Sermon #: 2 Series: The Names of God
Title: JEHOVAH-JIREH--THE LORD WILL PROVIDE
Text: Genesis 22:14
Subject: God’s Provision for the Needs of His People
Date: Tuesday Evening, September 15, 1987
Tape #: H-81
In Genesis 22, the Holy Spirit gives us a description of Abraham’s most severe trial. Abraham was the friend of God. But, in God’s good and wise providence, Abraham was called upon to endure the most heart-rending trial any man ever had to face in this world, other than the Man of Sorrows. All of God’s saints must suffer in this world. All believer’s must endure trials as long as they live. Faith must be proved. And it is proved only when it is put to the test. Intimate communion and fellowship with the Lord will not prevent trials. Strong faith will not prevent trials. In fact, these things will most assuredly bring trials. Abraham walked with God, as a friend, and believed God implicitly. Yet, never was a man made to endure a greater trial than this. Abraham was required to sacrifice his own dear son, Isaac, to the Lord his God. Do not pay any attention to those who would tell you that it is never God’s will for his children to suffer in this world, or that all suffering is an indication of God’s displeasure. Genesis 22 rites this message out in bold letters: TRUE FAITH MUST BE PROVED BY TRIALS.
‘Tis my happiness below
Not to live without the cross,
But the Savior’s power to know,
Sanctifying every loss:
Trials must and will befall:
But, with humble faith to see
Love inscribed upon them all,
This is happiness to me.
However, our subject is not the believer’s trials in this world, but God’s provision. You know what happened upon Mt. Moriah. The Lord God provided a ram as a substitute to die in the place of Isaac. And there Abraham raised up an everlasting memorial to his God. Read verse 14. “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.” This is the title of my message tonight, Jehovah-Jireh--The Lord will Provide.
The name by which God revealed himself to Abraham, “Jehovah-Jireh,” may be translated in three ways. It could be translated “The Lord will See,” or “The Lord will Provide,” or “The Lord shall be Seen.” However we translate this name of our God, Jehovah-Jireh expresses the idea of God seeing and of God being seen. For God, to see is to provide. You know how we sometimes say, “I will see to it,” when we mean, “I will take care of it,” or “I will provide for it.” In fact our English word, “provide,” is derived from a Latin word which means, “to see.” This is the meaning of our text: God, our heavenly Father sees our need and, with the foresight of Divine love, he prepares the supply. God sees the need of his people and supplies it by his grace. And he is seen in the provision he makes.
The truth contained in this name of God, Jehovah-Jireh, ruled Abraham’s heart even before he uttered it and established it as a memorial in the place where God provided a substitute for Isaac. It was faith in Jehovah-Jireh that sustained the old patriarch’s heart throughout this whole ordeal. Faith in Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who will provide, enabled Abraham to render the prompt and unswerving obedience that is recorded in this chapter. Many things must have crossed Abraham’s mind which might have caused him to disobey his God. He might have asked himself the question, “If I slay my son, how can God keep his promise to make my seed as numerous as the stars of heaven?” But he answered that question by saying to himself, “The Lord will see and the Lord will provide.” As he took that painful journey to Moriah, Abraham must have had many perplexing questions about Sarah and his relationship with her. “How will I tell Sarah that I have killed our son? She will certainly think that I have done a horrible thing. How can I convince her that this was required by our God? Will I lose Sarah too? Will she despise me and leave me?” But he strengthened himself with these words, “The Lord will see and the Lord will provide.” Being the man that he was, thoughtful of his reputation and of the honor of God, Abraham must have given some consideration to the responses of other men to his actions. “What will Eliezer say, when he sees that I have slain Isaac? How will my servants respond to this? What will my unGodly, profane neighbors do? I know they will all mock me to scorn. They will find in this a new reason to ridicule me and to blaspheme my God.” But the old man strengthened his heart, as he went up to Moriah. Determined to obey his God, regardless of cost or consequence, Abraham said to himself, “The Lord will see and the Lord will provide. He will not break his promise. He will not alter his word. Perhaps he will raise Isaac from the dead. But even if he is not pleased to do so, by one means of another, my God will justify my obedience and vindicate his command. His name is Jehovah-Jireh.” This name of God, Jehovah-Jireh, silenced every unbelieving thought and carnal objection.
