I thought that at different points this year I would look with you at the some of the titles attributed to God, and today we are looking at Jehovah Jireh.

Jehovah Jireh means “the Lord will provide,” and it’s one of the most popular names for God. To understand this name for God more fully, we need to go back to the story where we first hear this name for Him.

The name “Jehovah Jireh” is first seen in Genesis 22:14 when God provides a ram in the thicket in place of the sacrifice of his son Isaac. 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.”

Abraham received a fresh set of instructions from God: “Take Isaac, your only son, whom you love, and sacrifice him on the mountain I will show you” (Genesis 22:2). The word sacrifice in Hebrew means “a whole or burnt offering.”

This passage may present questions and struggles for us. The very core of this direction feels contrary to other known truths about the Lord. A superficial reading of the story may leave the reader with an ugly sense that God led Abraham on an emotional wild-goose chase.

Abraham went to an undisclosed location to sacrifice his son, only to have God stop him at the last moment. Then Abraham saw a ram caught in some thorny bushes, sacrificed it, and called the place, “Jehovah-Jireh” – “The Lord will Provide.”

Scripture doesn’t tell many details about the private thoughts and feelings of Abraham or Isaac in this story. But in Hebrews 11 we are told that Abraham knew God’s character and power enough to trust that if God took Isaac at that moment, because of all God’s other promises about Isaac, Abraham knew God would fulfil His word even if He had to raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham was doing this difficult task with assurance in his heart.

Abraham calls the place, “God will provide.” The word there is richer than our English denotes.

“Provide” in Hebrew is also “see to it,” which is similar to the name a woman named Hagar calls the Lord in Genesis 16:13 – “The God who Sees.”

That Hebrew word also means “perceive” and “experience.”

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. The name Jehovah-Jirah reminds us that the Lord is the One who sees our need, and He is the One who will provide. He has provided in the past, and He will continue to provide. We can trust His provision!


Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.

He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“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.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 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.”

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “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.” Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.


What strikes you most about this passage?

As you look at the character of Abraham, what do you see?

Isaac would probably be about 20 years of age, what strikes you about him?

Have there been tests in your life that have seemed strange at the time but with hindsight turned out to be right and good?

Is there some specific provision you need at the moment – bring your request to God?





Father, thank you for being Jehovah-Jireh, the LORD our Provider. You are far better to us than we deserve. You are the Giver of all good things. You have provided us with salvation in Jesus’ name. We are so undeserving; yet You are so gracious to us. We are grateful for the many ways in which You provide for us and meet our daily needs. Increase our faith and trust in You and help us to appreciate more and more Your goodness to us. Amen


St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.


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