…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 22:1-14)
Do you ever play newly discovered songs on repeat? It’s been a quirky habit of mine since childhood. The song “Jireh” popped up on my music streaming channel recently, and it caught my attention partly because of the beautiful voices and rhythm, but also because “Jireh” was an unknown word to me at the time. Even on repeat, I have not grown tired of the song. I had intentions to research “Jireh,” but it found its way to me when I came across a book about the names of God. I thumbed through it and saw “Jehovah Jireh.” I settled back in my chair for what I thought would simply fill my head with a bit of new knowledge, but it became the catalyst for reflection that has penetrated my heart ever since.
“Jehovah Jireh” is found in Genesis 22 and means, “the Lord will provide.” Abraham experienced the Lord’s provision when he was given a command from God to go and offer his son as a sacrifice. He obeyed and just before he was about to sacrifice his son, God provided a ram instead. You may have read this story a number of times, but there is always something fresh the Holy Spirit has for us in familiar Bible passages. What struck me this time around was the lack of details we are given about Abraham or Issac’s thoughts, emotions, conversations, or prayers. The passage is stripped down to what we are supposed to see.
First, take a moment to praise God that there is no need for us to offer sacrifices anymore. This passage points us to God’s ultimate provision of the perfect, sufficient, and final sacrifice, Jesus, for our sins so that we could be in a relationship with a perfectly holy God. Well, God doesn’t command us to do things like that anymore, so does he provide for us today as he did for Abraham? Let’s clarify the question.
Will God provide what we want? Sometimes.
Will God provide what we need? Always.
It’s hard to fully trust someone if you don’t know them well or know their character. When we sit back and remember who we are dealing with and who is dealing with us, we are reminded about who God really is. An omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign God, creator of heaven and earth, who sees everything, knows everything, and rules over everything with his perfect will and plan. He does not take his hand off the wheel and forget about one of his children, even for a moment. It got me thinking. Why do I fully trust the Lord to provide what is best in really, really dire circumstances, but am more prone to mistakenly rely on myself for “minor” day-to-day needs? I know how big God is and therefore know my place in situations too big for me. But where do we ever read about God’s paused love or ruling? We don’t! He is also on the throne, always ruling, never sleeping. This means that we are to seek, trust, and depend on him for everything, even in the miniscule or mundane chain of events on any given day. God is working all things according to his purpose, not just “big deal” things. We were never designed to be the Lord of our own lives.
What does it look like to live each day trusting that the Lord will provide exactly what we need?
- As Abraham did, we say, “Here I am, Lord.” (v. 1)
- As Abraham did, we listen to God’s commands, which are revealed to us through his word and Holy Spirit. (v. 2)
- As Abraham did, we move forward and go through each day with faith that God will do what is best, despite what our “tiny kingdom of self” may want or think we need. (v. 3)
- As Abraham did, we proclaim to others that God will provide what is needed. (v. 8)
- As Abraham did, we follow through with the Lord’s commands. (v. 9)
- As Abraham did, we focus our attention vertically to God first, not horizontally to the world. (v. 13)
- As Abraham did, we become attentive to God’s provision and blessing, and we accept it. (v. 13)
- As Abraham did, we give God the glory. (v. 14)
God is in the business of providing both big and small, and we can let our requests be known to God. Nothing can compare to the ultimate provision of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for our salvation. And yet, he also provides for each of our individual, seemingly smaller needs with perfect, trustworthy, and unfailing love. Day by day he is providing, sometimes the very opposite of what we want, intentionally drawing us closer to him.
I hope I’m not the only one who is convicted by Abraham’s faith and response to God. What might God be exposing about our trust in him, his perfect provision, and our day-to-day obedience? May our hearts be open to the work he is doing within each of us.
As stated in Genesis 22, 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 will be provided.” It couldn’t be more true. On a mount, through the cross, it truly was provided for us. Lord, help us to trust in you and your provision of all things because you are Jehovah-Jireh.