The Lord will provide
This is one of my very favorite names of God, and one that through the years has meant the most to me. Jehovah-Jireh means “The Lord will provide”. God revealed Himself as the Lord who would provide way back in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Abraham was about ready to sacrifice his son Isaac on an alter at the top of a desolate mountain in the land of Moriah. We know it was desolate because when they reached the base of the mountain, Abraham took with him the wood, fire, and knife that would be needed to complete the sacrifice. He must have known none of those things would be found at the top. He also took Isaac who was to BE the sacrifice, and left two servants behind.
When they were near the top, Isaac said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? And Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering my son.'” Just as Abraham was about to kill his son, the Lord stopped him, and showed him a ram caught in a thicket, and told him to use that instead. God had placed that ram nearby in advance, knowing He was going to need a substitute for Isaac.
After the sacrifice was complete, Abraham named the place “The Lord Will Provide” which in Hebrew is YHWH-jireh. “Jireh” translates into “Provide” which is a word with wonderful Latin roots. Pro means “before” and video means “to see”. So it means to see in advance, or before the need is known. God is preparing an answer before we know that it is a need. See Genesis 22:1-14.
Trusting God to provide
One of the most beautiful examples of this in my own life happened when I was a freshly born Christian back in 1977. I had just moved to a new city with two tiny daughters, and my failed marriage left in shambles in another state. I needed a job and a completely new start. I was afraid that all I was qualified to do was be a file clerk and I had no idea how that would bring in enough money to support the three of us. On the other hand I had a fresh and simple faith, and if the Bible said something was true I just believed it was true. So, I trusted God for the right job.
The job I landed was so amazing. To begin with, I had that job within three weeks of my move. At that time the economy was slow, and several relatives told me horror stories about people with advanced qualifications not being able to find work. I didn’t get a job as a file clerk. I got a job in marketing that I would never have had the confidence to apply for had it not been for God’s nudging.
During the interview, it seemed that every experience I had ever had fit right in with the job description, down to the last five years that I had been at home as a housewife. My husband was a salesman, and I had picked up much more than I had imagined that would be useful to me at this new company. The job came with a brand new company car so I was able to sell my older car, and use that money for various deposits and start up costs.
I absolutely loved this job though it was quite challenging. I knew it was the one God had provided. But I didn’t understand the Jehoveh-jireh part of it until a conversation I had with my co-worker several months after my start. Beth and I were talking about this huge project of starting to visit every customer and setting up regular customer service visits. I had been hired in September, but Beth said the whole idea to hire a second person had originated back in the spring. She was sitting in a meeting with the President and Vice President and they kept coming up with one project after another for her to do. The longer they talked, the bigger her workload became until she said, “I really don’t see how I can do all this myself” and they said, “Well, maybe we need to start thinking about adding an additional rep.”
Back in the spring I had no idea I was going to be moving and needing a job. I had no clear idea that my marriage would not be able to pull out of the pit it was in, or that I would be on my face in a few short months crying out to the Lord to save me. God placed that idea in their heads “pro-video” – before I could see my need. I remember after talking to Beth feeling astonished, and feeling that God was so awesome. Each time I look back I can still feel it. It was the start of a remarkable journey of discovering God’s faithfulness and caring.
We are often taken by surprise, by circumstances and events in our lives. God never is. He knows in advance all that is going to transpire. He cares. He has provision ready for us.
God truly is Jehoveh-jireh.