Who is Jehovah-Jireh?
“Jehovah-Jireh” is one of the many different names of God found in the Old Testament. “Jehovah-Jireh” is the King James Version’s translation of YHWH-Yireh and it means “The LORD Will Provide” (Genesis 22:14). It is the name memorialized by Abraham when God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac. When Abraham calls God Jehovah-Jireh, he isn’t just saying “God gives the goods!” He is saying, “You see/experience all this need of mine and make provision for it.” It is deeply personal. God’s provision is automatic, but it isn’t to be used for your own selfish gain. He isn’t your fairy godmother or a magic genie that you can conjure up to get what you want. And it isn’t far removed as if He doesn’t feel the need. Children of God have daily provision from the Lord, but also provision that is eternal. In John 3:16, it says that God gave us His only son, and that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Jesus is our eternal/ultimate provision! So, does God leave it at that and leave us to fend for ourselves for those “littler” needs? Hardly! He offers us provision in the daily details. From the great needs of our soul for issues like salvation and forgiveness, God provides – He is our Jehovah-Jireh. God sees. God is with us. It is His promise and His character. It is in His very name.
Abraham Meets Jehovah-Jireh
God told Abraham to take his only son Isaac and sacrifice him there as a burnt offering. You must understand that child sacrifice was normal during the time period. All the pagan gods demanded child sacrifice. But didn’t God make a promise to Abraham about his descendants through Isaac? God’s promise to Abraham is found here in Genesis 17:19, “Your wife, Sarah, will have a baby, a son. Name him Isaac (laughter). I’ll establish my covenant with him and his descendants, a covenant that lasts forever.” So, does God go back on His Word? Hardly, Abraham knew this about God. He had developed a faith in God. And he believed that God would be faithful to the promise He had made to Abraham. Faith operated powerfully in Abraham for when he was put the test he offered up Isaac. Even though he received God’s promises of descendants, he was willing to offer up his only son (Hebrews 11:17). For God had promised, “Through your son Isaac your lineage will carry on your name (Hebrews 11:18). Abraham’s faith made it logical to him that God could raise Isaac from the dead, and symbolically, that’s exactly what happened (Hebrews 11:19). Abraham’s faith in God was being tested. And that’s what happens when God wants to reveal more of who He is to us. Abraham knew God as El Hanne-eman, which means the faithful God. God was faithful and gave him a son after it was impossible for both him and Sarah to have children. He remembered his history with God that proved God was El Hanne’eman (faithful God). Abraham’s faith in El Hanne’eman (faithful God) made it possible for him to know God as Jehovah-Jireh. Our God is the God of provision. Thank God for being Jehovah Jireh in your life. Ask Him to reveal your personal history with Him where He has been Jehovah-Jireh. After He reveals His provision to you, write it down. You need to remember this history with God. It is a testimony of who He is that you can go back to when your faith is being tested.
Close-up Look at Jehovah-Jireh
There are two different ways to look at scripture. One way is a panoramic view (like using a wide-lens for a camera to see large spaces), and the other is a close-up view (think of the way you zoom in with a camera to see things close-up). Let’s “zoom in” on the name Jehovah Jireh in ancient Hebrew. The Hebrew language is amazing. Each letter has something called a pictograph, which means that this is a language of pictures! That opens up so much for us to understand the meaning of God’s Word.
Jireh has three Hebrew letters. Yud, Resh, and Hey:
The ‘Yud’ in pictograph form shows an arm and a hand. The picture can mean to work, throw, worship, or it can simply mean an arm or a hand.
The ‘Resh’ symbolizes a head, man, chief, highest, top, beginning, or first.
The ‘Hey’ pictograph represents a man with his hands in the air trying to get someone’s attention. It suggests look, reveal, behold.
The name ‘Jireh’ is used as a compound name with ‘Jehovah.’ God’s presence is followed by ‘Jireh’ that exclaims, “through the work of an arm man will be sustained.” Together these names tell us that the work is accomplished by Jehovah. It is the hand of God who provides for man by His work. Jehovah-Jireh is typically translated as ‘God our Provider.’ But can you see how deeper the meaning is when we zoom in on His name?
God’s Hand of Provision and Our Hand of Receiving
God’s hand of provision is always extended to you. Are your hands open to receive His provision? Or are you closed to receiving from Him because you are receiving from something else? You can’t receive from God when your heart is positioned like a closed fist. To find out if your heart is closed to God’s provision, ask God to reveal to you if you are receiving a counterfeit provision. Once He reveals it to you, repent and open your heart to receive the fullness of provision that comes from God. My favorite question to ask the Lord is, “God, what do you say about ______?” He will tell you! He always reveals the gift He wants to give to you after you give Him permission to remove that counterfeit. Ask Him, “Lord, what gift do you want to give me today?” Receive it!
Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change.James 1:17
Everything we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness.2 Peter 1:3
To put it another way, think of the game of football. When a team is in an offensive position in that game, they are working together to get the ball to their opponents’ side of the field in order to score some points. There are two important players during that time that have get the ball to its goal. One is the quarterback and the other is the receiver. The quarterback is supposed to get into a position and throw the ball so that it can be received by the receiver. The receiver’s job is to make sure that he is open and ready to receive the ball when it is thrown by the quarterback. This is similar to our relationship with God. Positioning matters. We must be ready to receive from Him, much like a receiver in football is ready to receive from the quarterback.
