So Abraham called the name of
that place Jehovah-jireh.
(The LORD will provide)
One of the names by which our LORD reveals Himself to us and wants to be known is Jehovah-jireh. The word “jireh” means literally “to see.” As Kay Arthur relates in her book “To Know Him by Name,” when God sees; he foresees. It is because He foresees, that He also provides. On Mount Moriah, Abraham experienced the Lord as the One who will provide. It was after laying his son, Isaac, on the altar that God provided the ram caught in the thicket for a sacrifice. God foresaw the need for a sacrifice, and because He foresaw, He also provided.
Our God foresees every event of our lives. He has known and has seen them from eternity past. Having foreseen each need He is faithful to provide for us at our point of need. The LORD reveals this truth to us about His person in the story of Moses (as He does throughout all the scriptures), but He wants to reveal Himself as Jehovah-jireh in our individual lives as well. It is at a point of need where God moves miraculously in our lives that we are given an opportunity to possess not only intellectual truth but also experiential truth. It is this personal interaction with YHWH that holds us, shapes us, and enables us to know him more deeply. We have all had numerous experiences where the Lord has made marvelous unexpected provisions in our lives. Each day has instances which we take for granted and for which we sometimes fail to give thanks. On occasion, however, the LORD wants to underscore a lesson about His faithfulness to His name (Jehovah-jireh) and teaches us lessons which we will never forget.
I was about ten years old. My father, older brother and I had attended a revival service at the old Forum building in downtownWichita. At the end of the service, an offering plate was passed, and I felt that if I had any money, I should give some. Upon returning home, I remembered the “shoe jar.” It was a jar in which my parents placed extra money from the week. As it accumulated, the money would be used to buy shoes for our family. I knew that I was next in line to have some shoes, and assumed that I had some right to the money in the jar. The next night when we attended the service, I placed the full amount of money (about ten dollars) into the offering plate. Upon returning home, my mother asked me where I had found the money to give, and I told her that it was from the shoe jar. (I realized later that this decision should have been one for which my parents had given permission!) The next morning, upon leaving the front porch, I immediately saw a group of dollar bills scattered across the yard near the street. They were distinctive in that the outer edges of the bills had been cut off, but still leaving them negotiable. I scooped them up and ran to show my mother in the back yard. As I ran through a dirt path beside our house, I found a pile of loose change containing quarters and half-dollars. I gathered these up as well and showed all of these to my mother. The total amount was slightly in excess of the amount that had previously been in the jar! The Lord could have chosen any method to provide for my shoes, but this one that He selected has made it crystal clear throughout my life that His name is “The LORD will provide.”
Several years ago, my wife and I were planning a trip to visit our daughter, son-in-law and family who were serving as medical missionaries in Benin, West Africa. Our passports were up to date, and we had received shots for Hepatitis A, B, yellow fever, meningitis, typhoid fever, diphtheria and tetanus. We had our pills ready to use to prevent Malaria. We had also packed surgical blades and other medical equipment for our daughter to use in her surgical practice inBenin. Nine days before our departure, my wife awakened early in the morning with the thought that we would need to check about bringing surgical knives into Benin. To her surprise, she found out that unless we had a Visa, we would not be permitted into the country! She called the Benin Ambassador’s office in Washington D. C. and was told to send in our passports and fees immediately. He also told her that they were not open for the next three days, and would be closed the following Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. He told her that even with the use of overnight mail service, they would not begin to process our request until five days before the departure! Despite calling daily, we had no assurance of the processing of our request until 36 hours before our flight to Africa. Thankfully, our Visas did arrive the evening prior to our departure. “The LORD will provide” had awakened my wife at the last possible moment so that we could take our trip.
In her book ”The Hiding Place,” Corrie Ten Boom related concerns to her father about what would happen to her and to her sister at a certain time in the future. Her father then asked her a question, “When do I give you the tickets to get on the train when we travel?” Corrie answered, “When we are on the platform.” Her father then stated that the Lord did the same. When we are on the platform, ready to embark on the next situation in our lives, the Lord will provide what we need. Hebrews 4:16 reminds us of the same thought. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” The phrase “in time of need,” is a Greek colloquialism which may be better understood by the statement, “in the nick of time.”
Each of our tomorrows is filled with fears, uncertainties, and responsibilities. When we look at our adequacy to meet any one of a number of possibilities, we conclude that we are woefully inadequate. This, I think, is one of the reasons we are not given a blueprint of the days ahead. The Lord desires that we look to Him as our adequacy, not to ourselves. By looking to Him as Jehovah-jireh we in dependence place our trust on His Name that He has given us, in faith resting on His provisions. We lost much in the Garden of Eden when we declared our independence from Him in perfect surroundings. We gain much when we declare our dependence upon Him as Jehovah-jireh in imperfect surroundings. We gain an experiential knowledge of Him as “The LORD will provide.” We enter into the pursuit of all the ages to come; into the occupation that will expand throughout eternity; namely, the knowledge of God. (And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. John 17:3)
The Lord provides from eternity past (The lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev 13:8) to eternity future. (That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Eph 2:7) Our present lives are likewise embraced by His perfect knowledge and timely provision. It is my prayer that the eyes of our faith will be enabled to see His faithfulness in daily manifesting His name as “The LORD will provide.”