Summary: We have songs about Jehovah Jireh, but did you know the name is only in Scripture once? What does it mean and how should it impact our approach to life? Consider these thoughts from our Family Minister Scott Jewell.
We’ve been going through a series of your favorite verses. Our ministers that meet from lunch surveyed their churches and posted on Facebook to find out people’s favorite verses from which to preach. What surprised me was that these verses weren’t about making ourselves feel good, they were all about God and what He is doing in this world.
A few weeks ago, I asked Jeff when it would be helpful to him for me to preach again. He suggested I take today’s topic- God Provides. Little did we know at that time that Jeff would be preaching a funeral on Friday and a Quinceneara on Saturday. God provided, knowing Jeff’s need even before he did.
As I thought about the topic, my mind immediately went to the song Jehovah Jireh, so I asked our worship leaders to sing it this morning. I remember back when I was in St. Louis how a nearby church hosted an outreach they called Journey to Bethlehem. People could come and take a tour of various stations leading to the stable where Mary and Joseph were there with baby Jesus and conclude with worship. It was so popular, the church had to organize a program to occupy people waiting their turn for the tour. They had to have spies among the ushers because I got picked to go up front with a group of volunteers. They placed us among the families of Mary and Joseph as they celebrated and prepared for the journey to Bethlehem. They were dressed as Jews at the time of Jesus’ birth, placed us in a circle to spin around as we sang:
Jehovah Jireh, my provider, His grace is sufficient for me, for me, for me
Jehovah Jireh, my provider, His grace is sufficient for me
My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in Glory
He gives His angels charge over me Jehovah Jireh cares for me, for me, for me
Jehovah Jireh cares for me
Now, I always assumed that this song came directly from the Psalms, but when I went to find the source for the song, I found it was actually compiled of several other verses.
Jehovah Jireh, my provider- Genesis 22:14
His grace is sufficient for me- 2 Corinthians 12:9
My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in Glory- Philippians 4:19
He gives His angels charge over me- Psalm 91:11 (This verse is actually a prophecy about Jesus, Satan
even used it in his efforts to tempt Jesus- told Jesus He could jump from the temple and the angels would
protect Him, but Jesus didn’t fall for it.)
All of this got me excited about preaching the idea of God Provides. I was going to find all the passages that call God Jehovah Jireh and illustrate them with our favorite verses for today. So, I spent a good part of Monday seeking the many references to Jehovah Jireh. Tuesday morning, Jeff texted me for my main text today so he could add it to the bulletin. I initially told him good question and I was only partially being facetious, why? There is only one time in the Bible where the name Jehovah Jireh is used, this caught me by surprise.
The author of Hebrews summarizes the narrative (read Hebrews 11:17-19, then tell the story). God called Abraham to prove his love by sacrificing Isaac, his only son. Abraham didn’t understand it, but he obeyed. He approached the mountain with faith that God will provide. The group arrives at the mountain, then Abraham and Isaac continued alone.
As they climbed the mountain, Isaac asked about the sacrifice- we have the wood (it’s weighing me down), we have the fire, but what about the sacrifice? Abraham answered, God will provide. You know how sometimes you tell someone something and you keep repeating it because you’re trying to convince yourself as much as you are them? I believe this may have been one of those times for Abraham. They climb to the top of the mountain- God will provide. Abraham gathers the stones and builds an altar- God will provide. He arranges the firewood on top of the stones- God will provide. He binds Isaac’s hands behind his back so he can’t resist- God will provide. He places Isaac on top of the wood- God will provide. He raises the knife into the air to take his son’s life- and then God provided!
The angel of the Lord calls out to Abraham and he turns to find a ram caught in the thicket. He lets Isaac down and they sacrifice the ram. We see in Genesis 22:14 that Abraham calls the place The Lord Will Provide- Jehovah Jireh. Notice he didn’t call it the Lord did provide or the Lord provided, but the Lord Will Provide. Even then, Abraham was looking to the future. Years later, this is the mountain where Solomon built the first temple. More importantly, I believe that Abraham is pointing to the time when God will sacrifice His only Son.