In Genesis 22, God called Abraham to do a very difficult thing. Genesis 22:2 says, “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” As a test, God told Abraham to go to a particular place and sacrifice his son Isaac. God was testing Abraham’s obedience and his priorities. Did Abraham love God enough to be willing to give up his son Isaac, the son of promise? Or did Abraham love Isaac more than he loved God?
Abraham was faithful to God. He was even willing to give up his own son, taking him to the place that God had said and laying him on the altar. But at that moment, the Lord intervened. Genesis 22:10-12 says, “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” The Lord had tested Abraham’s faithfulness, and Abraham showed his faithfulness to God. Genesis 22:13 says, “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” God provided a ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac. Abraham did indeed offer a sacrifice to God, but God provided a substitute for Isaac. In response, Abraham gave a name to the place, a name that reflects the character of God. Genesis 22:14 says, “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” Jehovah-Jireh means “the Lord will see” or “the Lord will provide.” Many who have trusted God and seen His provision since then have used this name of the Lord as a reminder that the Lord does indeed provide for us. We can see that in big ways and small ways when we see God provide for our needs.
But we also must remember the context from which the name comes. Abraham didn’t use the name Jehovah-Jireh because he had seen God provide some grocery money when he didn’t have any. He used this name when he saw God provide a substitute for his son who was about to be sacrificed. Many years later, God would provide another sacrifice as a substitute. This sacrifice wouldn’t be for one person, but for many. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” Christ suffered for sins once, the just (One) for the unjust (ones). When we owed a debt of punishment for sins, God sent Jesus as a substitute to be sacrificed for us. We were unjust and unrighteous. We couldn’t save ourselves. Jesus is just and righteous. He didn’t deserve punishment. But He gave himself for us so that we could have salvation. The Lord will provide. The Lord provided a means of salvation from the penalty for sin and eternal separation from Him by sending Jesus to die for us. When we think on the name Jehovah-Jireh, it is a wonderful reminder that God will provide for our needs. Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” God can provide when we need money for food or when we need protection while driving in our car. But far more importantly, God also provided a substitute for us. God sent Jesus to provide salvation from sin and its eternal consequences, because He is Jehovah-Jireh. The Lord will provide.