Jehovah Jireh, the Lord is My Provision
As a kid, some of my favorite memories are when my mom would come home from a massive grocery store run. I hated bringing all the groceries in and helping put them in their proper places, but I loved the new bounty of goodness that would soon fill my belly! I doubt I ever thanked God for that provision. In fact, I rarely thanked my mom (even when she brought home Cinnamon Toast Crunch and the really good snacks). Looking back, I had everything I needed and most of what I wanted, and I definitely took that for granted.
Unlike me as a child, Christians are often quick to thank God for “providing,” as long as we have the things we want:
“Thank you, God, for providing this meal.”
“Thank you for getting me to this destination safely, Lord.”
“Thank you for my… health, family, friends, home, ___________.”
It is easy for us to say, “The Lord will provide” when we have all that we want. It is even easy to believe that God provides when we have all we need. That statement sounds great until you or your spouse loses a job and the anxiety shoots through the roof as you wonder how you will pay your bills or put food on the table. When the medical bills start to pile up, will God really provide? When the cars break down (at the same time), is God’s provision still sure?
For most Christians in America, provision is a word we use infrequently. We usually only talk about provision when we’re in crisis. It’s unfortunate that it often takes desperation for us to even consider our provisions. Then, our thoughts of provision are met with anxiety, grumbling, a lack of gratitude, and a renewed diligence to work hard to provide.
Because we fail to attribute provision to the One that provides, our lack of provision and our desire to be provided for again centers completely on us.
“I’m going to work harder.”
“I’m going to make this work.”
The sentiment and work ethic are God-honoring, however, the self-centeredness of thinking that we have any ability to provide without God’s help is sin.
When Satan was allowed to test Job, he started by taking away Job’s property and children. It was a prime breeding ground for complaining and self-centeredness in Job’s life, yet in his grief, Job proclaims, “…The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21). How can a man who just lost his livelihood and his children make a statement like that? The key to Job’s shocking response is the focus he had on the Lord. He recognized that the addition and subtraction of “blessings” in life were completely within God’s sovereignty and that God deserved to be praised when those blessings existed and when they were taken away.
In Genesis 22, God tells Abraham to do the unthinkable when He instructs him to sacrifice his son. This is not just any son, this is the son that God had promised, the son that was born when Abraham was 100 years old! The long-awaited, promised son that was going to be the start of a great nation was to be sacrificed by his own father for God’s sake. But Abraham presses forward. He climbs the mountain. He gathers the wood. He makes the altar. All of this happens while his son wonders where the sacrifice is, obviously clueless to the fact that he is it. Abraham even straps his son onto the altar and lifts the knife! Then, God stops him with a loud voice and provides a substitute, a ram caught in the thicket.
This story could end with Abraham complaining, “God, how could you do this? Why did I have to go through that kind of test? Couldn’t you have taught me the same lesson in some other way?” But no. “Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The Lord will provide’” (Genesis 22:14).
What we find in Abraham’s response is an acknowledgement of who God is and not just what He did. Jehovah Jireh is the name of God that means “The Lord will provide.” The name literally means “The Lord who sees,” or more appropriately, “The Lord who sees to it.” Jehovah Jireh is the one who sees our needs and provides for us. God does not just see the times of crisis and desperation in our lives. He sees AND provides.
Here’s the realization that we all must come to: God is the provision, not simply the one who makes provision. That is His character. That is who God is. God is provider. There are no other sources of provision in life.
Our hard work to earn a paycheck comes from the Lord giving us the ability. The job we have kept is only a result of God’s grace, as opposed to our skills or value to the company. A stimulus check from the government is God’s provision. A “random” check in the mail from people in your Connection Group is God’s provision.
On the flip side, when we lose it all, God sees and provides what is needed. When you lose your job, Jehovah Jireh still exists. When the medical bills seem insurmountable, Jehovah Jireh still exists. When you were dead in your sins, Jehovah Jireh saw your need and provided a perfect and unblemished lamb to sacrifice. He provided His Son Jesus to pay for those transgressions and iniquities.
When you have it all on earth, praise Jehovah Jireh. When you lose it all on earth, praise Jehovah Jireh. Paul said it this way, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). If earthly “provision” ceases to exist and even leads to death, the recognition that all we ever needed was Jesus makes it possible to praise God when we are with and when we are without.
Want to See More Stories?
Kaylee Hunt, one of our student ministry leaders, paints a picture of what it’s like to serve in Student Ministry week to week. She shares some of her experience, motivation, and why she believes it’s worth it to be invested in the lives of young people. How...
I remember my baptism well. It has been frozen in my mind… quite literally. The water tank heater broke and when a friend and I entered the baptismal with the pastor, the water was not any warmer than what would have been coming out a garden hose! It was...
Early on in high school I was looking for my life to be defined by my athletic performances, friends, and relationships, yet never felt like that was enough. I think God began to slowly stir my affections for Jesus towards the end of high school. Although I...