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As we continue with our series of the names of God, I’m excited to share one of my favorite of the God’s name: Jehovah Jireh. The Lord Will Provide or The Lord Who Provides. (also seen in some translations as Yahweh Yireh)
(For more on praying over the names of God and why we should study them, see this post).
Jehovah Jireh Meaning
The Jehovah Jireh meaning is found in one of the most famous Bible stories. And it is found only once in scripture. It is found in the Old Testament Jehovah-Jireh in Genesis 22). It is the test of Abraham.
Jehovah Jireh is the name that Abraham called God by, and he also assigned it to the site where God told him to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, as a burnt offering at the place of sacrifice – the burning bush. This was God’s way of testing Abraham’s faith and obedience if you recall the story. (You can refresh your memory by reading Genesis 22).
The Backstory to Jehovah Jireh in the Scripture and Why it is Important to Understand This Name of God
The easy answer to Jehovah Jireh’s meaning is “God will provide,” but there is much more to it than that. I want to take us back to Genesis 22 when we read an interesting story of Abraham and his son Isaac.
God gave Abraham a promise that he would eventually have a son. Abraham was shocked by this as his wife, Sarah, was barren, and he was an older man himself. As each year went by, he doubted whether the promises of God would ever come true.
Can you relate? You pray repeatedly, and it seems that God is not answering your heartfelt prayer. Doubt fills our minds, but we are to have faith, even when we cannot see God working (2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV).
What happens next is shocking. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, encourages Abraham to have sex with her servant, Hagar. Sarah was feeling shameful that she couldn’t produce Abraham’s promise, and by the looks of it, time was running out.
God is a patient God, but that doesn’t mean he won’t give you more than your heart can imagine. When we trust him with all of the blessings in our lives and wait for his perfect timing before receiving them, instead of trying to “quicken” their arrival by working hard on ourselves first, amazing things happen!
Eventually, Hagar gets pregnant and bears a son, Ishmael. While things get tense between the two women (a story for another day), the situation is complicated when Sarah, in her advanced age, does get pregnant.
God answered their prayers and “made good” on His promise to Abraham when Sarah gave birth to a boy she named Isaac.
Abraham was waiting for a very long time for His promises to come true which is why when God tests him; it is a stunning and troubling request.
Genesis 22:1-3- Now it came about after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” So Abraham got up early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac, and he split wood for the burnt offering and set out and went to the place of which God had told him.
Wait a minute! Abraham waited all of his life for a son, he finally got one, and God asked him to sacrifice him. A very odd request, but the fascinating part is how obedient Abraham was. He was just like, “Ok, let’s go!”
I believe he was so obedient because he knew the heart of the Father. I come to this conclusion because of what he says in verse 5.
Genesis 22:5- Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the boy will go over there, and we will worship and return to you.”
Notice how Abraham tells the young men, “We will worship AND RETURN.” How did He know that God would never allow him to go through with that? The answer is that Abraham knows the God he serves, and Abraham recognized that this was a test. How much better would our lives be if we could identify the tests from God without all of the worries?
God stopped him when Abraham raised the knife to take his son Isaac’s life. Abraham then noticed a ram trapped in a nearby bush or thicket. He offered the ram as a sacrifice instead of Isaac. Abraham felt sure that God had provided this ram for this purpose and called God The Lord Will Provide.
Jehovah-Jireh provided a sacrifice to save Isaac, and that action was a precursor to the provision of His Son for the salvation of the world.
Jehovah Jireh, The Lord Who Provides
In Hebrew, the name is יְהוָה יִרְאֶה. The first word of the phrase is the Tetragrammaton (יהוה), generally translated in English Bibles as “the LORD” or “GOD” in capital letters. Jehovah is a Christian anglicized vocalization of this name using the vowels of Adonai.
The early Septuagint translation into Greek gives the meaning as “The LORD hath seen.”One Latin version of the Christian Bible rendered the name in Latin as Dominus videt (“The LORD sees”). The King James Version follows this meaning, as quoted above.