Child of God, drink from this rich fountain and be refreshed by it. If you follow the Lord’s bidding, he will see to it that you will not be ashamed or confounded (Rom. 10:11). If you come into great need by following his command, the Lord will see to it that you lose nothing by your obedience. If difficulties rise like mountains before you, so that your way seems to be completely blocked up, your God will see to it that the way is cleared. Walk in the way of obedience and, as you walk, every obstacle will fall before you. “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5). Confer not with flesh and blood, and the Lord will make a way for you to do his will (Gal. 1:16). The Lord will see us throughout the way of faith and obedience, if we are willing to walk in it. He will see to our way, if we dare to walk in his way.
“The Lord will see and the Lord will provide.” That is what Jehovah-Jireh means. We should not be surprised to hear Abraham declaring this truth and attaching it to the spot that was to be forever famous. His whole heart was saturated with it. His soul was sustained by it. His trial had taught him to know more of his God. In fact, it had given him a new name for his God. And Abraham’s grateful heart desired to keep this name of God as a memorial to all future generations of heavenly pilgrims, to encourage all his brethren in faith to obey God’s will and persevere in his ways. Abraham says to all, “The name of our God is JEHOVAH-JIREH, the Lord will see and the Lord will provide.”
This was not the first time Abraham had used such language in speaking of God. In verse 14 “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh,” because he had seen it to be the truth. This was something he had experience for himself. The ram caught in the thicket had been provided as a substitute for Isaac. Not only had the Lord seen, but according to the promise made to Abraham’s faith, the Lord had provided as well. Even before he knew how this trial would end, Abraham confidently believed God, trusting him to provide what was needed. Read verses 6 and 7. Isaac said, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham answered with confident faith in his God, “My son, GOD WILL PROVIDE!” And in due time, God did provide. Then, in verse 24, Abraham honored God, repeating the words he had spoken to his son, with only one change. Instead of using the ordinary name for God, he used his special covenant name, Jehovah. He said, “Jehovah will provide.”
As these words were spoken prophetically by Abraham concerning Isaac and his Substitute, they were also a direct prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Substitute whom God has provided for sinners. When Abraham called the name of that place “Jehovah-Jireh,” he gave honor, not to his faith, but to his God. He testified of God’s goodness and grace. He tells us, “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” Without question, he was speaking prophetically of Mt. Calvary, the true Moriah. There he says, “The Lord shall be seen.” Abraham, by the Spirit of prophecy, was saying to us, as God provided a substitute for his son Isaac, so he will provide a Substitute for all his covenant people in Whom the Lord will be seen. And that Substitute is Christ, the Lamb of God. He was also telling us that, as God provided for him in his time of extremity, so he will provide for all who trust him. The God of Abraham lives today! He is the same today as he was in Abraham’s day. And, blessed be his name, the God of Abraham is our God! In the hour of Abraham’s great need, when there seemed to be no possible way of escape, the Lord appeared for him and was seen in the mount. So it shall be with all the children of Abraham. We shall be tried and tested, but in the hour of our utmost need our God will see us. Seeing our need, he will provide for us. And he will be seen in the provision he makes. The name of our God is Jehovah-Jireh. Let us ever trust him!
The Lord, Jehovah, is our preserver and our Provider. I want us to have this truth firmly fixed in our hearts. Therefore I want to show you that God’s provision for Abraham and Isaac typified the far greater provision of his grace, by which all believing sinners are delivered from sin and death. I want you to see that God’s provision for us in Christ, by his death at Mt. Calvary, has given us the sure guarantee that all our necessities, both carnal and spiritual, shall be provided by him for both time and eternity.
Proposition: The provision which God made for Abraham was typical and prophetical of the great provision he has made for sinners in his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I will use the three translations of this name by which God revealed himself to Abraham, JEHOVAH-JIREH, to show you how that this name for our God reveals his glorious saving purpose toward his people.
