I’m excited to have Lori back for this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday to talk about Jehovah Jireh.
The God Who Sees and Provides
“So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided’.” (Genesis 22:14)
In recent years, most of us have heard this title of God’s used in referring to His great provision for some earthly need: Jehovah Jireh—the God who Provides a job, or rent money, or something the local church body needed for ministry. Several Bible dictionaries, however, add a subtle layer to “the God who provides” by making the definition “the God who sees and provides” (Easton’s), or “Jehovah will see to it” (Strong’s). In context, it means that God sees our needs and then acts on them. It’s more than just an intellectual “Oh, look, Lori has a need today.” The definition becomes, “I know Lori very well—she has a deep need for something, and I’m going to take steps to fulfill that need.”
In fact, I have frequently worshipped God in this way in recent months as we have been transitioning into military retirement. This season of our lives has given ample opportunity to witness God as Jehovah Jireh, as we have watched Him provide for us over and over and over again–frequently at the last possible minute, in exactly the way it needed to happen, and most often not in any way we would have anticipated. His abundant provision has provided rich fodder for me to praise Him as the God who has seen our needs, and not merely seen them, but provided for them, as well.
God’s Physical Provision
We love clinging to God’s promises to provide for us. After all, Jesus assured us that the lilies of the field and the sparrows of the trees are cared for by God, and we are worth so much more than flowers and birds. Many of us have wonderful stories of how God has taken care of us in the nick of time, or we simply rejoice as we recognize how our basic day-to-day needs are ultimately provided through the loving hand of our caring Father.
And that is certainly one very important aspect to the meaning of The God Who Sees and Provides. To realize that He knows us that intimately is an amazing comfort in times when we can’t see much of what lies ahead, but the little we can see looks a little dark and frightening. It lends a sort of physical substance to our unseen God, to make Him tangible and visceral, when we see the ways He literally touches and provides for our lives. And when we focus on all the wonderful ways He cares for us, it gives us great reason to praise Him!
But I think when we focus on the physical side of God’s provision alone, we miss a rich opportunity to worship Him as Jehovah Jireh.
The God Who Sees
God’s title of “Jehovah Jireh” first appears in Genesis 22, where Abraham is told by God to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, his only child with his wife, and the child in whom God had bestowed His promises to Abraham. After a century of waiting for this child to appear, God was now asking Abraham to make an offering of him. All along the way to the sacrificial site, Abraham maintains his faith, even up to the moment he binds his son to the altar and raises the knife to slay him. At the last possible moment, an angel calls to him, halting the killing blow. To Abraham’s astonished eyes, a ram appears in the thicket, caught by the horns. The ram is sacrificed in place of Isaac, and God richly blesses Abraham’s faith and obedience.
Did you catch that?? The ram was provided by God and sacrificed in Isaac’s place. A sacrifice was commanded, and Abraham moved forward to obey God, despite the enormous cost. God saw Abraham’s obedient faith and provided a substitute for what He initially demanded; instead of Isaac, the ram was offered. (For more on The God Who Sees, check out Katie’s recent post on El Ro’i.)
God’s Spiritual Provision
The Bible is clear that we, as human beings, are fallen and deserve death. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) and “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a). Like Isaac, we should be slain on an altar for our sins. Yet our fallen nature would not allow even that ultimate sacrifice to be enough, as our Fall from Grace ensured that no work on our part—to include our own sacrificial death—could atone for our sins. We had a desperate need for Divine Provision.
God saw our essential need for Life and provided it in the person of Jesus. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus taking our place on the altar provided for our ultimate need for salvation, just as the ram took Isaac’s place on Abraham’s altar.
Jehovah Jireh and You
Knowing that God desires to use everything in our lives to point us to Him, I wonder if one of the reasons He reveals Himself by providing our day-to-day needs is that He wants to ultimately point us to our need for salvation? What if these tangible reminders of His love and care in the physical world serve to build our faith that He will also take care of us in the spiritual realm, if we will trust Him and place our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice? When we acknowledge how much we are dependent on Him for our physical needs, we are also humbled to discover that we must also completely depend on Him for our spiritual needs. In that way, we can fully praise Him as Jehovah Jireh.Discover how Jehovah Jireh, the God who sees and provides for all your needs will change your life as Lori Hambrick unfolds this name for God. @LoriCHambrick #namesofGod #JehovahJireh #wordnerdwednesday Click To Tweet
Lori Hambrick has been married to her wonderful husband for 27 years, and they have three daughters. After 20 years of Army adventures, they are in the midst of transitioning into life as retirees and civilians in Colorado Springs, having thoroughly enjoyed their final duty station in Germany. Lori enjoys writing, cooking, singing, and coffee in all its various forms. She is developing a blog in fits and starts at www.piecesofthejourney.weebly.com, or you can find her on Facebook under Lori Charlotte Hambrick.