The Lord Will Provide
There usually seems to be a lot going on; exams, new jobs, new marriages, new babies, new homes, people who aren’t well in our circle of family and friends, new political environment, new heartbreak, new pain, new celebrations. When we sit and contemplate, we can say that in all this God has provided and will provide for all His people, including in hard times and provides for all situations.
Jehovah-Jireh is the name that Abraham gave God when God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac and God provided a ram instead. The name means ‘The Lord will provide’.
“But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 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 22:11-14).
This name is made up of two words. Jehovah or Yahweh which means ‘I am’ and the second is Jireh meaning ‘to see’. When you put them together it means ‘to provide’ based on what God sees that we need. There are different types of provision that God provides for us; that is our daily needs, our spiritual needs, our salvation and all those needs in our trials.
Let’s go back to the story. Many years before the sacrifice, God made a promise to Abraham that he will have descendants as numerous as the stars through his son from his own flesh.
“Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be” (Genesis 15:5).
Fast forward to Genesis 22, and now God was asking Abraham to sacrifice this same son, whom he waited for with his beloved wife Sarah for so many years. The son of the promise.
We can see that God provided Abraham with the sacrifice when Abraham was willing to let go of whom he loves and this was a big test for him.
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 I will show you”(Genesis 22:2).
In this beautiful story of Abraham trusting God’s provision it’s interesting to ask two questions, do we really trust that God will provide for us in all circumstances? And how did Abraham respond before God provided a substitute for his sacrifice?
In Genesis 22 it says that Abraham got up “early the next morning”. How many of us delay when we know we’re supposed to do something, let alone something difficult that God has asked us to do? An example could be to continue to serve God and being kind to others when we’re struggling, instead of looking inwardly.
It says “On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.” So he had three days to think over what God was asking him to do, three days to turn back and say this is not for me, send someone else.
The Bible also mentions that Abraham, worshipped, went to the place, carried the equipment so there was a lot of obedience in his actions (he could’ve easily forgotten the wood needed for the fire). On display was full obedience without delay. We can clearly see that Abraham trusted God and this showed through his actions. He also held onto God’s promise even when it didn’t make sense, that one day his descendants will be as numerous as the stars from his beloved son.
So in a trial, or in life in general, it’s important to be obedient, believe that God will provide and to hold onto His promises.
Where do you go when you have a trial? Who do you thank when you want to celebrate? This reveals to us where our heart is.
But you’re saying I don’t have enough faith that God will provide in all circumstances. In this case we must respond with prayer and to use the examples laid out before us:
“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5)
“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19).
We might not know how God will provide in each situation, but we know He will and He has. He protects us and loves us and we thank Him for His provision. We also thank Him for loving us so much and sacrificing His only son for us, Jesus, and wanting to reconcile all of humanity with Himself.