Title: Enjoy Him As Jehovah-jireh
Theme: Grasping His Provision in Everyday Life
Series: Living in the Aroma of God’s Grace
Genesis 22:13-14, “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 Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.’" (NIV)
The King James says, - “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh as it is to this day, ‘In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.’” The New American Standard Bible says, “Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.’” Pray!
He reveals Himself to us
These passages of Scripture are found in one of the most unusual, and at the same time, one of the most exciting accounts in the Word of God. Just as the Lord revealed Himself to Abraham, He reveals Himself to us through the Spirit, as He brings revelation and illumination of the written Word of God.
I would propose to you that God, our heavenly father is the God who sees and provides as we walk in obedience to His will in our lives. The Lord is as much involved in our lives in practical ways on this earth as He is involved in our spiritual hearts as it pertains to eternity.
There is so much for us to grasp in the Biblical account of Abraham, Isaac and the ram. However, in this message, the Holy Spirit of Christ wants you to grasp the truth of God being Jehovah-jireh in practical ways.
The best way to protect yourself from giving up on the Lord is to have Holy Spirit revelation of what God told Abraham before the announcement of His covenant with him. Catch this powerful truth, “…The Word of the Lord came to [Abraham] in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, [Abraham], I am your shield, your great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
At this time in history, the Lord was making a covenant with Abraham. Despite all that Abraham had done in the power and strength of God, in his mind he was no better off in regard to having an heir from his own flesh and blood. There was a practical concern that lay on Abraham’s heart and was dear to him. Abraham wanted an heir for his estate. God spoke to him and gave Abraham the promise of a son (Genesis 15:2-5) There is a powerful truth that must be grasped if one is going to enjoy God as Jehovah-jireh like Abraham did. Genesis 15:6 says, “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” The Christian’s greatest reward is to have God and Christ, to know and believe God’s Word. This automatically places you in a covenant relationship with the Lord.
In what situations in life can a child of God expect the Lord to prove Himself as Jehovah-jireh? What is the meaning, the significance and realization of God being Jehovah-jireh?
Where the Holy Spirit of Christ is doing a real genuine work, there will be hunger for the hearing of God’s Word. (Act 20:7-12; Nehemiah 8:1-8) Those who long to fulfill “The Great Commission” feed on the sword of the Holy Spirit, the written Word, thus, becoming mature through the feeding on solid food, trained and equipped to prepare God’s people for works of service. (Hebrews 5:11-14; Ephesians 4:11-16)
The first step to enjoying God as Jehovah-jireh is that the believer be willing to be Biblically tested. The opening Scripture to our teaching about Abraham’s faith says, “Some time later God tested Abraham….” (Genesis 22:1) God gives different dispensations – ways for mankind to show their love to Him. Obedience in these dispensations always opens spiritual eyes and hearts to the will of God and often enables the child of God to enjoy Him as Jehovah-jireh, even in practical ways. Human life stands under a divine testing which climaxes in the judgment of God. Set under the Lord’s careful watch Christians come under twofold testing. One, will the children of God seek Him and two, will Christians let Him reveal His provision and will to them in the midst of the testing?
The word tested (nāsāh) in Genesis 22:1 is a verb meaning to test, to try, to prove. This word appears nearly forty times in the Old Testament, often referring to God testing the faith and faithfulness of human beings. (The Complete Word Study of the Old Testament) Testing from a New Testament understanding protects Christians from compromise and enables them to grasp God’s will for them. (The Teacher’s Commentary; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament) To be tested as Abraham was tested means to be subjected to a test for qualification. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)
Let the Holy Spirit place this truth into your minds and illuminate it into your spiritual heart, “strong faith is often exercised with strong trials and put upon in hard service.” (Matthew Henry Commentary) The Lord does not allow His children to be tested to see if they will fall. (James 1:13) The author of the trial brings on the testing so the children of God may discover His grace, empowerment and enablement. (1 Peter 1:7; Matthew Henry Commentary)
God allowed Job to be tested by Satan so that he might be seen and known as a man who trusts in the Lord. Abraham’s particular testing time came after he had exercised faith in God through a variety of hardships and many difficulties.
There is a wrong expectation found among the people of God. They think the longer they have served and have proven faithful in the storms of life, the less they will have to endure. Nothing is further from the truth. Please note, “Many former trials and testing will not supersede nor secure us from further trials and test.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)
The Lord knows just what dispensation you need to provide you the opportunity to show your love for Him. The right response in your present dispensation enables you to express to others His mercy and grace, equipping you to be a true light in a sin cursed world.
