What’s in a name? The names of God (Part 3)

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Jehovah-Jireh

Some answers to questions you might ask:

    • What does this name mean? The LORD will provide
    • When was it given to God? In Genesis 22:14
    • Who gave it to God? Abraham
    • Why did he give God this name? Read Gowdy Cannon’s great article about that very thing here. (Hint: Abraham, Isaac and an offering were involved.)
    • Is this entire article going to be bullet points? Maybe.
    • Isn’t this a little lazy of you? Probably.
    • Do you have anything interesting to add? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
    • If you were going to completely bail on this article, why did you choose this name? Because this name tells me more about my God than almost any other name. Also, it connects to Easter in a wonderful way. Here ends my seemingly endless string of bullet points. I will elaborate further without them:

We all know the story. God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. WHAT IN THE WORLD?! 

My brain and my faith have a hard time getting around this story. God told one of His most faithful servants to kill his only son. Think about that for a few seconds. How would you react if God told you to kill one of your children? How would you react if God told you to kill your only son? And this would be the son who God had promised would continue your family. The son who God had miraculously provided to you in your old age. The God you love and serve informs you that you will travel to a nearby mountain and you will sacrifice this son. Let’s be completely transparent here: That sounds insane.

Without going into detail, Abraham heard the LORD and obeyed.

(Which brings me to the whole point of this installment.)

Abraham obeyed because he believed God would resurrect Isaac. We know this because the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us exactly that in chapter 11 verse 19. It reads, “Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.” That goes beyond believing God would stop him. It goes beyond believing that God would intervene in some way before the killing blow struck Isaac. Abraham believed God would allow him to kill his son and then the LORD would bring Isaac back to life. That is faith on a level I simply cannot comprehend. No wonder Paul said this about him in Romans 4:3: “For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’”

In the end, Abraham didn’t have to kill Isaac. God stopped him and provided another sacrifice. And then Abraham named that place, The LORD will provide – or Jehovah-Jireh.

2,000 years later, that name took on its full meaning. God would look down on humanity and He would provide the final sacrifice. This sacrifice was The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. 1 God, in His infinite and perfect knowledge, provided a sacrifice before we realized our need for one. Just as He provided a sacrifice for Abraham. Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, the perfect atonement was provided at the perfect time. Because of this, no matter what our circumstance, we can say with total confidence, Jehovah-Jireh!

Series recap:
Part One: Introduction
Part Two: Jehovah Raah
Part Three: Jehovah Jireh
Part Four: Jehovah Shalom

  1. Revelation 13:8

Phill Lytle

I love: Jesus, my wife, my kids, my church, my family, my friends, Firefly, 80's rock, Lost, the Tennessee Titans, the St. Louis Cardinals, Brandon Sanderson books, Band of Brothers, Thai food, music, books, movies, TV, writing, Arrested Development, pizza, vacation, etc...

6 thoughts on “What’s in a name? The names of God (Part 3)

  • March 23, 2016 at 2:54 pm
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    Jehovah-jireh! Thanks, Phill. Really good article.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2016 at 10:09 am
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    This helps me to appreciate it more when people say “Jehovah-jireh”. It’s a big deal.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2016 at 1:11 pm
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    This name has always been a favorite, specifically because I associate it with God’s provision of salvation–a rescuing of me from what my life should’ve been and what He has allowed my life to be instead. I rarely think of this name apart from the event of Abraham’s faith in sacrificing Isaac. Sometimes, we reduce this name to mean “God provides me with stuff” which is not its contextual significance.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2016 at 4:28 pm
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    Good thoughts. Keep the bullet points coming!

    Reply
  • March 26, 2016 at 5:33 pm
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    Thanks Phill for this excellent article. While in Cuba in 1998, Madaymi, a pastors wife sang a song in one of our services. It was based on Habakkuk 3:17-19 – “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines;…I will joy in the God of my salvation.” I believe in the chorus, were the words, “Jehovah-Jireh.” I have always remembered it because, at that time, the Cuban people were there, just like it says in verse 17. Madaymi sang from her heart and with faith that Jehovah would provide. I have always thought that was faith.

    Reply
    • March 26, 2016 at 8:04 pm
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      That is great! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

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