Keeping His Name Holy – Yahweh-Jireh

Keeping His Name Holy – Yahweh-Jireh

Keeping His Name Holy – Yahweh-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 Isaac. So Abraham called the name of that place, Yahweh-jireh, the LORD-will-provide…”  (Genesis 22:13-14).

Yahweh-jireh was another name of God created by Abraham, this time on Mr. Moriah. The Hebrew words mean LORD-provides, LORD-will-provide. And this name highlights one of the most mystifying stories in all of Scripture. A few years earlier, God had promised Abraham to be a father of a multitude. And God fulfilled His promise with the miraculous birth of his son Isaac. And now, years later, Isaac is a teen-ager, and he embodies God’s promise. Out of Isaac will come a great nation. And suddenly out of the blue, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mr. Moriah. Sacrifice my son, he thinks? My miracle child? The son through whom will come countless descendants? Sacrifice Isaac, of all people? God’s request made no logical sense. Child sacrifice was common in that part of the world at that time, but surely Abraham didn’t expect this pagan practice of God. This was a practically obscene request to make of any father, but of Abraham? But in Hebrews 11:19, Scripture says that Abraham tried to make sense of this outlandish request by assuming that God would raise Isaac from the dead after the sacrifice. Abraham assumed that was the only way that Isaac could continue the family line. That reasoning must have been sufficient for Abraham, for he agreed to comply with God’s request.

The ominous scene continues as they walk up the mountain together, father leading the way as son carries the wood for the fire. Once up at the top of Mr. Moriah, Abraham constructs the altar for the sacrifice. Isaac agrees to stretch out his body on the altar. What was Isaac thinking as his father stretches out his arm holding the knife to slay him? What was Abraham thinking as he continued to trust God in the midst of this painful act? How did he continue to trust in God’s wisdom during this trial? Surely his heart was breaking into a million pieces as he raised the knife.

But unexpectedly, in the the nick of time, God held back Abraham’s knife and provided a ram caught in the bushes. The ram, not Isaac, was God’s provision for the sacrifice. God was happy to save Isaac’s life and confirm Abraham’s faith in the process. Abraham then thought up a new name for God to honor the occasion… Yahweh Provides.

This rather strange and difficult story is a clear picture of what happened much later on a nearby hill, Golgotha. The Mt. Moriah incident reveals a deep misery beyond us, the mystery of a Father sacrificing a Son. Abraham’s feelings must have mirrored the Father God’s when Jesus stretched out on the cross. And Isaac’s feelings were certainly duplicated by those of Jesus as He prepared to be sacrificed. The difference in these monumental events is that in Isaac’s case, he was spared. And in Jesus’ case, He was not. Jesus was the ram caught in the bushes. Father God allowed His Son to be sacrificed for the salvation of the world. The Father’s heart must have broken into a million pieces, just like Abraham.

Abraham has been involved now in five holy names of God: Adonai, El-Shaddai, El-Elyon, El-Olam, and Yahweh-jireh. As the pioneer of our faith, apart from Jesus, is Abraham teaching us a lesson? Perhaps we shouldn’t shy from developing our list of names that honor God and His attributes when we are in a situation in which God has displayed His character.

A Prayer to Yahweh-jireh (ya’-way yeer’uh)

We rejoice in you, Yahweh-jireh, LORD-provides. For you have provided our redemption through your only Son, the very Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. You have sacrificed Him in your compassion for us, Lord, because we were bruised reeds you would not break, smoldering wicks you would not snuff out. You delivered Him up while we were yet helpless and bound by our own sinfulness, that we might live through Him. O what a mystery of love, that Jesus was like a lamb led to slaughter, bruised for our iniquities, pierced for our transgressions. How marvelous is your mercy, LORD Provider. Worthy is your only begotten Son, your pure Provision, through whom you will graciously supply all our needs according to your riches in glory. We bow before you, Yahweh-jireh, and praise your holy Name. Amen. 

Jehovah Jireh My Provider – YouTube