Our study today comes from Genesis 22:1-19. Please read this passage of Scripture and summarize briefly.
My dad was a man of deep faith. Though he went home to be with Jesus several years ago, I am thankful for the legacy he left—a legacy of deep and abiding faith. Our story today reveals the amazing faith of one of our great forefathers: Abraham. It’s certainly worth our time to gain a bit more about this story unfolding in the Book of Genesis.
Bearing children in those days was a sign of great blessings from God, and the desire of every Israelite wife. It was no different for Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Imagine how deep the pain in her heart and the rejection from her friends and family when she was unable to conceive a child. For years, Sarah was barren. What an honor—and a true miracle for them—when God finally blessed Abraham and Sarah with a son in their old age. Of course, God does not make mistakes, and the day of Isaac’s birth was marked on heaven’s calendar long before he ever arrived.
Think about that day for a second. I wonder if Abraham wore out the rug pacing back and forth—waiting and listening—for the cry of his son. As Isaac grew, I’m sure his dad was proud of the son Isaac was becoming. Without question, there was a deep bond between this father and son. Then one day, without warning, an unusual request was made of Abraham. A request that would test his faith and alter his life forever! God instructed Abraham to offer up his only son on the altar as a sacrifice. Abraham obeyed! He took his son to the place God had chosen.
Have you ever wondered what Abraham’s thoughts may have been as he and his son walked alone in silence? Was he questioning God’s voice? Was he quietly arguing with God? Perhaps he was wishing this request had never come. Yet, out of devotion and faithfulness to his Father, he prepared the altar the way God instructed. And Isaac, his only son, was offered up as the sacrifice.
There are many topics unraveling in this story, but our focus today is on one phrase, one name. According to Genesis 22:14, what name did Abraham give to the place where the altar was built?
One of the many names in Scripture attributed to God is Jehovah-Jireh which means, “The Lord Will Provide.” The Hebrew word for Jireh means, “to see.”¹ In light of this, we might say that as God sees our needs, He provides.
One summer day, my mom was talking to a friend in Florida. While it was hot across the country, the heat and humidity was oppressive in the south. My mom’s friend said, “Even the air conditioning is having trouble breathing.” You and I know that the heat of the desert can be so suffocating we can strain every muscle just to breathe. I picture Abraham struggling to catch his breath on the way up that mountain with his young son by his side.
Glory to God, we have been offered a name to cling to when the heat from the desert is stifling. Abraham was the first to acknowledge it when he said, “The LORD Will Provide” (Genesis 22:14). God saw with His eyes the place Abraham was, and He provided what he needed: an alternate sacrifice. He provides what you need, too, because His name is Jehovah-Jireh.
According to Genesis 22:2, where did Abraham’s sacrifice take place?
Now, look up 2 Chronicles 3:1. Where was Solomon instructed to build the temple?
Interesting that generations after Abraham named Mt. Moriah, “The Lord Will Provide,” Solomon is instructed to erect the temple on the very spot. I’m convinced that the building of the temple on Mt. Moriah was to help the people remember God’s authoritative name. Identifying this name would be important as they would learn to depend on the only One who could provide for all their needs.
According to the following verses, what are some of the things God provided for His children? Or has promised to provide for His children?
2 Samuel 7:10:
1 Corinthians 10:13:
1 Peter 4:11:
Whether it is resources like food and water, strength to overcome, a place to worship, a required offering, a way out, or purification from sin; we can always call on one specific name of God—Jehovah-Jireh. He has promised to provide. This is His name and we need to believe He is able to do what He says He will do.
The prophet Jonah encountered this name of God in his flight from the Lord. Read Jonah 1:1-17. According to Jonah 1:17, what did God provide for Jonah?
Though a great fish wasn’t the most comfortable provision, Jonah learned about God’s name, “The Lord will Provide.” Without God’s provision, Jonah would have surely drowned. Hence, there are times God provides just enough.
I remember the first time I encountered this amazing name, Jehovah-Jireh. It happened years ago at Bible College. I had completed the first semester of my second year of school, and as I approached registration for the remainder of the year, I did not have any money. I needed four hundred dollars to get in the door, but this seemed like a million dollars to someone who was broke. Reality hit on a Sunday afternoon and I cried out to God pleading with Him to intervene.
After church that evening, some friends and I went out for coffee. Still troubled, I casually mentioned my dilemma and asked my friends to pray. A young man sitting at the table said he had some money in the bank and he heard God tell him to give it to me as a gift. Incredibly, the exact amount in the bank was four hundred dollars. At that moment, I knew God as the One who provides. More times than I can count, I have encountered this name. Sometimes it takes a loving God to meet a specific need before we truly understand our Jehovah-Jireh.
Take a few moments to write down what your needs are right now. Then call upon Jehovah-Jireh to provide what you need. Praise God if it is only adequately supplied.
Write out Philippians 4:19.
How does this verse help you right now, where you are?
Today we gleaned important truths about this specific name of God. My prayer is that you and I will come to know more about the God who provides.