In Genesis 22, Abraham’s faith is tested. It’s a story most of us have heard. God asks the father to sacrifice his beloved son. This is not a metaphorical sacrifice but a literal one that involves killing the most precious person to him.
Yet Abraham is willing. He sets out on a journey to bring his son to the appointed place. As they near the mountain, his son asks an innocent question that must have cut Abraham to the bone. “Where is the lamb?”
From the question, it’s obvious that Isaac has accompanied his father on other sacrifices. He knows from the torch and the wood that the only thing missing from their hike is a lamb.
His father, willing to be compassionate and not scare his child, whispers, “God will provide for the offering.” (Genesis 22:8)
Just as Abraham is about to complete the offering and kill his child—as the knife is poised in his hand—an angel calls out.
“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.” (Genesis 22:12)
At this moment, Abraham looks up and spots a ram caught in the bushes and he sacrifices the ram in place of his son.
But then a curious thing happens, Abraham names God. He calls Him, “Jehovah Jireh”. Some versions render this name as “Yahweh-Yireh”. But they mean essentially the same thing – God will provide.
The names of God reveal the character of God and never more so than with the name of Jehovah Jireh. It’s a reminder to Christians everywhere that we can depend on God to provide for our needs.
Sometimes, it can be hard to remember when the creditors keep calling, when the bills are piling up, and when it seems there’s no end to the cycle of lack and struggle. But just as Isaac was not responsible for finding a substitute lamb, God is not counting on you to provide anything.
The beauty of the name of Jehovah Jireh is that God intervenes. The same God that breathed life into a galaxy, that made the leaping antelope, and the tiny flea sees your struggle. He knows your needs. He will provide a way.
Your only job is to climb the mountain you’ve been assigned. You walk in obedience and you rely on your Heavenly Father to supply your needs. This is the very definition of faith.