However, some modern translations, including the NIV, render it “the LORD will provide”, amplifying the literal meaning along the lines of “the LORD will see to it”, and referring to Abraham’s earlier words in 22:8, “God himself will provide the lamb”.
Through the name Jehovah Jireh, God is revealed as a provider. The Hebrew word for this name means “to provide” and to perceive or experience His will in our lives.
The God who provides is also the one who perceives your needs. He knows what you are going through and will provide for your every need.
We all have the greatest need for salvation- forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. The story of Abraham offering Isaac in Genesis 22 is more than just an illustration of faithfulness; it previewed what God would provide us later on: an incredible sacrifice of His Son on the cross.
Jesus as Jehovah Jireh
On Calvary, the “God Who Provides” did what He asked Abraham to do, but even more so.
When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac was spared and provided a ram in place of the boy. But on Calvary, there would be no substitute – Jesus died instead, who is called “the lamb” because he offered up himself as an instrument for our salvation. The only-begotten son is the ultimate promise of God.
Jehovah Jireh and You
Paul says that God has provided for our eternal salvation by giving His Son the greatest gift he could give. And so, having given this precious thing to us, will not fail in providing all of our needs- even smaller daily ones! He knows what you need and is always ready to answer our prayer – often in ways more incredible than we could ever imagine.
It doesn’t matter how big or small it may be because Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Who provides) is our help and salvation.
Scripture Related to Jehovah Jireh
While Jehovah Jireh scripture references are minimal (the actual text “Jehovah Jireh” occurs just once in the Bible in Genesis 22:14), promises that God will provide are found throughout the Bible. Here are just a few.
You can find everything that you are looking for about The Names of God and Why We Should Study and Pray Them, as well as in-depth studies on each of the 9 names of God we cover (Adonai, Abba, Jehovah Jireh, and many more) It includes a video and additional downloads. * 73 pages
Isn’t it so comforting to know that God knows our needs before we do?
He not only KNOWS our needs, but He provides them to those who believe in Him.
God desires for us to carry out His will on earth.
He loves you, and He has a good plan for your life. He wants to bless you so you can fulfill His plan and purpose … so you can really enjoy your life. And in His Word, He tells us who He is and how we can access everything we need through Christ.
Sometimes we miss out on what God wants to do in our lives because we go to people, expecting them to give us what we need instead of God. Now, God will work through the people He puts in our lives to help us, but we need to go to Him first and let Him determine the best way to meet our needs.
However, many of us fall short because we rely on earthly providers instead of our Heavenly Father.
Do these sound familiar?
We plan for something but don’t invite God to the planning session.
We expect someone else to do something, get something for us, and love us. but don’t consider God’s plan for our lives.
When we seek things instead of God, our focus is not in the right place. Our relationship with God needs to be our number one priority all the time because everything we need is found in Him. When we seek God to know Him more and to learn the right way to live, then we can have confidence that He will take care of everything that concerns us and meet all of our needs.
My Story About Jehovah Jireh and The Lord Who Provides
I have so many stories where God has provided for me, but I want to share two, very personal ones with you.
About ten years ago, I was in a bad marriage. My husband was not a bad man, but he was an alcoholic, which resulted in some poor decisions. He did not have a relationship with Christ. Every day I prayed that God would change his heart. I had a very close personal relationship with Christ at the time.
When he left me and my sons, and I was single again, I prayed that God would give me a Godly man. I ended up in a difficult relationship that caused me many struggles and heartache. I wondered why God didn’t answer my prayers. Why didn’t He want me to be happy?
During this time, I stopped going to church and ceased seeking God in all I did. Looking back, THAT was why He didn’t intervene!
Late in 2014, I began to seek God again. Shortly after, He placed a man in my life who was on fire for Him! Mike is kind, compassionate, giving, selfless, and loves God with all of his heart. He helped fan the flames of my own passion for our King of Kings!
God DOES want us to be happy. He DOES want to give us what our heart desires, IF it is according to His will and if we are seeking Him first.
In 2015, Mike lost his income. I asked him to move into my house to help him out until he could get back on his feet.
