The Name of God – Jehovah-Jireh – June 19, 2022 – Pastor Marvin Engle
In our study of the Hebrew names of God in the Old Testament, it is important to remember that the English version is a translation of the Hebrew and the translation does not always reveal the actual name used. For example, last week we saw in Genesis 21:33 that Abraham called on the name of the “Everlasting God,” which was a translation of the Hebrew name, El Olam. In Genesis 17:1 we read that the “Almighty God” appeared to Abraham; this was the translation of the Hebrew name, El Shaddai.
Those two names were compound words that described God by the name of El or its plural, Elohim. El and Elohim are always found translated, “God” in our English versions. You may recall that the name El spoke of God as the strong and faithful God. Elohim spoke of God as the Creator of the Universe and the Creator of man. Elohim is the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who created man in His own image; He is all-powerful and He always keeps His promises. This is the primary name of God used in Genesis 1 to speak of creation.
There is another great name of God that we have studied on Sunday mornings, the name Jehovah, that is also used to form compound names of God. Sometimes these names are found in our versions by the actual compound name, such as Jehovah-Jireh, sometimes we will see them translated. Remember, Jehovah alone is always is translated, capital LORD or capital GOD, in our English Bibles.
Jehovah or Yahveh was the sacred name the devout Jews would not seek to pronounce but substituted Adonai. Jehovah revealed Himself as the Living God, the great “I AM,” the Holy One of Israel, the Personal God who loves man and created man for fellowship, the One who made provision for the forgiveness of the sinner through the sacrifice of His Son.
Today, we are looking at the first of the Jehovah compounds as we learn the meaning of the name, Jehovah-Jireh, and see where it first appears in the sacred Scriptures. The Jehovah titles reveal many great additional truths about our God. Each of these titles was revealed at a specific time to stress a different aspect of His personal relationship to those redeemed men, who have trusted Him by faith and are His children as believers.
Friend, those of us who believe the Bible to be the Word of God, the inspired revelation of God to men, have found in this Book a treasure chest of knowledge concerning our great God. Our knowledge of God is dependent upon our willingness to accept the Bible as God’s revelation of Himself to man.
In order to know the God of the Bible personally one must receive the Lord Jesus Christ as his own personal Savior and Lord – John 1:12 – 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 17:3 – 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Acts 4:12 – 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Romans 10:9 – 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
One must have the Holy Spirit of God living in him or her to be the Teacher and one must study the revelation of God Himself as found in the Bible and believe it.
THE HISTORICAL SETTING OF JEHOVAH-JIREH: Genesis 22
We have already learned that Abraham has come to know God by a number of different names. God appeared to him as Jehovah when his name was Abram, and he dwelt in the land of Mesopotamia and called him to move to the Promised Land. God revealed himself to Abram as El Elyon, the Most High God, the Sovereign ruler of Heaven and Earth, when he met Melchisedek. Then Abram met him as Adonai, the Lord and Master of his life, whom he was to serve all his life. He met God as El Shaddai, the Almighty God, when God revealed Sarah would have his promised son; then last week he learned He was El Olam, the Everlasting God.
Today we are looking at the time when Abraham faced the greatest test of his faith and the greatest crisis of his life. Ishmael has been sent away with Hagar, and Isaac has brought joy and laughter to his home and is growing into an adult, a young man who has become his only beloved son in his eyes. He is soon expected to marry and to experience God multiplying his seed into a great nation. Suddenly, God appears to Abraham with a severe test of faith.
Genesis 22:1-2 NKJV – Now it came to pass after these things that God TESTED Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, YOUR ONLY SON ISAAC, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and OFFER HIM there AS A BURNT OFFERING on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Do you realize what God was asking him to do? He was to take his only beloved son and offer him as a burnt offering, meaning to sacrifice his life on an altar in the land of Moriah as a sacrifice to God. Just so you know, those who worshipped idols in his time, inspired by demons, offered their children “to the gods” and sacrificed their lives on heathen altars.
Did Abraham love his God, Elohim, the only True God, enough to give his beloved son as a sacrifice to the One True God? Would Abraham obey this command of Elohim to do the unspeakable? Did God not know that Isaac was the son of promise, the one chosen to carry on his seed, the one in whom all the promises of God were to be fulfilled? After all, Isaac was his miracle son, born to him and Sarah in their old age. Isaac was not yet married, and Isaac had no “seed,” no child, to fulfill God’s promises. Why would God ask such a thing?
Please notice with me! Abraham did not ask a question; he did not argue with God; he rose up early the next morning to promptly obey God’s command! Genesis 22:3 NKJV – 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Don’t you wish your children would obey like this, Dad? Do you teach them to obey? Have you trained them to trust your commands and obey whatever you command? If a child is not trained and expected to obey the commands of his or her parents, that child will have problems with all authority in their lives – the school, the employer, the government and that child will have great difficulty in obeying God and His Word. A child is born with a sinful and rebellious nature, and if that child is never disciplined or trained to obey authority as God has commanded, that child will often become a rebel and bring his parents to shame. Ephesians 6:1-3 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
Abraham gives us a great demonstration of the kind of obedience that God the Father expects out of each of His children. How much do you love God? How willing are you to obey God when He speaks to you in His Word or from His Word? Are you an obedient child of God? God used Abraham’s test to prove that a mortal man could love God and put Him first, even when his dearest love was the other choice.
