Seven Redemptive Names: 2. Yahweh Yireh (יהוה יראה) (The LORD will Provide)
Back in the Book of Genesis, in chapter 22, we read of Abraham being tested by God, commanded to take Isaac for sacrifice on the mountainside. The Lord sees Abraham’s faith. Importantly, Abraham sees his own faith in the Lord and can take ‘ownership’ of it. Isaac is spared and the Lord provides a ram for the sacrifice. And that’s it, right there … Abraham calls the place Yahweh-Yireh (or Jehovah-Jireh) – the LORD will provide.
This theme is picked up in verse 1 of Psalm 23, with the simple statement that “I shall not want.” The Lord provides and the Lord continues to provide. And what is being provided for us is not just the basic logistics of food and drink – of material needs, but our spiritual needs in Him:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (Yahweh-Yireh). (Psalm 23:1)
God continues to provide, for we find Jesus saying in the New Testament:
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6: 31-33)
Jesus not only knows that God will provide; he has faith that God will provide – a deep-seated knowledge that is more than mere hope and yearning. It is a knowledge that demonstrates the trust as between a sheep and shepherd; a Son and Father.
And this in turn leads us into a deeper understanding and a deeper relationship. When Jesus bridged the gap that we had created with God, He shared His riches and majesty with us even though we were sinful and not worthy. We were adopted into God’s family with God not just as ‘the’ Father but, as the Lord’s Prayer says, as ‘our Father.’ A Father who provides for us in everything we need, out of His love for us:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 19)
We can look at these needs through the perspective of our bodily lives – providing us with what we need (more than mere ‘want’) in food, fellowship and the like. But we must also remember that our Lord provides us with what we need for eternal life in the spirit with Him. What was it that Abraham said to Isaac on that mountainside – God Himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice. Sometimes the things we say carry more resonance than even we can imagine.
The name is not the Lord DID provide or ONCE provided: The Lord WILL provide. Present and future, now and forever; through a godly sacrifice on a cross on a hill.
Abraham named that place Yahweh-Yireh. It is still said today, “On the mountain of Yahweh it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:14)
[from Timothy Pitt]