Jehovah Jireh

Jehovah Jireh (God the Provider)

The passage

Jehovah Jireh is one of the best-known names of God. We claim it when we pray. We sing it in praise songs. This name is found in one solitary verse in the Bible, Genesis 22:14. The context of the verse is as follows.

(Gen 22:1-14 NIV)  Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. {2} Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." {3} Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. {4} On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. {5} He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you." {6} Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, {7} Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" {8} Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. {9} When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. {10} Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. {11} But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. {12} "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." {13} Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. {14} So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide (Jehovah Jireh). And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

God provides what we need

Abraham needed to have an alternative sacrifice so that he need not have to sacrifice his son. God provided that sacrifice. God loves to provide what we need.

(Ezek 34:28-29 NIV)  They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. {29} I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations.

What are your needs today? Bring them to the Lord because He has promised to provide for you according to the riches that are in Christ Jesus.

(Phil 4:19 NIV)  And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

God provides the sacrifice for sin

The sacrifice of the ram provided by God is a shadow of what is to come. When Isaac was supposed to die, a ram was provided in his place. When we were supposed to die for our sins, God would later provide a sacrifice that will die on our behalf, so that we do not need to die.

(John 1:29 NIV)  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus would later come to earth to be the Lamb, the sacrifice that takes away the sin of the world.

(Mat 20:28 NIV)  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Because God has provided the sacrifice of sin for us, there is no need for us to suffer any more for the consequences of our sin when we die. That is why the Bible teaches that when we die, we go straight to Paradise and not to purgatory as believed by the Catholics.

(Luke 16:22 NIV)  "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.

Not only does the sacrifice take away all punishment when we die, there is also no need to sacrifice to God for our sin when we are on earth.

(Heb 10:14 NIV)  because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

That is why Protestants do not practice penance. Because Jesus’ one sacrifice takes care of our sin and we are perfected forever in God’s sight. We attain the righteousness of Jesus that is imputed on us when we believe.

Of all the things that are provided to us, the greatest is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. All other sacrifice, God could say the word and it appears. But when He gave of Jesus, He gave of His only Son. How are we living our life in gratitude of what God has sacrificed for us?

God provides a way out of our difficulties

Abraham was in a dilemma. On one hand, he wanted to obey the Lord. On the other hand, he did not wish to kill his son. God provided a way for Abraham to come out of the dilemma. God provided a solution.

Another area of difficulty for us is temptation. Sometimes the temptation is so strong that we have difficulty fighting it. God will provide a way out of that situation as well. This is what He promised.

(1 Cor 10:13 NIV)  No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

God provides the same thing He calls us to give

{8} Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."

Whatever God calls you to do, He will provide you the resources to do it. Abraham was called to offer a sacrifice. It was God who provided him what he needed to make that sacrifice. Time and again, Old Testament prophets learned that when God called them to do something, God also promised to give them the resources. One such person was Moses. When God called him to demand Pharaoh to set the Jews free, he told God to send someone else because he could not speak well. To this excuse, God promised to provide what he needed – the words that he needed to speak to Pharaoh.

(Exo 4:10-12 NIV)  Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." {11} The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? {12} Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

When even this is not enough for Moses, God provided further resources to make him even more secure. God provided him a spokesman, his brother Aaron.

(Exo 4:14-15 NIV)  Then the Lord's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. {15} You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.

God will provide if we have faith

{7} Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" {8} Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.

Abraham was prepared to carry out the sacrifice of his son Isaac. But deep down he believed that he would not have to do so. Because God would provide an animal for him to sacrifice on the altar.

If we want God to provide for us, we must have faith. James says that we should not expect God to grant us anything if we don’t have faith.

(James 1:6-7 NIV)  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. {7} That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;

God will provide if we obey Him

Abraham obeyed the Lord’s command to sacrifice his son immediately. He did not delay.

{3} Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

We must first obey God before He will provide. Abraham obeyed God’s command and in return God provided for him.

(Deu 11:13-15 NIV)  So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today--to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul-- {14} then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. {15} I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

Do you need God to provide for you in some way today? If so, search your heart to see whether you have fully obeyed God.

Remembering God’s provision

{14} So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide (Jehovah Jireh). And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

Abraham did not forget that God had provided for him. I am glad he named the place Jehovah Jireh, a reminder for future generations to call upon that name of God when we need to be reminded that God is our Provider.

God expects us to proclaim His praise when He provides for us.

(Isa 43:20-21 NIV)  The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, {21} the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

(Jer 33:9 NIV)  Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.'

Have you been praising God and proclaiming His goodness after He has provided for you?