In my early years of being trained and tested for the work of the Lord, I owned an Arabian Stallion. The Lord had given me stewardship over him for about 18 years. Even though he was getting old and had a bad heart condition, he brought me satisfaction and joy. I had proved myself faithful for many years, walking in faith and obedience to what the Holy Spirit had revealed to me to do for the Lord. I had forsaken special times and opportunities so I could get prepared for the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.
After a lengthy time of walking in obedience, the Lord spoke to my heart about giving this special horse away to a trainer who lived in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lincoln was a four hour drive for me, meaning that I would few, if any, opportunities to see him again. I was short on money and time, thus I was saying goodbye to a faithful animal – we meant so much to each other.
The night before I was to take the horse to Lincoln, Nebraska, I took time to brush him. The realization of giving up the best horse I ever owned hit hard – yet I determined in my heart that the Lord’s call was more important than my fleshly desire to please self. At that moment, when I was so broken I could not speak, the Holy Spirit came upon me, prompting me to pray in my heavenly language. (1 Corinthians 14:2) I laid my hands upon this stallion and prayed in tongues. When I was done there was a spiritual release and a peace of God that was so pleasant. (Philippians 4:6)
It wasn’t until some time later I enjoyed God as Jehovah-jireh in the test. The Lord made a way for this Arabian stallion to be placed in a beautiful stable with beautiful oak stall fronts and great conditioning facilities--something I had always wanted for this horse. I also learned that God performed an absolute miracle. The trainer, Janyell Hesson, turned him loose in a very large arena. This stallion ran and ran and ran, from one end to the other for hours with no sign of heart problems. The Lord had chosen to supernaturally heal him.
God had a special beautiful horse ranch waiting for him and He supernaturally healed a horse that was special to me. All this so I could set my focus on His calling for me, the proclaiming of God’s Word for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.
Even now I am enjoying the Lord’s provision, enablement and equipping for the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. The Lord has given me a ministry of preaching, publishing and teaching God’s Word. He has provided ministry that continues to grow, equipping others to preach and teach God’s Word. The Lord has proved Himself as Jehovah-jire to me, because I chose to believe the Lord’s call upon my life.
What testing is God setting before you? What are you to lay on the altar so you may enjoy the Lord as Jehovah-jireh in your life and in the ministry He has called you to?
Christians have the written Word of God for getting revelation of God’s will for them. They need only to believe what the Bible says and express a life of true belief to enjoy God as Jehovah-jireh as Abraham did.
Grasp the meaning of Jehovah-jireh
After believing the promises found in God’s Word and choosing to walk in obedience in their present testing, Christians can grasp the meaning of Jehovah-jireh. The King James Bible says, “And Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah-jireh...” (Genesis 22:14 KJ) After Abraham was found faithful in the test, he enjoyed God’s provision for the sacrifice to be made on the altar as a replacement of Isaac.
In this powerful teaching of God’s provision in practical and eternal ways we read of Isaac asking a question, “…Father… the fire and wood are here [for the making of a sacrifice] but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7) “Abraham answered, ‘God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son…’” (Genesis 22:8) Abraham’s words to his son should not be understood as merely an attempt to calm Isaac’s concern, but understood in the light of the fact that Abraham was truly expressing a sure confidence that God would provide – Abraham was expressing a genuine trust in God. (The Expositors Bible Commentary) Abraham had been through many test and trials, he had tasted that the Lord is good and had enjoyed God’s revelation of Himself many times.
In order for you to be able to express a life that says, “My Lord is Jehovah-jireh,” it is imperative that you understand the meaning of the name. Let the Holy Spirit of Christ reveal to you the truths of the Name of God expressed in Jehovah-jireh.
In Genesis 22:14 we read of Abraham giving the place a new name in the honor of God, a name for the encouragement of all Christians to the end of all time, a name which would enable them to walk in cheerful obedience to the Lord’s call upon their lives. When fully understood this new name is spoken in praise to God because He has magnified Himself as the only provider of that which is good for the people of God. (Matthew Henry Commentary)
The names of God are His self-identifications expressing various aspects of His being. (Tyndale Bible Dictionary) In the Scriptures the name and person of God are inseparably related. In the Hebrew language, the term for “name” most probably meant “sign” or “distinctive mark.” In the Greek language, “name” (onoma) is derived from a verb that means “to know.” Therefore, a name from a Biblical perspective is given to a person or place so others may know how that person or place is to be known. “Name” in Biblical usage correctly describes the person, place or object and indicates the essential character of that which the name is given.
