Don’t you love it when someone anticipates your needs?
You feel good when someone makes provision for something you’ll require before the need even arises. Or when they start setting in motion something for you before you even ask.
It makes you feel sort of special, doesn’t it?
As a teen, I’d occasionally stop by a small fish-and-chip joint on my way home from school. This little restaurant had an open kitchen, and the owner/cook could see the street through the front window.
Carlo, the owner, would see me get off the bus and wait at the lights. He knew what I liked to eat, so he’d start deep-frying my halibut before I even crossed the street and entered his restaurant.
He anticipated what I’d want and started cooking it before I even placed my order.
God does the same sort of thing for us, too.
Scripture gives us a glimpse of what it will be like in the new heavens and earth:
“I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (Isaiah 65:24)
But we don’t have to wait for a future fulfillment of this promise. God already has a track record of being one step ahead of us and having the provision we’ll need at the ready.
Think of Abraham, when he was told to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah.
We all know the story: just as Abraham was about to lower the knife, the angel of the Lord called out and stopped him. Isaac would be spared, and God would provide a substitute sacrifice.
“Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son.” (Genesis 22:13)
We tend to assume that the ram appeared on the scene right after Abraham’s encounter with the angel. But I think this is a misreading of the passage: it seems to me that the ram was already there. In fact, the ram might have been entangled there for days before Abraham’s arrival. At the very least, the ram was already making its way up Mount Moriah long before Abraham and Isaac were even close to climbing the summit.
God anticipated the needs of His children and was one step ahead of them in arranging the provision. But God wasn’t through showing His graciousness to this family.
Years later, Abraham sent his servant to his hometown to find a wife for Isaac. The servant prayed that God would grant him favour and success, and even formulated a secret test of sorts to determine which was the right woman.
“Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder.” (Genesis 24:15, italics mine)
Rebekah immediately fulfilled the conditions that the servant had secretly dreamed up: she was clearly the one meant to be Isaac’s bride.
God had graciously answered the servant’s prayer. But did you catch the chronology of events?
The God-ordained bride for Isaac showed up while the servant was still in mid-prayer. The servant got a foretaste of the promise in Isaiah 65: while he was still talking about his needs, God went ahead and answered his request!
God has done much more than that for all of us. He anticipated the greatest need we would have, and was one step ahead of us in making provision for it before we knew we’d need it.
I’m talking about our need for forgiveness of our sins.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)
God provided a solution for us before we even knew we had a problem.
How could you not worship a Saviour like that?
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.