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What's in a Name Part Ten

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted March 19, 2015

RELIGION – Let me start with a huge thank you to each reader who has so generously supported my trip to East Asia. The prayers and contributions of you all have made my trip possible and will help it be a success. I have been brushing up on my systematic theology to teach the Pastor’s and I will also be able to preach the whole book of Ephesians. The Lord has provided for me through you all.

“The Lord Will Provide” is this week’s Name of God or in the Hebrew “Yahweh Jireh”. Our God is a God who can and does provide for His children. Our God is also a wise God and always provides what is best and is truly most needed. The context of the name Yahweh Jireh, comes from the well known story of Abraham and Isaac.

The story begins with a strange command from God to Abraham, asking him to sacrifice Isaac, the son he had waited 25 years for, as a burnt offering. Abraham amazingly obeys. Early the next morning, Abraham packs wood and a knife, and he and Isaac travel to Moriah, the place God had specified.

As they walked together up the hill, Isaac seems to notice that they had forgotten an animal to sacrifice. So he questions his father “Where is the lamb?” Abraham shows great faith and assurance as he responds back, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:1-8). The New Testament tells us that Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead (Hebrews 11:19). He fully intended to go through with the sacrifice of his child.

When they reached the place God had chosen, Abraham demonstrates his faith and obedience by building an altar, binding Isaac, and placing him on the wood. Imagine the struggle and pain of these events. Isaac had to trust his Father to allow him to bind him. As Abraham picked up the knife to carry out the sacrifice, the Angel of the Lord calls to him from heaven, and Isaac’s life is saved. Genesis 22:13 records that “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 after that, Abraham named the place “Yahweh-Jireh” because of God’s gracious provision of a substitute for Isaac. Immediately afterwards, God reconfirms His covenant with Abraham (v 17-18).

So when we say Yahweh Jireh, we are not merely affirming God as some people like to think of Him as a cosmic Santa with an inexhaustible sack of gifts, just waiting for us to name it and claim it. We see that when the Lord revealed His name as Provider, it had nothing to do with the provision of material things. It was meeting our deepest need of a substitute to die in our place. Paul affirms this in Romans 8:31-32 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (32) He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

The fact that God has given us His son Jesus, shows us that He will give us all that we need in this life. Please know God will supply all needs, not all our wants. My middle son would be happy eating chocolate for each meal of the day and never eat vegetables. I am happy to provide good meals for him; he does not get to eat junk food all the time as he wants, because I as a parent know best.

Do you trust God to provide for you? Are you willing to look at your life circumstances and see that even if it appears God is not providing as you want, He is still working and growing you through your struggle? Have you trusted God with your greatest need, that of forgiveness, by allowing His Son Jesus to be “provided” for you in your place of judgment?

A Huge Thanks Again to All of You! Pastor Phillip

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