Nathan Stone had spent a great deal of hard study regarding the Names of God. He writes, “There are a number of names compounded with Jehovah. Naturally these names owe something of their significance to the name Jehovah itself, which reveals the God of revelation, the God of moral and spiritual attributes – of righteousness, holiness, love, and therefore redemption. The God who stands in special covenant [with the people of God]… Most of these names of God arise out of some historical incident and portray Jehovah in some aspect of His character as meeting human need.”
Jehovah-jire (yir˒eh) is a wonderful revelation of God’s character meaning, “The Lord will provide… to see or to provide or to foresee as a prophet, God always provides, adequate when the time comes.” (Nathan Stone) “It means ‘the Lord will see to it’ literally… ‘the Lord will provide.’” (Thru the Bible) Often the meaning of this name is expressed in the well known word, “Providence.” “Providence” means to provide. It means the hand of God is in human events. (Thru the Bible)
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says providence involves foresight; “Applied to God, providence obviously includes the Divine foreseeing, but God in foreseeing has an even fuller and broader reference in view of the Divine overruling. Providence, then, is the preservation, superintendence, and teleological direction of all things by God. It is the Divine governance whereby all possible events are woven into a coherent pattern and all possible developments are shaped to accomplish the divinely instituted goal. Regarding individuals, …the whole sweep of history stands under the providential ordering of God, so the individual life within history… [may be] called to faith, built up in discipleship and service…”
There are two powerful books in the Bible that clearly relate the truth of God’s provision in practical means. One is the Book of Ruth which shows us how we can be familiar about God’s providence in our private lives and teaches how we ought to keep a watchful eye out for and acknowledge Him in all our ways. (Matthew Henry Commentary) Through many hardships Ruth and Naomi enjoy God as Jehovah-jireh. These two faithful servants of the Lord know the truth of 1 Samuel 2:7-8, “The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; He seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor…”
The second book which clearly shows God providing for human need is the Book of Esther. The whole Book of Ester is an illustration of God’s provision. God’s name is never mentioned in Esther nor is the Book of Esther ever quoted in the New Testament, not even a casual reference to it. (Thru the Bible) Yet the Book of Esther is “…the romance of providence, God directing this material universe in which we live today by His providence.” (Thru the Bible) This powerful book records how the “…those Jews who were scattered in the provinces of the heathen were taken care of, as well as those who were gathered in the land of Judea, and were wonderfully preserved,…" (Matthew Henry Commentary) “Grasping the truths found in the Book of Esther edifies and encourages the people of God to look for the Lord’s provision in the most difficult and dangerous times.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)
A very difficult time for us was when my wife, Bonnie had been diagnosed with brain cancer. We had only been in what people call the ministry for about a year. The job I left had great insurance, but now, as a full time pastor we had none. We did however, join up with “Samaritan Ministries,” a Christian organization of which Christians help pay each other medical bills. However, we did not know if they would participate in Bonnie’s brain cancer, considering that this brain cancer may be considered pre-existent.
We were sent to Mayo Clinic for further testing. We called ahead – they said we would need $3,000.00 to get Bonnie into the doctor’s clinic. Praise the Lord we had that in the savings. After we got Bonnie checked into Mayo Clinic, she saw her doctor. He informed us that we would need further testing, a biopsy of the portion of the brain showing cancer cells. As we were checking Bonnie into the hospital we were informed that we would need to put $20,000.00 down, considering we did not have medical insurance.
I felt like the worse husband in the world. Only a year early I had great medical insurance, now I did not have enough money to get my wife medical treatment.
The banks at home were closed, we did not have $20,000.00 in our savings. I was so numb, hit by a crisis which seemed hopeless. This was 3:30 P.M. in the afternoon and the money needed to be in the financial office by 5:00 P.M. As we sought the Lord’s will – we discovered that the Lord had set aside $20,000 through different means. For eight years now Bonnie and I have experienced the Lord being Jehovah-jireh, the Prophet who sees ahead time and has provided for us in one of the greatest crises we have ever gone through.
The child of God who is sensitive to the Holy Spirit of Christ’s leading, remembers God’s provision, protection and enabling when a crisis comes into his life. During these times, the Holy Spirit recalls all the instances in which the Lord had proved Himself faithful. It is in times of crisis, trials and testing that the child of God needs to destroy the flesh, recall all the Lord has done and let the Holy Spirit speak through him the Name, Jehovah-jireh. In the midst of the testing, spiritual ears will hear the voice of God and spiritual eyes will be opened to see God’s provision.