1. Jehovah-Jireh means “The Lord will See.”
2. Jehovah-Jireh means “The Lord will Provide.”
3. Jehovah-Jireh means “The Lord will Be Seen.”
I. JEHOVAH-JIREH MEANS “THE LORD WILL SEE.”
Jehovah-Jireh tells us that the Lord will see our great need. As God saw Abraham’s great need and provided for it, the Lord constantly sees the needs of his children and provides for them. The provision of the ram to die in the stead of Isaac was the significant type that was before Abraham’s eye when he called the name of that place JEHOVAH-JIREH. Our Lord tells us that “Abraham rejoiced to see me day: and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). Surely, if ever Abraham saw Christ’s day and was made to rejoice for it, it was at that moment when the Lord provided a substitute for Isaac. But whether Abraham understood the full meaning of what he said is not important. He spoke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, not for himself, but for us. Every word he uttered was for our instruction (II Tim. 3:16-17; I Cor. 10:11). And the teaching is this: God, in the gift of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, made full provision for all our needs. He sees us in our need, because of our own sin, and provides for all our needs in his Son.
A. The Lord graciously beheld the needs of his sinful people, long before we were even aware that we had any needs before him.
1. Our great God saw the need we were in because of our spiritual ruin by the sin and fall of our father Adam (Rom. 5:12).
God created Adam as the head and representative of our race, in his own image and after his own likeness (Gen. 1:27). Adam was created in perfect uprightness of character, holy and righteous, as the angels themselves. He had intimate fellowship with the infinite, holy, eternal God. And the Lord gave him a Godly companion, Eve, to be his daily, constant helpmeet. Everything he could desire was his. There was nothing evil in his heart. There was not even a natural weakness or inclination toward evil in him. But Adam fell by the temptation of Satan. And we all fell in him, suffering great less in all things spiritual. Now all the sons and daughters of Adam are in great need (Eph. 2:1-4; Rom. 3:9-20).
a. We are all dead in sin, without life toward God.
b. We had no righteousness before God, and no ability to produce righteousness
c. We were alienated from God, and could not make reconciliation.
d. We had no claim upon any promise God has given.
e. We are all, by nature, without God, without Christ, and without hope, perishing in this world (Eph. 2:11-12)
2. God also saw our great need as willful transgressors of his law.
Not only did we incur great loss by Adam’s sin, we are all guilty by our own willful transgressions too. Since the day we were born, we have never ceased to sin against God, breaking every precept of the law continually (Ex. 20:1-17).
a. We constantly break every commandment concerning our duty to God.
b. We constantly break every commandment regarding our duty to man.
c. The law of God demanded our punishment (Gal. 3:10).
d. The gates of hell were opened wide, ready to swallow us up into perdition.
e. We were all perishing, dead spiritually and condemned to die eternally.
B. But our great and merciful God beheld our need and intervened to save us by his free Grace (Eph. 2:5-9; Ezek. 16:6-8)
Just when Isaac was in imminent danger of death, the Lord stepped in to deliver him. The knife was lifted up by the resolute hand. Isaac was but a second from death, when the angelic voice was heard, saying, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad” (v. 12). God provided when the need pressed urgently. So it was with us!
When justice, by our sins provoked,
Drew forth its dreadful sword,
Christ gave up His soul to the stroke,
Without a murmuring word.
1. When God saw that the world had come into a state of great danger and misery, he sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law.
God sent his Son into the world that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). “In due time Christ died for the unGodly” (Rom. 5:6). “When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son” (Gal. 4:4).
2. Was it not so, my friend, with you?
It is not until men and women feel themselves lying at hell’s door, with the anguish of their guilt and sin crushing them down into eternal ruin, that God the Holy Spirit reveals Christ, the sinner’s Substitute.
Just in the last distressing hour,
The Lord displays delivering power;
The mount of danger is the place
Where sinners see surprising grace!
No man will ever be saved until he is lost. No one will ever be clothed until he is stripped. No one will ever be filled until he is empty. Christ comes only to those who need him. But he always comes to those who need him.
I well remember the day when the Holy Spirit first showed me the Lamb of God, who died in my place. I had often heard the gospel story of redeeming love and saving grace. But I had never before known my pressing need of Christ. I had not before felt my danger. I had never before felt the knife of justice at my throat.
a. When the Holy Spirit convinced me of my sin, then I rejoiced to see my sinless Substitute.
b. When the law silenced my excuses and bound me over to execution, then I was glad to see Christ dying in my place.
c. When I felt that I must soon perish, and that God would be perfectly just to cast my sinful soul into hell’s eternal torment, when my heart crushed with the guilt of my sin, then I was delighted to see Christ pleading for me as an Advocate in heaven.
