Jehovah Jireh, another older post. I hope to post a new one soon.
Jehovah Jireh, or Yahweh Jireh , or YHWH Jireh ( see YHWH in Adonai, Master and Yahweh, LORD. ), is again, a name that many christians are familiar with. It’s been made into catchy songs and always , almost always , used by TV evangelicals ( or pastors, preachers and others not on TV) to raise funds for the program or the church. While I’ve been fascinated by His names for several years, this name until recently, was something I din’t care too much for. It was something that I had become familiar with, and so I din’t chew much on this. Recently though, I heard a bible study , that made me listen, to remember, to know , really know, that He is our Provider. That He gives me everything I need, when I need it, He knows what I need.
Again, talking about “the law of first mentions” in the bible, we see this name first in Genesis 22. Appropriately enough, it starts with the words “Abraham tested” Genesis 22: 1-19 Abraham tested
22 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, whom you love – Isaac – and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will show you.’ 3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded 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[a] 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. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.’ 15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.’ 19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
When you read the passage, a few things come to mind immediately.
- God tested Abraham.
- He called him by name, “Abraham”
- Abraham responded, willingly, “Here I am”
- God tells Abraham to take “his son, his only son, whom he loved ( overkill anybody?) and sacrifice him on a mountain that He would show him” (Isaac at this time isn’t Abraham’s only son, Ishmael was alive as well, and likely Abraham loved both of them, even if he had sent Hagar and Ishmael away, but Isaac is the only son of promise)
- Abraham obeyed immediately, he left early the next morning, with a couple of servants and Isaac ( many commentators believe he didn’t tell Sarah).
- Abraham cuts enough wood for the offering before he leaves for the place that God told him about.
- It takes them 3 days to reach an area, where Abraham looks up and sees the mountain in the distance.
- He tells the servants to wait, and with faith declares, that both he and the boy will worship and both will come back.
- He lays the wood on Isaac ( so he’s most likely a teenager-young adult at this time, it’s unlikely he’s a young boy), and Abraham carries the fire and the knife.
- Isaac asks about the lamb for the offering, to which, Abraham, in faith replies, God will provide.
- When they reach the place, Abraham arranges the wood, and binds Isaac up ( note he’s a teenager-young adult , apparently physically strong while Abraham is an old man, he was already 100 years when Isaac was born, but still Isaac doesn’t resist his father) .
- Abraham reaches out for his knife!
- The angel of the Lord calls out, again personally, “Abraham, Abraham”.
- Abraham responds with “Here I am “again.
- God tells him not to harm the boy, and also reiterates with, “He knows Abraham really loves Him, because he didn’t hold back his son”
- Then Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns, and he takes that one and sacrifices it instead. (God doesn’t open his eyes to it before, only when he was ready to sacrifice Isaac)
- Then Abraham called that place The Lord will provide .
- It’s interesting to note, that next it says, “On the mountain of the Lord, it will be provided “, some commentators believe that this looks forward, to when Jesus was crucified on Golgotha, He provided the atonement needed for our sins, so that we could have access to the Father.
- The angel of the Lord called out a second time, and reminded Abraham of the promise He had made to him , several years earlier, because Abraham had obeyed God.
- Abraham returned to his servants as he had promised.
Because of this incident, Abraham , several times in the new testament, is referred to as “the father of faith ” and this is credited to him as “righteousness” , that Abraham believed that God would either save Isaac or raise him again, either way Abraham knew God would keep His promises, to make his descendants as numerous as the sand or the stars in the sky.
Romans 4:3 What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness
Romans 4:9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.
Romans 4:13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
Romans 4:16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
Galatians 3:6 So also Abraham ‘believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’
Galatians 3:7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.
Galatians 3:8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’
Galatians 3:9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God’s friend.
So what I want to ask you is, what or who is your Isaac? Is it your spouse? Your child/ren? Your job? Your reputation? Your home maybe? Your ministry in the church? What was it that you fought hard for? that you worked hard for? that you prayed fervently for?
If you did and received it from the Lord, and you rejoiced and laughed and were filled with joy, then God tested you. He asked you to sacrifice it, to give it away, to walk from it. Would you be able to do it? Give your life for Him. Be parted from your children in order to take His word to others. Not marry because your spouse is not part of His will. Be slandered because you did what He told you to, but the world didn’t like it. Walk away from a legacy that you built, because He wanted you to.
I must confess thinking about my Isaacs ( my husband, my children, our reputation, our finances) , I’m very hesitant to even think of giving them up, knowing all the while, that God can raise it back again or give it back to me. But hearing that study convicted me to hold them loosely, to be willing to say ” Here I am” and be willing to follow through immediately. While I’m still holding those things and people dear to me, I’m praying , that I will be made malleable, that God will soften my heart, will give me peace to entrust to Him, what is His to begin with. I’m praying, and very slowly. I’m learning to give it all to Him. Will you join me? Give back to Him, what He’s asking you for. Because He is Jehovah Jireh. The Lord our Provider. He can and does and will provide for me and for you. What we need. When we need. But it may look different from what we want though.