1. In our lesson we are concentrating on "the providence of God." 2. Providence: "divine guidance or care" a. Provide [root word]: "to supply something or to make something available" b. When we talk about God's providence we are talking about God providing things that we need. 3. Later, we will list 5 special blessings that God provides for His children. 4. However, let us first consider . . .
I. A DEMONSTRATION OF GOD'S PROVIDENCE IN ABRAHAM'S LIFE (Genesis 22:1-14)
A. On this occasion God tested Abraham (vs.1). 1. God tested Abraham by telling him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. 2. This was a tremendous trial for Abraham. a. He had waited 25 years for Isaac to be born. b. Vs.2 indicates that Abraham loved Isaac. B. Abraham's faith enabled him to face this trial in a remarkable way. 1. He obeyed God's command without hesitation. 2. Can you imagine how he felt when Isaac asked, "Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" (vs.7) 3. In vs.8 Abraham said: "God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering." 4. Abraham's great faith is commended in Hebrews 11:17-19. C. Abraham was spared from taking his son's life. 1. A ram was provided that Abraham offered in Isaac's place. 2. There is something special about the name that Abraham gave to this place: Jehovahjireh [ASV - "In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided"]. 3. Abraham trusted that God would provide, and God did provide. D. Many other demonstrations of God's providence are recorded in the Bible. E. Let us turn our attention to . . .
II. 5 SPECIAL BLESSINGS THAT GOD PROVIDES FOR HIS CHILDREN
A. God provides instruction for us (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 1. In His Word God provides us with the teaching, the reproof, the correction, and the instruction in righteousness that we desperately need. 2. Having God's Word in our hearts will help us when we are tested. 3. It certainly helped Jesus when the devil tempted Him (Matthew 4:1-11). 4. Let us study the Scriptures and meditate upon them regularly (Psalm 119:97). B. God provides direction for us. 1. In Psalm 23:3 David said: "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." 2. To receive direction from God we must comply with certain conditions (Proverbs 3:5-6). C. God provides assistance when we are tested. 1. God will provide a way for us to bear up under trials (1 Corinthians 10:13). 2. When trials come our way He wants us to pray (1 Peter 5:7). 3. We need to pray for wisdom, and God will provide it (James 1:5-6). 4. We can also receive mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16). D. God provides comfort in times of sorrow (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). E. God provides assurance that all things work together for good. 1. This assurance is declared in Romans 8:28. 2. This assurance is only available to "those who love God" and "those who are the called."
1. This is not a complete list of blessings that God provides for His children. a. (James 1:17) Every good and perfect gift comes from God. b. (Ephesians 1:3) God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings. c. (2 Peter 1:3) God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. 2. These 5 blessings that we have examined are very special. 3. During times when you are tested, do you remain confident that God will provide these blessings? 4. When we are tested, let us remain confident that: a. God provides instruction for us in His Word b. God provides direction for us c. God provides assistance for us d. God provides comfort for us during times of sorrow e. God provides assurance that He will work all things together for our good. 5. God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice, and He will provide the blessings that His children need today. 6. Are you a child of God? (see Galatians 3:26-27)