Do you have revelation of the meaning of the Lord’s Name, Jehovah-jireh? The importance of knowing the meaning of this name can not be overestimated because of the striking evidence found throughout Scripture of God’s faithful provision.
Significance of God being your provider
Understanding the meaning of Jehovah-jireh opens the spiritual heart to the significance of God being your provider. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Our key text today says, “So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.’" (Genesis 22:14)
When Abraham gave this place a new name, he showed that he realized that this test was more significant than just the testing of His own faith. He had seen the Lord’s provision through his whole life, and now he had witnessed God provide in the most challenging test he had ever gone through. Abraham could now express to all with ears to hear that the Lord will always provide. God will provide the oil of joy for ashes of sorrow, blessings for walking in full obedience, even obedience that leads to a brief season of sorrow. There is a powerful truth so easily missed in Genesis, “…And to this day it is said.”
The incident of Genesis 22 is a prototype of the promise of Jesus Christ who was to come and be a replacement on the altar of sacrifice for the sins of the world. This Christ who came in fulfillment of God’s providence, for the redemption of sinful mankind, gives us this daily promise, “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. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:31-34)
Time after time the Lord has proven His faithfulness to me. The Holy Spirit brings to my mind the provision of the home we needed to take care of my wife Bonnie, who suffers the effects of battling brain cancer.
Long before Bonnie was diagnosed with brain cancer, our family went through a time of testing when I was laid off from work. I often sought the Lord, knowing only He could provide for us. During this time, I would help my oldest son Derek deliver the Norton Daily Telegram. We delivered papers to a certain area in Norton, Kansas that had really nice homes. I would walk through this nice part of town with Derek, praying in my heart that the Lord would provide a nice home for Bonnie in this area. As I would pray, I would tell the Lord, “If you choose not to answer yes to this prayer, then I am blessed to know that she has a special place being prepared for her in heaven.” (John 14:1-3)
I prayed this on several occasions with complete peace and contentment in how the Lord had already provided for us. After eight years of battling brain cancer, Bonnie’s health had failed to the point were our old home was no longer safe for her. The Lord provided us with a beautiful home in that nice area of town where I had walked and prayed. This home has handicap access to meet Bonnie’s specific needs. We have enjoyed the Lord’s provision through eight years of battling cancer, to this date – August 2009, we are completely dept free, living in a house that meets Bonnie’s needs in the very area were I prayed, “Lord you are Jehovah-jireh, what you provide, regarding a home for us down here is good enough for me.”
Throughout the past 24 years of walking with the Lord, we have seen the Lord provide cars, computers, literally everything we need for meeting our needs.
The child of promise to Abraham was a prototype of Jesus Christ who is God’s promised provision of redemption for those of us who believe God’s Words about Christ. Jesus’ promise is, if we will seek the kingdom of God first there is the continued promise of meeting our daily needs. (Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:31)
Enjoying Him as Jehovah-jireh today involves a covenant of belief, much like that of Abraham’s. Christians must 1.) Have an acceptance of the Word of God; 2.) Live a life of self-sacrifice; 3.) Live by faith instead by sight; 4.) Withhold nothing surrendering all to God; and 5.) Understand that perseverance to the end opens the door to every blessing, provision and protection of God who is Jehovah-jireh.
We used to sing a song in church, “Count Your Blessings.” Let the Holy Spirit place this stanza in your heart, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
Do you live in the significance of the promises of God and Christ? If so, you live in the powerful truth, “The Lord will see, He will look upon thy need; and will hear thy prayer and provide that need.” (The Pulpit Commentary)
Living in the realization that the Lord is your provider
Understanding the significance of the name Jehovah-jireh opens the door to living in the realization that the Lord is your provider. We live is a sin cursed world – “To Adam He said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you,’ ‘You must not eat of it,' ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3:17-19) No matter what talents and abilities you may have, no matter what opportunities come your way, no matter what position in this world you may hold, there are adversities. These trials of life can cause a man to lose hope and turn from the vision that once was so clear in his heart.
In the midst of the worse depression, in the midst of the worse health crisis, in the midst of a broken heart, if you allow Him, the Holy Spirit can awaken your spiritual heart to God’s provision, love and care through trusting in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) It is Christ’s desire that His disciples have peace in their spiritual hearts, no matter what troubles and conflicts they may face in this world. These words were spoken that you may take courage in all the Lord has called you to do and enjoy His peace. (Matthew Henry Commentary; The Bible Knowledge Commentary; The Bible Exposition Commentary) George Morrison once defined peace as, “the possession of adequate resources.”
