Continuing my 2020 Lenten Journey- with personal thoughts and commentary by Martha McDuff Wiggins on the book “Lord I Want To Know You” by Kay Arthur.
Days 16, 17, 18, & 19
Jehovah-jireh, The Lord Will Provide
Not only does Jehovah love with an unfathomable unchangeable Love, but He also desires to sufficiently satisfy any and all needs of those He has created in His own image. He wants to be our provider, our healer, our shepherd, etc.
Going forward, we will be learning new names that include Jehovah combined with other words. Together they show us the essence of His Being with an added dimension of a characteristic or attribute.
Our first one is Jehovah-jireh, The Lord Will Provide. Jireh is the Hebrew word for provide, yet in the Old Testament, it literally means ‘to see’, and the word see denotes provision. With God, to see is to foresee. He knows the end from the beginning, and in His omniscience, He provides. (You might want to read that last sentence again, and as I like to say… write it on your heart.)
Here, I am going to paraphrase Genesis 22:1-19, but I urge you to read it in it’s entirety, as I will not be able to truly do it justice in brevity.
—God had fulfilled His promise to Abraham in giving him a son (Isaac) through his barren wife, Sarah. In time, God tested Abraham by telling him to go into the mountains and offer Isaac as a burnt offering (a voluntary offering of love). Abraham set out to obey his God. He gathered the wood for the fire, along with a donkey and two of his men for the journey. When Abraham recognized the place God had chosen for the sacrifice, he told his men to wait while He and Isaac went off to worship the LORD. On the way, Isaac, carrying the cut wood on his back, asks his father why they have the firewood but not the lamb needed for the burnt offering? Abraham tells his son that the LORD will provide the lamb Himself.
At the place God had chosen Abraham built a sacrificial altar, bound Isaac, and placed him on top of the wood on the altar. He had pulled out his knife and was about to slay his only beloved son in the name of the LORD when he heard the Angel of the LORD call to him from heaven.
“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.” (Genesis 22:12)
Abraham looked around and, behold, behind him there was a ram caught by his horns in the thicket. Abraham took the ram and offered it up in place of his son, Isaac, and he called the place The LORD Will Provide. The Angel of the LORD again called to Abraham and delivered this message from heaven, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I 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, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:16-18)
There are twenty-one chapters written in God’s Word prior to this, yet, this is the first time these three words: love, obey, and worship, are mentioned. Abraham’s story greatly parallels that of God’s sacrifice of His own, only begotten, beloved son, Jesus Christ. For Abraham, the LORD provided a substitute sacrificial lamb at the last minute. With His own Son, He did not. He gave Him life, both Divine and human combined in one being, Jesus Christ. Then, He gave Jesus up to be crucified, to suffer death on the Cross. In doing so, the sins of all mankind, past, present, and future, were also crucified and forgiven. From that same Crucifixion, after descending to the dead for three days, Divine Life was resurrected into Eternal Life. Forever more Jesus Christ shall sit at the right hand of God, His Father, in heaven, to judge the living and the dead.
So, did the LORD not provide for His own son as He did for Abraham’s? Why was there no last minute rescue?
If you look closely you will see there was indeed a last minute rescue. It is all of us, humankind! Through the sacrifice of His own Son, we are saved from death in sin to new and eternal life.
And, it is also Divinity, for the LORD did rescue His Beloved Son through His Resurrection and His Ascension into heaven! Divinity was protected and restored to its rightful throne.
In other words, Jehovah-jireh, The Lord Will Provide, worked all out for the good of all. Like Abraham before him, who had to fight his enemies and offer his own beloved son in sacrifice, Jesus had to defeat sin, the greatest enemy of mankind, by allowing Himself to become a living sacrifice. Both Abraham and Jesus loved the LORD, obeyed His commands, and through their willingness to sacrifice all on His behalf, worshipped Him in the highest way possible.
My take away…
No matter how deeply you love (someone or something), God may ask you to sacrifice that love on the altar of obedience in order that His name be glorified, in order that He be worshiped as Jehovah forevermore.
The big question is… Am I willing?
Mental action to facilitate your Lenten Journey: Abraham was willing to sacrifice his most precious possession because he trusted in the name of Jehovah-jireh, The Lord Will Provide. He called upon His name in His worst moment of life, was heard, and was answered. Search you heart. Is there something in your own life you feel the LORD is asking you to forfeit, or to discontinue? Are you willing? Trust in Him, knowing He will provide in a way that is better for you, and all involved. If you don’t have the willpower, or don’t have that kind of trust in Him, start by calling upon His name asking for both. He truly wants to give you everything good. Remember… He knows the end from the beginning, and in His omniscience, He provides. 🙏🏻💖
Further action if so inclined:
Read in its entirety Genesis 22:1-19