I own my own home and received a monthly pension from my late husband. (He passed away when we were separated as a result of his alcoholism).
Mike and I knew that by living together, we were willfully sinning.
It weighed heavy on our hearts, and we sought counsel from Christian friends and, finally our pastor.
If we married, I would lose my pension. How could we survive?
Yet, we wanted to honor God and please Him.
Our pastor reminded us that by pleasing God, He would take care of us.
He also reminded us that our current situation was NOT pleasing to God.
We prayed and asked God for guidance.
He answered very quickly, and we knew that we were to get married.
That very night, Mike moved into a spare bedroom in our home, and the wedding was scheduled for May 14, 2016.
Each night, we watch TV together and do our couple’s devotion, then we retire to our own rooms.
Yes, I lost my pension, but God knew that we needed some help. Mike is a licensed Master Plumber. Within a few days, calls started coming in for work for him. He was going into business for himself – God took care of that and has been providing steady work ever since.
Me, in addition to Woman of Noble Character, I am a Human Resources Consultant. Within a few days of our decision, I started to receive more calls and requests for proposals – I hadn’t even sought them, yet! Now I have ample work, and we are comforted knowing that we will be just fine, financially and spiritually. Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Will Provide!
God had a plan for me to meet Mike in His perfect timing and when I sought His face!
He also knew that one day we would be married and that our marriage would be a testament to His perfect love. We sought to honor Him and we are now enjoying the blessings that He has so graciously provided for us.
How has Jehovah Jireh provided in your life? Was there a time when hope seemed lost, but God had a plan? I’d love to hear your story!
Studying and praying the names of God, including Jehovah Jireh, can expand your love of Him and His promises.
If you are unsure how to pray to God using His Hebrew names, here is a Jehovah Jireh prayer to get you started:
Jehovah Jireh Prayer
Magnificent Jehovah Jireh,
We thank you that there is no situation that is out of your control. You are Jehovah Jireh – the Lord Who provides. We thank You that You hold everything in your hands and give us what we need. We also thank you that you know our needs before we even ask and before we even come to you. You know our needs even when we don’t.
Heavenly Father, you know our concerns and worries and you have a plan for us. You have the solution. You have the provision. Only You can move mountains to make a way for situations that, we, as humans, think are out of control. We ask for your answer, according to your plan and in your perfect timing, to be given for every need that burdens us.
Forgive us for doubting you, for worrying, and for thinking that we have the answers. Jehovah Jireh, help us to trust you completely and increase our faith.
Remind us that you are able to accomplish far more and do far greater than we ever thought possible.
We thank you, in advance, for your miracles, for your provision. Thank you for blessing us abundantly. More than we could ever imagine.
We trust you this day, and every day, and are so grateful for your Power and joy that fills our lives. Thank you for teaching us to be content in all circumstances.
We love you, Father God, Jehovah Jireh, and we put all in Your hands.
The way that some people understand God is different from the reality of His love. They think He does not care or provide because their earthly dad wasn’t around or couldn’t provide for them, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! The scripture says, “He always provides,” which means when we need Him most, He will always show up in ways big and small to give his children everything they need.
The Lord will always be there when we need Him. However, this does not mean that we should give Him a laundry list of everything we want and expect Him to provide it all. It does mean that as we choose to put him at the center of our lives, He will always provide what we need spiritually, emotionally, relationally, physically, and financially. He understands our needs better than we do, and he truly cares for us and loves us. God will always provide his presence, love, and consistency. He will never abandon us.
Do you have a need in your life right now? Our Heavenly Father wants to meet that need. Trust him to do it in his way and in his time. He knows what is best for us and when we need it. He is Jehovah-Jireh. He is our provider.
Recommended Resources to Learn More about Jehovah Jireh
I love this book, Jehovah Jireh by Mary J. Nelson (no relation!) filled with story-based meditations and prayers to our Jehovah Jireh.
I Call Him Jehovah Jireh: How God Provided Through the Storm by Donna S Goodman.
Because of Him,
ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
NIV – Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™