His name is Jireh, He's my Provider. He's the Provider for me.
So go the lyrics of a song by the Southern Gospel group The Hoppers. Jireh may be the most recognized Old Testament name of God.
Twenty-five years ago, as a college student I picked up Kay Arthur's study LORD, I Want to Know You. In it, she teaches the reader many of the names.
The book of Proverbs says, The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The rigtheous run into it and find safety (Pr. 18:10).
Over and over, the psalmist writes of boasting in the name of the Lord. You have exalted above all things Your name and Your Word (Ps. 138:2).
God's names reveal His character. They show us reasons to trust Him, expectations of the covenant relationship. They remind us of who He is.
In the familiar text of Genesis 22, God reveals His name as Jehovah-Jireh. God tests His servant Abraham, asking him to take his promised son Isaac to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him on a mountain. Through great struggle, the father of faith obeys.
Terry Akrill said, "Sometimes God likes to do things ten seconds before midnight."
Well, in like fashion, as Abraham prepares to kill his son, God immediately intervenes. As an old Derek Floyd song says,
"Lay down the knife, O Abraham. Behold the bush, I've sent a ram. Untie the boy and hold him, he'll be going home with you today."
Abraham and Isaac sacrifice the animal and worship the Lord. They call that place Jehovah-Jireh, which is often translated "The Lord will provide."
A deeper look into the words meanings reveal more of God's faithful nature. The word Jireh derives from a word that means "to see." Note the similarities between the words provide, provision, and providence.
God has provision. Or pro-vision. He sees. He sees beforehand. He sees ahead. He knows what is coming. And in seeing, He provides for the need. Nothing surprises Him.
What a wonderful word - the word "Providence." It speaks of the activity of the Lord in the affairs of humanity. He sees. He knows. He has pro-vision. And He provides.
Steve Farrar writes, "No matter where you are in life, no matter how dark your present circumstances, you can stand on the providence of God."
Farrar, in his book Tempered Steel: How God Shapes a Man's Heart through Adversity, refers to an author from the 1800's named Thomas Watson, who wrote, "God is to be trusted when his providences seem to run contrary to His promises. . . . Trust God when providences seem to run quite contrary to promises."
The Floyd song continues, "Lay it down at Mount Moriah. Offer up what you hold best, giving in complete surrender, that you may know God's faithfulness."
The name Jehovah-Jireh reminds us that God sees, He knows, and He is faithful.
So 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 (Genesis 22:14).
Father, thank you for seeing us. For knowing all about us. And thank you that in seeing beforehand, you provide. Enable us to trust you and surrender our best to you.