Summary: Jehovah Jireh, or "God Our Provider, " is one of the more well known names of God. But what does He provide? Why? How can we be sure He will provide for us?
One day a man walked out of his house on his way to work and saw that it had started to rain. He didn’t think much of it at the time, but began to worry when he saw that it was still raining cats and dogs later that same night. He lived near a river, so he started to fear a possible flood. Sure enough, the next morning the news reports were recommending the evacuation of his entire neighborhood -- a flood was coming.
This man knew that God would save him, though, so he didn’t leave his house. The flood waters rose and began to enter his house, so the man moved up to the second floor. The man was sitting near his bedroom window when a family in a small fishing boat came up to his house. “Would you like a ride, sir? We have plenty of room!”
“No,” the man said. “God will save me.” The family paddled on, and left him at his house.
A short time later the waters rose to the second floor, so the man went up to his roof and sat down, leaning against his chimney. He wasn’t there long when a police boat went by. An officer shouted, “SIR! COME WITH US! WE’RE HEADING TO A SHELTER!”
“NO THANKS!” the man replied. “GOD WILL SAVE ME!” So the police boat left.
It wasn’t long before the man’s house was completely underwater. He was floating in the water, holding on to the chimney for dear life, when he heard helicopter blades. The pilot got on a loudspeaker and said, “SIR, BE STILL! WE’RE COMING FOR YOU!” But the man simply waved his arms, telling the helicopter to go away.
Finally, the man lost his grip, and drowned. When he got to heaven, the man asked God, “Why didn’t you save me? Couldn’t you see that I needed help?”
God replied, “I sent you a warning, two boats, and a helicopter! What more did you want?”
This is an old story, but it brings up several important points about the character of God. Specifically, it reminds me of one of His names. You remember last week we began our series on the names of God, starting with the name God uses to introduce Himself to Moses at the burning bush -- Jehovah, which means “I AM THAT I AM”, or simply “I AM”. However, this wouldn’t be much of a series if we only discussed one name -- God has many names! Tonight, we look at one of the more well-known names of God: Jehovah Jireh, which means “God Our Provider”.
Turn with me to Genesis chapter 22, starting with verse 6. At this point, Abraham had just been commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac on mount Moriah:
6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
9When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” 15The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16and said, “I swear by Myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,because you have obeyed Me.”