Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord Will Provide4 min read
As God went to test Abraham, he called; and Abraham in obedience said, “Here am I.” God commanded (knowing Abraham would obey) that Isaac, his only son, be taken to a mountain and sacrificed. Though grieved, Abraham and Isaac went to Mt. Moriah. Isaac asked, “Where is the lamb?” His father replied, “God will provide…,” and in faith they continued on. Finally, they came to the altar, and Isaac was bound to it. Abraham, willing to fulfill God’s command, regardless of what it was, lifted the knife to slay Isaac, when an Angel forbade him to do so. There was a ram to take Isaac’s place. After the sacrifice of the ram, with Isaac still safe, Abraham named the place “Jehovah-jireh” or “The Lord will provide.” Abraham returned home with that firmly established in his mind – the Lord provided.
This meant a great deal to Abraham. Think about it – Isaac was his only son of Sarah, and he was commanded to sacrifice him to God. Yet he obeyed, and God fulfilled Abraham’s statement, “The Lord will provide.” It was almost an answered prayer for him; and because of his faith, he could look back and say “The Lord has provided.” These were precious memories for him.
But it goes even deeper than what it meant to Abraham. Christ’s willingness to die for sin, regardless of the pain, is seen in Abraham’s obedience. Christ’s preciousness to the Father is seen in the fact that Isaac was Abraham’s only and well-beloved son. And, finally, Christ’s substitution for us is seen in the ram’s taking Isaac’s place. All of this also happened on Mt. Moriah, Jerusalem, outside of which Christ was crucified. Calvary is our Jehovah-jireh.
Considering how much this meant to Abraham, should the Lord’s provision not especially mean much to us? After all, for us it makes an eternity of difference. When we are reminded of Christ, is it too much to simply bow for a second in prayer and say “Thank-you!”? Really, how much does it mean to us?
It should mean everything to us, because it cost God everything. He gave His own Son to be scourged, beaten, mocked, crucified, and to bear the sins of all. This was for us, when it should have been our cross, our punishment, and our shame. This meant far more to God than merely a sacrifice as with Isaac, and it’s clearly proven by the agony of Christ in the garden – He dreaded the thought of His death. In fact, he was at the point of death merely because of the agony of anticipation; and yet He endured the cross willingly. As none can describe the cross in its true beauty, so none should be able to describe our joy.
Since we have seen God’s provision at the cross, do we trust Him to provide now? If God was willing to provide Himself a Lamb for a lost a guilty sinner’s salvation, how could one even doubt that He will provide for needs smaller than our eternal well-being? It is inconsistent to rest in salvation yet have trouble accepting the daily promises of provision. Let us trust Him in all things.
But perhaps we are legitimately not seeing provision or answer to prayer, because we haven’t lived obediently. Abraham had his experience in Genesis 22 because he obeyed to an extent worse than his own death – the death of his son. If he hadn’t been obedient, Jehovah-jireh the altar would have never existed. In the same way, if we don’t preach the gospel, we don’t see souls saved. If we don’t pray biblically (fervently, frequently, freely, etc.), we will not see answered prayer. If we don’t feed on the word, we won’t grow – obviously. Are we obedient? If so, when trouble comes, we can say confidently “Jehovah-jireh.” When we feel grief, “Jehovah-jireh.” When we need preservation, “Jehovah-jireh.” And when we are fighting a spiritual battle, “Jehovah-jireh.”
And when we see His provision, just as Abraham, we would do well to make a lasting memorial of it. The Lord deserves the glory for His own doing; and when we make it a point to remember Him, He receives it. Then others will also be reminded of His grace. Too often we remember disappointments and yet forget His amazing provisions. This is not God’s intention. And so, when we need provision, let’s be confident; when the Lord provides, let’s remember. These are precious memories – they are from the Lord.