A Lamb and an Alter

This summer the #IKnowHim blog team has been meditating on different names of God in order to know Him better. This week we are going to be looking at 3 names of God found in Scripture that reveal different ways that God cares for us.

In one of the most suspenseful stories in the Bible, we are introduced to God as Jehovah Jireh, which means “the Lord will provide”. We find this account in Genesis 22:14, when a father takes a son to an altar to perform a sacrifice. During their journey, the young boy notices that they seem to have forgotten the sacrifice. He asks his father, who was named Abraham, where the sacrifice was. For the first time in Scripture, Abraham answered his beloved son—the one he longed for so many years, with this name of God. Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide. If you aren’t familiar with this story, earlier God had instructed Abraham to take his son, Isaac, up to the mountain and offer him up as a sacrifice, hence the lack of sacrifice Isaac questioned. Soon enough, Isaac realized that his father didn’t forget the sacrifice at all. Abraham laid his son on the altar, raised his weapon to strike, and at the very last moment heard his name called from Heaven, as an angel of the Lord releases him from the task. Abraham, after hearing the angel’s voice looked up…and we see God given this name, Jehovah Jireh.

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. 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 22:13-14)

In my own life, I too have often asked of my Father, “Where is the sacrifice? Where is this thing that we so desperately need?” For example, I have a friend with a beautiful family that loves and follows God, but there is so much hurt in their hearts for various reasons. For years now they have been praying for a breakthrough out of the darkness, out of the chaos. Yet it seems to be one thing after another, heavy burden after heavy burden. In my own prayers for them I have found myself asking God, “Where is their breakthrough? Where is their victory?”  Maybe you have, too. Where is the healing? Where are the finances? Where is the joy? Hear this today, friend: The Lord will provide.

This particular name reflects the truth that He sees every need we could have. Rest assured that God knows just what we need and the exact moment we are desperate for it. He is fully aware of every need from physical to financial, to emotional, to spiritual, and everything in between. However, sometimes just like Abraham we must show that we are willing to be obedient to the hard things and trust that He has already provided what we need— before we ever see the provision manifested. We often are fully aware of what we are asking God for, but we may need to ask ourselves if we know what God is asking us to do first. Not because He is a conditional God, because He isn’t—but because our faith is refined when we must believe without seeing. Before we seek God’s provision, we must seek a relationship with Him. He is a good Father that longs to give us the desires of our heart, but He can’t do that if we neglect to establish a relationship with Him. It is after we have faith that God already did provide for us, through Jesus on the cross, that we can have faith that God will provide in other areas of our lives, because we understand the love He has for us.

We know that God’s love for us is unconditional because what happened that day with a father named Abraham, a son named Isaac, and an altar was a foreshadowing of when God would make the ultimate provision. Thousands of years later, God the Father would provide His one and only Son named Jesus—the spotless Lamb, on the altar of a cross. This was the final sacrifice that would seal His provision and love for us forever. This sacrifice of the Lamb meant that every need we would ever have would be heard and met by a Father that loves us, despite our brokenness.

He sees you, He hears you, and He will provide for you. Take a few moments and if you can write down what it is you are asking God to provide. Then meditate on this promise from Genesis that God will provide. Finally, begin to ask God what He might have you do, so that your faith might be strengthened in the waiting.

Let us know how God has provided for you in your life! We’d love to hear your #IKnowHim story of God’s faithfulness. Keep pressing on,