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Jehovah-jireh!

Pastor Dennis Smith


In the church kitchen one morning before the start of the academy day, one of our teachers was prowling for something to eat. When she spotted the plate of macadamia nut cookies she exclaimed, “Jehovah-jireh! — the Lord provides.”

We find this phrase that has often been used in reference to God — Jehovah-jireh — in Genesis 22:14. In that chapter of Genesis, Abraham was commanded by the Lord to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt offering! Of course, we know the story: how that Isaac had asked his father where the sacrifice was, and how Abraham told his son simply that the Lord would provide for himself the necessary sacrifice. When the Lord did just that by showing Abraham a ram caught in a thicket as he was about to slay Isaac, Abraham gave the name “Jehovah-jireh” to that place.

Jehovah-jireh literally means, in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament, Jehovah will see. We gain insight to this when we read in Genesis 22:14, “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.” But there is indeed also a sense here in which we can think of the Lord as providing. The thought is that Jehovah will see and meet the need: he will see to it that the need is met. And what a need Abraham must have felt on that day!

The present COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of us in one way or another. It is a serious plague: we must not be in denial of that or neglect to take common sense precautions to try to protect our health and that of our fellow citizens. That is why we are doing church differently for now. And there is no doubt that this virus has had, and will have, a devastating effect on our economy, at least for the near term.

I don’t like any of this any more than the next person, but we need not be distraught over any of it. Like Abraham, we too can trust in the Lord to meet whatever need we face. After all, he hasn’t changed — he sees. He knows exactly what our needs are. The Lord sees and will provide. And he knows better than we ourselves what each of us needs most during these trying times, whether it be peace of mind or our daily bread.

Now, you may or may not see this extraordinary situation as any sort of unique opportunity for witness or ministry. Regardless, it is an opportunity to personally reflect in a deeper way on just who God is and how he provides all we need in Christ.

In your prayer times this week, perhaps you could express to the Lord your gratitude for the assurance that he does indeed see our circumstances and that he is able to provide as he sees fit. That was Abraham’s confidence, and the Lord got himself glory through it.

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