C. Blessed be His name, Jehovah-Jireh! The Lord saw me and supplied my need; and he will do the same for all who trust Him.
1. I needed life. He gave me Christ.
2. I needed redemption. He gave me Christ.
3. I needed righteousness. He gave me Christ.
4. I needed pardon. He gave me Christ.
4. I needed peace. He gave me Christ.
Jehovah-Jireh means “the Lord will see.” Are you in need of his saving mercy and grace? If you need Christ, if you know your need of him, God put that need in you, God sees the need, and I assure you upon authority of God’s own Word and his name that he will provide for your need. God gives his mercy to all who need it and seek it. God gives his Son to all who need him and trust him.
II. JEHOVAH-JIREH MEANS ‘THE LORD WILL PROVIDE.’
I have already touched upon this, but allow me to elaborate a little. If God sees my need, my provision is secure. This is what Abraham tells us by the name, Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide. I want to show you several things about God’s provision of Christ our Substitute.
Jehovah-Jireh was Abraham’s testimony to the goodness and grace of God in providing a ram to take the place of his son, Isaac, upon the altar of sacrifice. And it is the testimony of every sinner who sees Christ, as his Substitute, sacrificed upon the altar of Divine justice at Mt. Calvary.
A. God’s provision upon the Mount was made spontaneously
The provision that God made for Abraham and Isaac was altogether voluntary and free. It was altogether unsought. And the provision God displayed in the fullness of time at Calvary, when he gave his Son to die in the place of sinners, was also voluntary, free, and spontaneous.
1. Christ died for us freely, unsought, undesired, and unwanted.
a. He died for us before we were born.
b. There was nothing in us to constrain him to die.
c. God sent his Son to redeem us, and Christ came to redeem us by his death, simply because he loved us (John 10:15-18; I John 3:16; 4:9-10).
We sin. God saves. We stray. God seeks. We wander. God finds. We run. God catches.
B. The provision God makes is always the very thing needed.
“A ram”--here is a substitute to take Isaac’s place! This is just what was needed, a bloody sacrifice to die in the place of Isaac upon the altar.
1. God knew what we needed; and only he could provide the needed Sacrifice.
We needed a Substitute. And Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us (I Cor. 5:7; II Cor. 5:21).
a. The immortal God undertakes to endure the death of a man!
b. The immaculate One dies in the place of sinners, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God!
c. God’s well-beloved Son is made to be the Object of his unmitigated wrath!
d. The Joy of heaven becomes the Man of Sorrows!
e. God alone knows what God endured on that day for us; and God alone knows the love of God that is revealed in the death of Christ!
This one thing I know: Jehovah-Jireh is the name of our God. He provides us with what we need--an all-sufficient Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ.
C. Moreover the provision for man’s need was made by God himself.
Where shall a redemption be found by which it shall be possible for the vast multitude of God’s elect to be effectually redeemed for death and hell? Such a ransom could only be found by God himself. And he could find it only in himself! Since no one else could provide a ransom for my soul, Sod provided it and said, “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom!”
1. Is it not a marvelous thing in your eyes that God should provide us with a Savior?
a. It is God’s law that we have broken.
b. It is God’s honor that must be upheld.
c. It is God whom we have offended.
d. Yet, the only place where a Substitute is found, who is both able and willing to save, is in God himself.
This is a wonderful thing indeed! The Judge bears the criminal’s guilt! The majestic God is made to be sin for us!
2. God provided Christ as our Substitute before the world began (Rev. 13:8; 17:8)
3. God provided our Substitute with our nature in the incarnation (Isa. 9:6; Heb. 10:5)
4. God provided Christ as our Substitute at Calvary (Acts 2:23).
5. God provided Christ as our Substitute with power to save to the uttermost, by his resurrection and exaltation (John 17:2; Heb. 7:24-25).
