Jehovah Jireh Genesis 22:14
Again the life of Abraham, the friend of God, provides a fresh insight into the character of God. Abraham is now well over 100 years of age and yet we find him still learning of the Lord.
I GOD SEES AND HIS PROVISION WILL BE SEEN.
- A compound name. The name Jehovah is employed here. Given the words of Ex 6:3, there is obviously here a blend of history and new revelation. The record of events is ‘updated’ to include the newly revealed name of God that is to be of such importance to the nation of Israel that Moses is leading to Canaan. Even the form of the name written here becomes an important link with the past and the time then present. Cp v14 this day…
- An important significance. The name involves the use of a Hebrew verb that ordinarily means ‘to see’ – and yet it also indicates the kind of seeing that responds in action. Cp v8 provide = same verb. There is an additional significance drawn out in v14 to indicate that what God does to provide for the situation He has seen, will be seen by men—openly, publicly.
- The meaning has a double focus.
- Upon a place, v14. There is a specific place in view here in the land of Moriah. It was a place specially chosen by God for the occasion, v2. In later times in this very neighbourhood the Temple would be built. Cp 2Chron 3:1. In the same area later still, on a little hill marked by God the Lamb God provided would die as a burnt offering.
- Upon an action. These events are a wonderful prophetic drama that reveal the purpose of God in redemption. The words of v8 loom large in that context—to be echoed repeatedly in the symbols of Levitical code and finally fulfilled in the words of Jn 1:29. At the heart of these events is the simple fact that God saw the desperate need of men and provided a suitable sacrifice for a burnt offering to provide their release. What a picture of Christ is seen here! One of the most striking features is that the ram was caught by his horns in a thicket—a word connected with thorns that are themselves a symbol of the fall. He was so restrained so as not to spoil his perfect suitability for a sacrifice!
II THIS KNOWLEDGE OF GOD CAME TO ABRAHAM IN A TIME OF TESTING.
- God tested Abraham, v1. Cp James 1:12-16. The Lord brought His servant into this stressful situation to prove him. That test revolved around the life of his son. It touched upon Abraham’s faith in the promises of God related to Isaac. It impacted above all Abraham’s willingness to obey God in everything He said.
- The revelation of Jehovah-Jireh came as Abraham acted as recorded v12. Cp Heb 11:9. As he responded to the testing in faith, fear and simple obedience, he learned the significance of Jehovah-Jireh.
- God’s purpose in testing His people is to prove to them His own resources. Cp 2Cor 1:3-5. The comfort of knowing God is Jehovah-Jireh should support us as we face trial and strain. The Lord sees, He will provide, and His provision shall be seen.
III THIS WAS A REVELATION OF GOD THAT PROVED TO BE THE MEANS OF PROVIDING AN ESCAPE FOR ISAAC.
- Isaac was under a sentence of death imposed by God. Even though it was God’s purpose to deliver Isaac, this was a real sentence of death. Cp Eph 2:1-4. That sentence was to be administered by his father! There is a striking illustration here of the spiritual lot of the sinner, and specially the sinner born into the house of a believer. Abraham found himself required by God to be prepared to support God’s sentence of death! Spiritually, that is a hard thing for a Christian parent to do with reference to an unsaved child.
- God directly intervened to spare Isaac, v11ff. He stopped the execution of the sentence and provided for a substitute in the form of a ram for the burnt offering.
- Isaac was spared as his father persisted in obeying God. The way to see sinners saved is to remain true to the course God calls us to.
Jehovah-Jireh still lives to rescue sons from the fire of Divine wrath. He does so in the provision of His Son as our sacrifice.