Joseph C Evershed

Genesis 22: 4-14 

Philippians 4: 19, 20

         This passage read in the book of Genesis is summed up by giving us some present ministry, a certain thing that “is said at the present day”.  It was said at the particular moment when Abraham said it.  It was said when Moses wrote the book; at later stages no doubt; and when the book was translated.  It is still said at the present day: “On the mount of Jehovah will be provided”, and I venture to suggest that we may take this to ourselves at this very day.  Whatever our circumstances may be, whatever may be before us in the will of God, we may say this in the present day: “On the mount of Jehovah will be provided”.  The question of course, is whether it is being said.  The word here is that it is being said “at the present day”, and the question is, Am I saying it in the faith of my heart?  Is it being said amongst the saints as a present, living, understood thing, known in the experience of our souls?

         This incident must have been one of the most extraordinary journeys that ever was taken: an old man, I suppose in the second century of his life, and a lad in his teens, going together in the pathway of obedience.  Abraham’s word is, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship”, suggesting that there is a very strong moral link between obedience and worship.  There cannot be the latter without the former, and I venture to suggest that where the former is known the latter will not be far off.  It certainly was not with Abraham, nor with Paul when he wrote of God’s supplying all the need; it is not very long before he is worshipping God the Father: “But to our God and Father be glory to the ages of ages”.  So the question is, Are the old ones and the young ones going together in this matter?  One can speak personally, with very great thankfulness, of those who are older amongst us, who give a lead in this path of faith.  They inculcate their own faith and confidence in God into those of us who are younger, as Abraham was doing with this young man Isaac as “they went”, says the Spirit, “both of them together”, on this extraordinary journey, the lad carrying these unusual burdens in the way.  God will help us, I feel assured, to take up and answer questions that arise as to the path of faith if we are in it with our households, with those who are younger, and so Abraham is enabled to give a most skilful answer to this lad who is asking this question as to the lack now before them.  He says, “My son, God will provide himself with the sheep for a burnt-offering”.  When they get there they find that it is not just a sheep but a ram.  I feel assured from my own experience and from my knowledge of others that there is no experience in faith that does not lead to a vastly increased apprehension of Christ and all that He is to God.  So instead of finding a sheep or a lamb, as Abraham appears to have expected, what he actually finds is a ram caught by its horns in a thicket - delightful and precious type of our Lord Jesus Christ in his consecration to God.

         It impresses me that the Spirit should record this prophetic word of Moses, the writer.  We are told that Moses was a prophet: the only man who is spoken of as a prophet, a priest and a king, Deut 34:10; Ps 99:6; Deut 33: 5.  But here he comes out as a prophet.  At the time at which he is writing the word is said: “at the present day”.  Abraham says it: he “called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh; as it is said at the present day, On the mount of Jehovah will be provided”.

         Where are these things being provided?  My difficulty often in the path of faith, if I may be simple about it, is that I expect things to be provided in my own place, but I have to go to God about them; I have to be on the mount.  It says, ‘On the mount they will be provided’.  I find often that God does not see necessary at all to provide things that I thought were necessary, but He makes ample provision for me.  I believe Paul, in speaking at the end of the epistle to the Philippians, was a man who was on the mount of God and he knew what it was to have these things provided.  He says, “my God shall abundantly supply all your need” - not according to your estimate of need, not according to what we feel is the need, but “according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”.  That is the measure, the standard according to which God meets our needs, so that we must not be surprised if we get some strange gifts.

         It was given to certain saints to suffer; it was made as a gift to them.  They may not have been glad to receive it at first, but they would have understood, as knowing God and experiencing His grace, as being on the mount, as knowing something of His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, why He had given them his precious and important gift, to suffer for the Lord’s name’s sake.  Paul might have been surprised under normal circumstances to have a thorn for the flesh, 2 Cor 12: 7.  He said it was given to him.  God was supplying the need of Paul, according to His riches in Christ Jesus.  It was necessary for Paul to have that gift.  It was not the man who was in paradise or the man who was in the third heaven who needed it; it was the man who had been there.  So we find that those who have entered into the greatest privileges need special discipline, lest they should be elated.  But Paul not only had the gift of the thorn for the flesh, but the precious continuing grace of Christ which, as He said, was sufficient for him, v 9.

         I would just give this word of encouragement in these matters so that we might hold on our way obediently and boldly in faith, understanding something of the importance of these words of Scripture.  What may befall us in the course of the testimony, or in our private affairs, none of us can tell, but let us maintain this; if we go on working out things in fear and trembling, let us at the same time in the inner consciousness of our hearts maintain this faith, and say what Abraham said, and what Moses said, and what the saints of God have been saying and will continue to say to the end of this dispensation: “on the mount of Jehovah will be provided”.



3rd August 1951

From Words of Grace and Comfort 1952