Summary: God as our Provider.
JEHOVAH-JIREH: The Lord Will Provide
The title of my message this morning “JEHOVAH-JIREH: The Lord Will Provide”. This will be the first of several messages focusing on the names of God. There are twenty-one different names that are associated with God and His attributes but I will focus on just a few in the coming weeks. This morning, in follow-up to my message last week on Psalm 23, I want to focus on God being our provider.
When I was a child still in school, my parents at the beginning of each school year would take all of us to the store to purchase our school supplies. This was a favorite time as this was one of the few times when we were able to get all new supplies. We would go from row to row in the store picking up different supplies based on what grade we were in and the supplies needed. We chose pencils, paper, folders, notebooks etc. With every choice that we made as a child, we did not consider if our parents could afford it – that was our parents’ job. Our job was to pick out the things we needed and not worry about how our parents would pay for them. You see, our parents were the “providers” for us and it was their responsibility to “provide” for our needs. They did this in this situation but also on a daily basis regardless of what need we had at any given time. Because we were their children they saw this as their responsibility because they were the ones who “chose” to bring us into this world. Well, as a Christian it is the same with God’s relationship to us. He “chose” us as His own and has taken on all of the responsibility of providing for us. This job role is expressed in the name JEHOVAH-JIREH.
Of the twenty-one names that were assigned to God based upon His attributes, ten of those names also included the name “JEHOVAH.” I want to briefly review this name just so you understand the root meaning of some of the other names I will cover in this series. The name JEHOVAH means “I AM – the One Who is the self-existent One.” It speaks to the fact that God has always been and always will be. He does not change and His promises never fail. Even when we are faithless, God is still faithful. This name was given based on Moses’ interactions with God where God explained to Him just Who He was. When God first called Moses to go deliver the Children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses was fearful and asked God how he should answer the people when they ask him what was the name of his God. God responded by saying “……I AM Who I AM….Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14) The key to understanding all of God’s names is to start with the knowledge that God is the “I AM”. Why is it important that we remember this? When I go somewhere and someone asks me who I am I tell them “I am Rodney Johnson.” This tells them nothing about me personally but just let them know how they should refer to me. This is not the case with God! God said that He was “I AM” – PERIOD! He is THE “I AM!” He exists within Himself and always has been. He was not created or formed; He has always been. My small mind does not understand every aspect of this, but I accept it because it is truth. So as we move through the names of God, think about “I AM” wherever you hear one of God’s names beginning with JEHOVAH. So let’s begin with JEHOVAH-JIREH.
As you think on the name JEHOVAH-JIREH, consider this phrase: I AM JIREH!” This name originates with Abraham. While Abraham did not assign this name to God, he named the place where he was to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice this name. From this situation, which we will read about shortly, comes one of the attributes of God that all of us rely on today – that God will provide. Turn with me to Genesis chapter twenty-two and we will begin reading at verse seven. In this chapter Abraham was tested by God. I do not understand the mind of God and why He chose to do what He did, but He chose to find out if Abraham valued Him above all. In the story, God told Abraham to take His son Isaac whom he loved to land of Moriah and offer him up as a burnt offering. Abraham did not question God or complain he just gathered Isaac up and headed out to the place God had told him. As they arrived at the place where he was to offer Isaac, Isaac noticed that Abraham had everything he needed for the burnt offering except the offering itself. Let’s begin reading at verse seven.