* God as provider
The definition of provide is to furnish or supply, implying foresight in making provision for the future; God has planned and made provisions for you.
* Why did God ask Abraham to perform human sacrifice? Pagan nations practiced human sacrifice, but God condemned this as a terrible sin (Leviticus 20:1-51). God did not want Isaac to die, but he wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in his heart so it would be clear that Abraham loved God more than he loved his promised and long-awaited son. God was testing Abraham. The purpose of testing is to strengthen our character and deepen our commitment to God and his perfect timing. Through this difficult experience, Abraham strengthened his commitment to obey God. He also learned about God’s ability to provide. (NLT)
Genesis 22:7-8 – “Yes, my son,” Abraham replied. “We have the wood and the fire,” said the boy, “but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” “God will provide a lamb, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both went on together.
* When we pray “Give us our food for today,” we are acknowledging that God is our sustainer and provider. It is a misconception to think that we provide for our needs ourselves. We must trust God daily to provide what he knows we need. (NLT)
Matthew 6:11 – [Jesus said] “Give us our food for today . . .”
* People may hesitate to give generously to God because they worry about having enough money left over to meet their own needs. Paul assured the Corinthians that God was able to meet their needs. The person who gives only a little will receive only a little in return. Don’t let a lack of faith keep you from giving cheerfully and generously.
God gives us resources to use and invest for him. Paul uses the illustration of seed to explain that the resources God gives us are not to be hidden, foolishly devoured, or thrown away. Instead, they should be cultivated in order to produce more crops. When we invest what God has given us in his work, he will provide us with even more to give in his service. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 9:6-10 – Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “Godly people give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will never be forgotten.”
For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
1 Sacrificing children to the gods was a common practice in ancient religions. The Ammonites, Israel’s neighbors, made child sacrifice to Molech (their national god) a vital part of their religion. They saw this as the greatest gift they could offer to ward off evil or appease angry gods. God made it clear that this practice was detestable and strictly forbidden. In Old Testament times as well as New, this character made human sacrifice unthinkable. (1) Unlike the pagan gods, he is a God of love, who does not need to be appeased (Exodus 34:62). (2) He is a God of life, who prohibits murder and encourages practices that lead to health and happiness (Deuteronomy 30:15-163). (3) He is God of the helpless, who shows special concern for children (Psalm 72:44). (4) He is a God of unselfishness, who instead of demanding blood gives his life for others (Isaiah 53:4-55). (NLT)
Leviticus 20:1-5 – The Lord said to Moses, “Give the Israelites these instructions, which apply to those who are Israelites by birth as well as to the foreigners living among you. If any among them devote their children as burnt offerings to Molech, they must be stoned to death by people of the community. I myself will turn against them and cut them off from the community, because they have defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name by giving their children to Molech. And if the people of the community ignore this offering of children to Molech and refuse to execute the guilty parents, then I myself will turn against them and cut them off from the community, along with all those who commit prostitution by worshiping Molech.
2 Moses had asked to see God’s glorious presence, and this was God’s response. What is God’s glory? It is his character, his nature, his way of relating to his creatures. Notice that God did not give Moses a vision of his power and majesty, but rather of his love. God’s glory is revealed in his mercy, grace, compassion, faithfulness, forgiveness, and justice. God’s love and mercy are truly wonderful, and we benefit from them. We can respond and give glory to God when our characters resemble his. (NLT)
Exodus 34:6-7 – He passed in front of Moses and said, “I am the Lord, I am the Lord, the merciful and gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness. I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so I do not leave sin unpunished, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.”
3 Deuteronomy 30:15-16 – “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between prosperity and disaster, between life and death. I have commanded you today to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, laws, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and become a great nation, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.”
4 Psalm 72:4 – Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors.
5 How could an Old Testament person understand the idea of Christ dying for our sins—actually bearing the punishment that we deserved? The sacrifices suggested this idea, but it is one thing to kill a lamb, and something quite different to think of God’s chosen servant as that Lamb. But God was pulling aside the curtain of time to let the people of Isaiah’s day look ahead to the suffering of the future Messiah and the resulting forgiveness made available to all people. (NLT)
Isaiah 53:4-5 – Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!
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