 6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
John 6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
Welcome To The Light-Washed Path,
Never hesitate to hand the Lord your stuff. Putting your things in the Hands of God means really handing it over to Him when He asks for it. That’s not the same as dedicating something to God. We dedicate lots of things to God, but then when the opportunity comes to put it into His Hands it means really letting go of it. And for the moment it may look as if you’re not getting it back, while He distributes it to everyone else. The fact is that Jesus doesn’t just ask for things from people to test them. He actually uses it all for some divine purpose and earthly good. He doesn’t ask you for things just to see if you’re willing to give it up. God is beyond game playing.
Gen. 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
Gen. 22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
Gen. 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
One of the greatest accounts of God requesting something from a man is this case where He asks Abraham for his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Of course, God is not sadistic, requiring us to kill those we love to appease Him. But neither is He cruelly manipulative, tormenting us with tests He already knows the answers to. The real purpose for God’s strange request of Abraham rests in the precise words that both He and Abraham speak on Mt. Moriah. And in the fact that He and Abraham are in a blood covenant relationship together.
The blood covenant means that, the other must provide whatever one of the covenant partners needs or asks. The blood covenant between them makes both parties’ assets and liabilities accessible to each. God allows Abraham to represent all of humanity, because when He tells him that he will become the father of nations, and that his seed will be more numerous than the stars, Abraham believes Him. So man’s sin (present in Abraham) is now God’s responsibility. And God’s provision is now man’s inheritance, so long as the covenant is upheld. God was enacting the covenant by requiring Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. In Abraham’s willingness to comply he goes through a number of mental steps, which lead him to conclude that the Lord will have to raise Isaac from the dead, in order to fulfill His promise to multiply Abe’s seed through the boy.
Heb. 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
Heb. 11:18 it was he to whom it was said, IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.
Heb. 11:19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.
So God was not just testing Abraham. He was getting Abraham to express his great and desperate need; and indeed, the desperate need of all mankind: freedom from sin’s death penalty. This set God up to be able to stop Abraham from slaying Isaac, and inspire him to issue this amazing prophetic proclamation:
Gen. 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
Gen. 22:14 So Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh: The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, On the mount of the Lord it will be provided.
You can see that what God asked of Abraham was for the purpose of setting up the great response to Abraham’s faith, of sending His own Son to die for our sins and free us from the curse. Rather than Isaac or anyone else having to die for his or her own sins, God would come Himself and take our place.
This dramatic example provides the basis for understanding why God would ever ask anything of man. Before we go further to speak of What God Uses let us understand that every request is based on the same covenant relationship; and to further the same purpose.
More Tomorrow. Until then …
Stay On The Path!