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.Genesis 22:13-14
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
Jehovahjireh – This word literally means “Yehovah will see to it,” or as many say, “God will provide.” It’s a common saying in Christianity today and this may very well be the root of it. Christianity has really gained some mileage around this feel-good saying. I think we use it for just about any trial as a beacon of hope. And it bears some truth too. God does provide … until the time He doesn’t.
Until the time He doesn’t? What could that mean? The New Testament books are filled with verses of God’s provisions!
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?Matthew 7:11
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:19
And like I said, this is true. God spared Isaac from being crucified by his own father by providing an alternate sacrifice. But what about all the other children that were cast into the fire of Molech? God didn’t provide for them. How about the countless Jews and Christians that suffered at Roman hands and were tortured or eaten by lions in the Colosseum for the pleasure of the Roman people? I don’t think God provided for them. My own people suffered torture and death in Russia from the Russian Orthodox church for their beliefs. God didn’t provide for those that died and suffered unto death.
The phrase, God provides, becomes a feel-good Christian platitude that is espoused by people who really don’t understand the serious nature of what they’re perpetuating. Sometimes God doesn’t provide. Sometimes He lets a man become completely broken. Sometimes He allows children to die at the hands of evil men. Sometimes believers lose everything and are made to suffer. This is the world we live in.
There’s a reason for this. If God provided, as feel-good Christians espouse, then there would be no reason for men and women to step up and offer help. Showing true brotherly love, empathy, and offering one’s coat to a cold homeless man would not be needed. Why? Because God provides, so man doesn’t need to.
We end up missing the purpose of evil. The purpose of evil is so that good might shine brighter. The reason things are broken is so that man might step up to provide support and fix them. If God provided all the time, we’d be living in the same state as the Garden of Eden. But we don’t.
So while I understand this phrase is used as a means of hope, let’s not fool ourselves. But rather we should accept that sometimes God doesn’t provide, and maybe we should. Maybe we should reach out to others and offer our help. Because when we do… then we see that love of God within each of us.