Nothing else could have tested Abraham’s love for God and his faith in God like this command to sacrifice the object of his dearest love as a sacrifice to God. F. B. Meyer wrote, “the only true test of love is how much we are prepared to do for the one we profess to love.” The law of the Christian life is that God permits trials and tests the faith of believers, so we will come out of those tests and trials stronger in faith. Someone said, “Trials are God’s vote of confidence in us.”
On the way to the place of sacrifice, Isaac asks his father a question – Genesis 22:7-8 – 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father! ”And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but WHERE IS THE LAMB for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, GOD WILL PROVIDE for Himself THE LAMB for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.
Admire the faith of Abraham as he binds Isaac to the altar – Genesis 22:9-10 – 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and TOOK THE KNIFE TO SLAY HIS SON. Friend, Isaac was a grown young man; he could have overpowered his father and refused to lay on the altar.
There is great insight on this event in Hebrews 11:17-19 NIV – 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, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[a] 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. Abraham’s faith in God was so great that even though no one had ever risen from the dead before, Abraham believed God could and would do it with Isaac to fulfill His promises. What faith!!!
Now we are introduced to the name Jehovah-Jireh for the first time – Genesis 22:13-14 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place JEHOVAH JIREH: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. Listen to the NKJV and NIV – 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, THE-LORD-WILL-PROVIDE; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Abraham received a new revelation of Jehovah, his God, that special day of his life. He discovered that Jehovah would and did provide a substitute lamb to die in Isaac’s place.
Friend, this entire drama was a word-picture, a photograph of a scene that would take place about 1900 years later when God the Father would lead His Son, Jesus Christ, to the Cross of Calvary, where He would actually slay His beloved and only begotten Son, the Lamb of God, as a substitute sacrifice for your sins and mine – Isaiah 53:6.
THE MEANING OF JEHOVAH-JIREH:
The word, Jireh, means “to see to it; to provide, to provide beforehand.” A form of this word in the Old Testament was used for a prophet or a seer who was able to foresee events before they occurred. If you looked into Webster’s dictionary, as I did yesterday, you would see that the words provide and provision has the meaning of: the process of providing what is needed by seeing ahead and being prepared beforehand.” Because of our pre-vision we are able to make provision ahead of time for a coming need; so we provide for the need.
Jehovah-Jireh means that Jehovah is a God who is able to foresee man’s need before-hand and make provision for that need that He sees in our lives. Jehovah-Jireh is “The Lord, our Provider.”
The first time we see this name of God, we see a father who is willing to offer his beloved son as a burnt offering sacrifice to God. At the moment he is ready to take the knife and slay his son, God provided a substitute lamb to offer in Isaac’s place and save the life of his beloved son.
Centuries later, the Lord who promises to provide a substitute, sent John the Baptist to point to Jesus and announce to men that Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God who had come to this earth to die as our substitute and sacrifice, our Lamb, who would die in our place on the Cross of Calvary and take away our sins – John 1:29, 34 – 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Wait! There is more in Genesis 22:14 – 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh: as it is said to this day, IN THE MOUNT OF THE LORD IT SHALL BE SEEN. The NIV says – “ON THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD IT WILL BE PROVIDED.” Arthur Pink wrote: “THIS WRITER HAS LITTLE DOUBT THAT THE SAME MOUNTAIN UPON WHICH ISAAC WAS BOUND TO THE ALTAR WAS MOUNT CALVARY ITSELF. THIS IS THE MOUNT THAT IS CALLED ‘THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD.’”
On this sacred mountain spot, God the Father will offer His only beloved Son as a sacrifice to provide our substitute, our Lamb, and to die for our sins in our stead. Isaiah 53:4-6, 12 – 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (12) He hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Scholars believe this is when God taught Abraham the great sacrifice that He would make for our salvation by the giving of His Son; he foresaw Christ as we read in John 8:56 – 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
In Genesis 22:15-18 God again appeared to Abraham and made an oath to confirm and promise that He would surely do all He had promised before to Abraham. In essence He says, “I swear that when I bless you, it’s going to be a blessing far beyond anything you have ever thought or dreamed of. I will fulfill all my promises to you!”
WHAT SHOULD JEHOVAH-JIREH MEAN TO US?
Jehovah-Jireh is the Great Provider of the Lamb of God, our Savior and Substitute, who has made provision for our need of salvation and eternal life. Man cannot provide for his own death; there is only One Provider who can make provision for sinful man to live in Heaven forever. What man could not provide for himself, Jehovah-Jireh has provided for those who will admit they are sinners and come to Jesus Christ for salvation. The only way for any man to have Heaven provided for him is through faith in the Lamb of God whom God has provided to take away our sins and grant us His forgiveness.
Christian, He provides far more than your salvation. He foresees your needs and plans to supply those needs in your life. In fact, He knows your needs before you ask and wants you to trust Him to meet those needs. He foresees and makes provision for those needs ahead of time – Matthew 6:31-33 – 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS THAT YOU NEED ALL THESE THINGS. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:7-8 – 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for YOUR FATHER KNOWETH WHAT THINGS YOU HAVE NEED OF, before ye ask him.
It is part of God’s character to provide our needs. Are there times in the past when you earnestly prayed in faith about certain needs and saw God meet those needs? Can you look back on your life and see occasions when Jehovah-Jireh provided your needs in a special way, perhaps when you did not ask, or with far more than you dared to ask? He knows our needs, but He desires that we pray and ask Him – James 4:2b – ye have not, because ye ask not.
One last personal illustration: Frank and Juanema Hitchcock and their son, Dwight. They had to lay him on the altar, like Abraham did Isaac, and yield their rights to Him, asking God’s will and provision.