6. Let me interject a thought here: Men must never interfere with God’s provision!
If Jehovah-Jireh provides and Jehovah-Jireh is himself our Substitute, there is nothing left for us to provide. Whatever you need, God provides!
a. Do you need a broken heart? Christ can give it.
b. Do you want a sense of your sin? Christ can give it.
c. Do you need grace to persevere? Christ can give it.
How we sell with pride, to think that our feeble hands can help with God’s provision!
D. One other thing that must be noted is this: God’s provision is gloriously effective.
1. Brethren, like the ram that was slain for Isaac, our Lord Jesus Christ is a burnt offering, acceptable and well-pleasing to God on our behalf (Eph. 5:2).
a. By his one sacrifice, Christ put our sins away.
b. Justice is fully satisfied.
c. Righteousness is established.
d. Peace is made.
e. God accepted his Son for us; and God accepts us in his Son.
2. Since God accepts Christ as our Substitute, we cannot die.
Isaac did not die. There was no grief in the patriarch’s house. He went home with his son in happy fellowship, because Jehovah had provided himself a lamb for a burnt offering. The ram that died did not bleed in vain. God required only one sacrifice. This is our comfort. Jesus Christ did not die in vain!
a. I fear the thoughts of most religious people about the death of Christ.
(1.) Most people make the death of Christ a haphazard thing, dependent upon the will of man.
(2.) Few deny that Christ died for sinners; but few believe that Christ actually accomplished anything be his death.
b. My friends, if Christ died in our place, then we cannot die under the wrath of God!
(1.) We are actually redeemed.
(2.) Our sins are actually put away.
(3.) We are feed from the curse of the law.
(4.) Justice demands it.
c. A sinner, believe on Christ. If you can but trust him you may rest assured that God accepts him in you stead.
3. It seems to me that Isaac must have danced all the way back home, realizing God’s goodness in sparing his life.
Should we not also rejoice in the assurance that since Christ died, we are spared! “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus!”
a. God will not condemn us.
b. The law cannot condemn us.
c. Satan cannot condemn us.
d. Our own hearts cannot condemn us.
4. Let us praise Jehovah-Jireh, He has provided for us a powerful, saving Substitute in Jesus Christ the Lord--And he will have us.
E. Once more, for the glory of Jehovah-Jireh, I do not hesitate to declare that this provision was made for every sinner who will believe.
“He that believeth on him is not condemned,” because Christ was condemned in his stead. “He that believeth hath everlasting life,” because Christ died in his place.
Note: Do not try to decide whether or not you are one of the elect for whom Jesus died. Get this truth first. Christ died for sinners! Are you a sinner? There is hope in the gospel for sinners.
III. JEHOVAH-JIREH MEANS “THE LORD WILL BE SEEN.”
A. He will be seen in the Mount of Sacrifice.
Go to Calvary, for there the Lord will be seen.
B. He will be seen in Mount of Trial.
Your trials may be severe and hard, but do not despair. In your greatest extremity, the Lord will be seen.
C. He will be seen in Mount Zion.
1. Look up to heaven, there the Lord will be seen in the Person of Jesus Christ our Substitute.
Would you know God? Then study Christ. Learn him. Know him.
2. Soon we will see Him as He is, and we shall be seen with Him (Heb. 9:28).
a. Jehovah-Jireh shall see us with satisfaction, and we shall see him with satisfaction.
b. Jehovah-Jireh shall provide us with glory, and we shall provide him with pleasure.
c. Jehovah-Jireh shall be seen with us, and we shall be seen with him.
1. Brethren, Jehovah-Jireh is true concerning all things.
The gift of the Lord Jesus Christ as our Substitute is a Provision that secures all other provisions. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things?”
a. He will give us all things in providence.
b. He will give us all things promised in the covenant.
c. He will give us all things in heaven.
2. Sinner, here is God’s provision.
a. For your sin--the blood of Christ.
b. For your ignorance--the wisdom of Christ.
c. For your weakness--the strength of Christ.
d. For your emptiness--the fullness of Christ.
e. For your death--the life of Christ.
3. Let us give all praise to Jehovah-Jireh.
a. Trust him confidently--He is faithful.
b. Love him supremely--He will provide.
c. Seek him expectantly--He shall be seen.