Lies about Provision
We have a deceiver in this world named Satan. His number one goal is to get your eyes off of God and do things in your own strength. There are many things in this life that have positioned themselves as your provision. But we must be careful not to rely on ourselves or others for the things that we need. Any method of provision can become an idol. We must carefully guard our hearts in order to keep ourselves from worshipping the method.
Right now, there is an idol that is claiming to be our provision. And if we do not “bow down” to it, there are consequences. This is a familiar scenario that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego experienced in Daniel chapter three (click here to read the story). Those three men were being put to the test, and had to trust in God as their provider. They refused to accept the lie about provision, and God honored their faith in Him. They recognized that God was their provider, and not King Nebuchadnezzar.
We too must be able to discern the lies about provision. We must always ask the Lord, “is this from you?” Because the devil is a crafty serpent who uses things that look like God’s word and twists them very slightly so that you can be deceived. Remember how he came to Eve in the garden? He told her that God was withholding something from them. What did Satan claim that God was withholding? Knowledge. He claimed that if they ate the fruit they had been forbidden to eat that they would become like God and know everything. Isn’t that ridiculous? God had already made Adam and Eve in His image! They were in a way already “like God” and He had provided for their every need. Eve believed the lie, and we can be just like her today. We can choose to listen to the crafty serpent who is saying to us, “God is withholding from you” while offering his counterfeit provision wrapped in a hidden poison.
2 Ways that Satan Tries to Deceive You
Satan is not a creative as he makes himself out to be. He uses the same method time after time. He is very predictable! The two ways that he tries to deceive you are this: he distorts how you view God, and he distorts how you view yourself.
God is not Enough.
Something is missing, and you must find it somewhere else (apart from God)
You are not Enough.
Something is missing, and you must find it somewhere else (apart from God)
God is Enough.
“I am God Almighty (El Shaddai) …where everything flows from” -Genesis 17:1
You are Enough
My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.” -2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Let God set the record straight: He is all sufficient, and in Him, you lack nothing.
Here are some verses to meditate on:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.2 Corinthians 9:8
Yet we don’t see ourselves as capable enough to do anything in our own strength, for our true competence flows from God’s empowering presence.2 Corinthians 3:5
I am always thanking my God for you because he has given you such free and open access to his grace through your union with Jesus, the Messiah. In him you have been made extravagantly rich in every way. You have been endowed with a wealth of inspired utterance and the riches that come from your intimate knowledge of him.1 corinthians 1:4-5
He existed before anything was made, and now everything finds completion in him.colossians 1:17
Moving from Believing in God to Believing God
There is a huge difference between believing in God and believing God. Anyone can believe in God (that He exists). Even the devil believes this. However, it is more challenging to believe God (that what He says is true). Believing God is to believe what He says is true, to believe He is who He says He is, and to believe He can do what He says He can do. Abraham learned this. God revealed who He was, and then made a promise to him. After this promise was given, a situation would happen where there was scarcity. Abraham had to believe what God said in order to receive the promise in a time where it looked like the promise wouldn’t come to pass. That is faith (Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen). Faith doesn’t come from us. It comes from God. And we are supposed to steward faith in such a way that it has no choice but to increase. Even a small amount of faith can move mountains. You don’t need a lot for a miracle to happen!
At first, Abraham acted in unbelief. Remember when he tried to help God out? He slept with his maidservant Haggar because the promise of a child from his wife Sarah was taking too long. But that wasn’t what God had promised. God had promised a son through Sarah. Abraham made a mistake, just like we do sometimes. But God’s mercies are new every morning. God gave Abraham a second chance. And He give you a second chance to trust Him to be true to His Word.
Lens of Scarcity VS. Lens of Stewardship
Looking at life through the lens of scarcity is bait for fear and anxiety. It will sometimes look like there isn’t enough. That is when faith needs to rise up, because God is enough. An attitude of lack is not for you my friend. So how do we move out of this mindset of scarcity and start believing God as Jehovah-Jireh when resources are scarce?
- Know the will of God (we can only know this if we spend time with Him, which takes us from knowing Him objectively to knowing Him personally) and agree to become a co-laborer.
- Exchange the lens of scarcity for a lens of stewardship.
“I don’t have ________.”
“There’s nothing to eat here in this desolate place.” -Disciples in Matthew 14
There truly wasn’t enough food to feed everyone. Jesus knew this scarcity and He used it to teach the disciples that God wanted them to operate in the Kingdom, where they had to look at their scarcity through the lens of faith. They had to change their perspective.
“What do I have?”
“All we have is five barley loaves and two fish.” -Disciples in Matthew 14
Jesus takes what we have, blesses it, and we get to steward it! Stewarding what we have has this incredible ability for multiplication, because God is the one who multiplies what we have when we steward what He has given us.
You don’t need to see the provision with your physical eyes to know it is there. That is where faith comes in. Believe God! Believe that He is really Jehovah-Jireh! This is a journey, where we are invited to go with Jesus from faith to faith, learning that He is enough for us.
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]John 16:33
He has already overcome your obstacles and scarcity. It is time to trust Him.
Thank you, God, for being my Ultimate and daily Provider! Show me more about this aspect of Your nature. I want to know You personally as Jehovah-Jireh. Open my eyes to see You in this way this week. Expose any lies I am currently believing about Your provision. I return all those lies to their sender, and I receive the TRUTH about who You really are as my Provider today. In Jesus name, amen.