Summary: God will meet your needs in the midst of the most difficult circumstances of life when you make Him a priority in your life.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones offers an insightful perspective on how we use God’s name:
What unworthy ideas and notions this world has of God! If you test your ideas of God by the teaching of the Scriptures you will see at a glance what I mean. We lack even a due sense of the greatness and the might and the majesty of God. Listen to men arguing about God, and notice how fluently they use the term. . . . It is indeed almost alarming to observe the way in which we all tend to use the name of God. We obviously do not realize that we are talking about the ever blessed, eternal, and absolute, almighty God. There is a sense in which we should take our shoes off our feet whenever we use the name (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 2 vols. [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979], 2:60–61).
Throughout the centuries no names have endured more abuse than those belonging to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Whether used in an epithet or curse, in casual or formal conversation, in secular or theological discussions, Their names are more often treated with disrespect than with respect or exaltation (MacArthur, John: Alone With God. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1995).
In Scripture a person’s name represented their character. And so it is with God. The names given to Him in Old Testament passages describe a character/personality of God.
In scripture we see God as Elohim – “God our Creator”, El Elyon – “possessor of heaven and earth”, Jehovah-nissi-“The Lord Our Banner”, Jehovah-Rapha-“The Lord that Heals”, Jehovah-shalom-“The Lord Our Peace”, Jehovah-Raah-“The Lord Our Shepherd”, Jehovah-Tsidkenu-“The Lord our righteousness, Jehovah-Sabaoth-“The Lord of hosts”, Jehovah-Shama-“the Lord is present and near”, Jehovah-Maqodeshkim-“The Lord Sanctifies”, and Jehovah-Jireh-“The Lord Will Provide”.
Each of these names were given to God by the people of God as a testimony to God’s revealed personality during a circumstance of life. The same is said of many of us today because we have assigned a name to God either reverently or irreverently.
I agree with John McArthur when he says in his book, “Alone With God”, that “While we may cringe and actually voice displeasure when we hear someone taking God’s name in vain, we would do well to examine our own heart’s attitude. Indifference and lack of respect due His name from those who love Him may be just as heinous a sin. Unfortunately it is this latter problem that often plagues Christianity. When believers have a low view of God, everything focuses on meeting felt needs within the body of Christ. When the church adopts such a perspective, it often offers people nothing more than spiritual placebos where we say something to win the favor of those who sit before us. It centers on psychology, self-esteem, entertainment, and a myriad of other diversions to attempt to meet perceived and felt needs.
(MacArthur, John: Alone With God. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1995)
But I’m discovering that the more I get to know God the more I love and appreciate God. To me God is more than just a being in a heaven. He’s God all-powerful, all-sufficient, all-knowing, and all-present. My faith has been increased after studying some of the names of God. It is the revelation of these names that has caused me to see God in totally different light than ever before. The final analysis is “I serve a God who can do anything”.
However, while I love God more now than ever before the name given to Him, Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord Will Provide, by Abraham in Genesis 22 troubles me to a degree.
This name given to God by Abraham comes during a very stressful time in the life Abraham. Abraham in many instances was asked of God to do the unthinkable, offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. WOW! The promised son to Abraham, God says give him back to me. That’s a difficult place to be in. I don’t want to get ahead of myself in the introduction but it almost seems that God is a heavenly Indian giver. To give something to a person and then decide, “I want it back!”
It has been said that the parents of Siamese twins who were joined at the waist had to make a difficult decision. Both could not live, so the parents had to choose which child would live and which child would die. That’s the predicament Abraham is in, kill Isaac and prove his love to God or love Isaac and dishonor God. What a situation to be in.
Not only does Abraham have to deal with his relationship to God in his choosing but let’s not forget Sarah. Think about this:
Abraham: “Sarah, me and Isaac is leaving!
Sarah: “Where are you guys going?”