Sometimes we wonder how God will provide.
Twenty-five years ago, as a college student I picked up Kay Arthur’s study LORD, I Want to Know You. In it, she teaches the reader many of the biblical names of God.
The book of Proverbs says, The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and find safety (Pr. 18:10).
Over and over, the psalmist writes of boasting in the name of the Lord. You have exalted above all things Your name and Your Word (Ps. 138:2).
God’s names reveal His character. They show us reasons to trust Him, expectations of the covenant relationship. They remind us of who He is.
In the familiar text of Genesis 22, God reveals His name as Jehovah-Jireh. God tests His servant Abraham, asking him to take his promised son Isaac to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him on a mountain. Through great struggle, the father of faith obeys.
The Lord Intervenes
Terry Akrill said, “Sometimes God likes to do things ten seconds before midnight.”
Well, in like fashion, as Abraham prepares to kill his son, God immediately intervenes. A ram appears in the bush. The Lord tells his servant to untie it, providing the means for the moment.
Abraham and Isaac sacrifice the animal and worship the Lord. They call that place Jehovah-Jireh, which is often translated “The Lord will provide.”
A deeper look into the words’ meanings reveal more of God’s faithful nature. The word Jireh derives from a word that means “to see.” Note the similarities between the words provide, provision, and providence.
God has provision. Or pro-vision. He sees. He sees beforehand. He sees ahead. He knows what is coming. And in seeing, He provides for the need. Nothing surprises Him.
What a wonderful word – the word “Providence.” It speaks of the activity of the Lord in the affairs of humanity. He sees. He knows. He has pro-vision. And He provides.
Steve Farrar writes, “No matter where you are in life, no matter how dark your present circumstances, you can stand on the providence of God.”
Farrar, in his book Tempered Steel: How God Shapes a Man’s Heart through Adversity, refers to an author from the 1800’s named Thomas Watson, who wrote, “God is to be trusted when his providences seem to run contrary to His promises. . . . Trust God when providences seem to run quite contrary to promises.”
Today, we can offer up what we hold best in complete surrender, trusting the Lord. He is the same One who saw Abraham and Isaac that day.
The name Jehovah-Jireh reminds us that God sees, He knows, and He is faithful.
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided (Genesis 22:14).