Years ago when I first realized that there were so many names of God in the Bible, this may have been the first one that I learned. I remember my family was going through a time when money was tight and we had to lean into the Lord more than ever before for his provision. But even then I didn’t study where the origin of this name came from. As I was studying it now, I found out how kind and tender and personal this name of God really is.
In the book of Genesis, chapter 22 we see Abraham who had already been through so much with God, being told by God to take his son and to sacrifice him on the altar.
“He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’” Genesis 22:2
Now remember this was the son Isaac, who had been born of the promise from God and Abraham had been told his many descendants would come from him. I truly think I would have questioned God. I am sure I would have been thinking “this can’t be”! I am sure I would have wailed at God how unfair that I had had to wait until my old age to have this son, who was such a blessing to me and I would have shook my fist and not understood. But that is not what Abraham did.
“So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.” Genesis 22:3
Abraham acted with immediate faith and obedience. He set out on his journey toward the place that the Lord had told him to go with all of the supplies and with his son. This story says many things but it speaks quietly and steadily of the trust that Abraham had in his God. Abraham had had many times in the past that he had doubted and questioned. But this time, he began carrying out the command of the Lord. Even when questioned by Isaac of where was the lamb, he assured his son that God would provide. Now as I have read this story many times before I always think that Abraham was begging God in his spirit to not make him go through with this. But studying this story and reading in Hebrews it shows Abraham’s quiet faith in this matter.
“He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” Hebrews 11:19
Abraham was willing and was about to carry out exactly what God had instructed him to do. He had acted in total faith and obedience that God had a plan even in this that there was no way he could understand. Abraham took his son to the place where God showed him, he built an altar, he laid out the wood but just as he took the knife to slaughter his son. God stopped him.
“But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” Genesis 22:11-13
Can you just imagine the waves of emotion that would have come upon Abraham? Gratitude and peace and joy and relief and all of these things would have manifested in worship to God who had provided for him the replacement for his son.
“So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The Lord will provide’; as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’” Genesis 22:14
God had provided the sacrifice for Abraham that day, in place of his son Isaac. I read in my studies that “provide” in Hebrew also means “see to it”. What is it today that you need the Lord to “see to it” for you? He will surely do it. I read this statement and I can’t say it any better.
“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.” ~ christianity.com
When we truly see God as our provider, we aren’t just looking for Him to provide for our physical needs. God is more interested in providing for our hearts what we need.