The Bible gives a powerful truth to enjoying the Lord’s peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In a time of great financial trial and faith building for us, the Lord showed His faithful provision in a simple practical way. In July of 1986 the Lord revealed to me so clearly He wanted my family to know that he cares about every part of our lives. This revelation came as a stray female yellow colored Labrador puppy wondering into our yard. The Lord also revealed to me that it was time for our children to enjoy one of His creations. After returning the puppy to its owner we desired in our hearts to purchase a yellow female Labrador puppy.
In our town was a dog kennel. They had two chocolate colored Labradors. The female had just been covered, which meant in three months there would be puppies.
For three months, the boys and I prayed to the Lord every night. We were specific in our prayer request to the Lord. We needed a family dog, loyal, sweet, dependable and preferably a yellow female Labrador puppy. After praying with the boys every night for three months, I would stop at the bottom of the stairs that led to the boys’ bedrooms. I would ask from my heart for the Lord to answer yes to our prayers, so the boys may know that He cared about every part of our lives.
At the end of the three months, five puppies were born into this world, four chocolate colored males and one yellow colored female. We continued to pray for six weeks for our special request about this puppy. After receiving our new puppy and enjoying her for nearly 13 years, we discovered that the Lord answered our prayer, exactly as we had asked for. What a blessing to see Jehovah-jireh meet our request, meeting a special need in our family with His providential care.
To us, Sandy was more than a wonderful pet, she was a constant reminder that the Lord cared about every part of our lives. When I got laid off of my job, Sandy was right there beside us as we prayed for our financial needs. When I was going through Berean Bible School, Sandy was right there beside us as we prayed for the time and finances needed. When Bonnie was diagnosed with Brain Cancer, Sandy was right there beside us as we prayed as a family. Every time we met together as a family to have special Bible teaching times and family prayer, Sandy was right there beside us. One time after we had prayed, one of the boys said, “Here is Sandy, right beside us to remind us that God cares about everything in our lives.”
Then came that day, when we had to put our beloved Sandy down because of a serious illness. On a Saturday morning, we gathered in our back yard to bury Sandy right beside a large group of flowers. With our hearts broken and in tears we thanked the Lord as a family in prayer for allowing us to enjoy His provision and for Sandy, a reminder that he cared about everything in our lives.
Even in the death of our beloved pet, the Lord proved Himself Jehovah-jireh in this sin stricken world. We had lived in our new home for about a year and a half. On our back porch was a pile of decorative rocks. I had no use for them and I had intended to haul them off, I just never got to it.
There were just enough rocks to cover the top of Sandy’s grave. There were just enough nice bricks in that pile of rocks to make a cross over the top of Sandy’s grave. When we had placed the rocks and bricks over the grave, I reminded the boys how the Bible says the Lord is Jehovah-jireh. He sees like a prophet and has provided ahead of time to meet our needs.
The home we needed to meet Bonnie’s health crisis sat empty for two years, waiting for us. The pile of decorative rocks with the bricks we needed to place a cross over the grave of our beloved pet sat there for three and a half years. The Cross over her grave reminded us of the Christ who died for us, so we as the children of God may enjoy the Lord as Jehovah-jireh, spiritually and practically in this sin cursed world.
Let the Holy Spirit of Christ prepare your heart so your spiritual eyes may be opened to enjoy His provision in times of crisis, so you can live in the realization of His provision. (Genesis 21:14-19)
In Closing: In this sinned cursed world, until the day you go home to be with the Lord – there will be trials and testing that will cause you to question the Lord’s love for you, especially in His provision in this world. Isaac being laid upon the altar and the ram being the replacement were prototypes of Jesus Christ. Jesus giving His life upon the Cross, getting victory over sin and death gives a whole new meaning to living. He provides satisfaction and perfect guidance in this life. (The Pulpit Commentary) It is His promise, being God in the flesh, to provide for you in every way, glorifying Himself in and through your life just as he did through Abraham.
Be in constant prayer, allow the tests of this life to open your spiritual eyes to His provision, make sure you are living on the mount of the Lord spiritually. Express a living testimony that shows an on-looking world that God, in Christ is still Jehovah-jireh. Overcome all trials of this life by placing your soul under the blood of Jesus Christ and trust in the word of your testimony of God’s past provision. (Revelation 12:11) There is something strengthening in the giving of a testimony that glorifies the power and faithfulness of God and Jesus Christ. (Thru the Bible; John Wesley Commentary) Let us Pray!