For Jews, a name represents so much more than just a label. In the Old Testament, many names reveal aspects of a person’s personality. Jehovah is a common name for the Christian God. The titles we give the Creator shed light on who He is in astonishing ways. The phrase “Jehovah Jireh” also originates from this name.
Surely you have encountered the name Jehovah Jireh before. Perhaps in the words of a religious hymn, a prayer, or the Bible. People often use the term to describe God’s reliability and integrity.
What Does Jehovah-Jireh Mean?
This term was originally known by its Hebrew name, Yahweh-Yireh. God’s name, Yahweh or Jehovah, describes him as the covenant-keeping Lord, whose nature is ever-dependable and whose word is eternally consistent. In the story of the “burning bush,” which is told in God’s word in Exodus 6:2–3, God revealed Himself to Moses by this name:
And God spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the LORD [Jehovah]. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty [El Shaddai], but by My name, LORD [Jehovah], I was not known to them.'”
Meanwhile, the Hebrew word Jireh can imply both “to offer” and “to perceive” or “to feel.” Thus, one of God’s names in the Old Testament is Jehovah Jireh, a term that stresses how He meets our wants.
As the “God Who Perceives” our requirements and the “God Who Experiences” what we are feeling, our Lord is the “God Who Provides,” and He always knows just what we need.
What Is The Origin Of The Jehovah-Jireh Name?
To better grasp the significance of this word for God, we must return to the narrative in which it was originally used. The name Jehovah Jireh has its roots in a well-known biblical narrative. Plus, it appears just once in the Scripture (Genesis 22).
One day, the Father speaks to Abraham, saying: “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Genesis 22:2).
God tests Abraham’s faith, as the Bible states. He obeys God’s instructions. He loads up the donkey with wood and proceeds with his son toward the mountain that God has promised to reveal to him. His own son, Isaac, seems oblivious to the fact that he would be sacrificed. While heading to their destination, he inquires Abraham:
“‘Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ And Abraham replied, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering'” (verses 7, 8).
Upon arriving at the location God has chosen, “Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order: and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son (verses 9, 10).”
Then God calls at him to halt. Abraham has proven himself worthy. Instead of sacrificing his son, Abraham sacrifices a ram he had spotted in the adjacent woods as a burned offering (11-13). “And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide (verse 14).” In the King James Version, the term used was “Jehovahjireh.”
What Does It Mean That God Is Jehovah-Jireh?
God as the ultimate provider shows His provision to humanity both in the Old and New Testaments. God identifies Himself as Jehovah-Jireh, which means “the Lord will provide,” albeit not in terms of wealth or material belongings. Based on a Bible Study Tools article, the term “provision” has not been in the thoughts of people very often.
We may refer to it as “provisions” whenever we stock up on treats for a road trip or food supplies in anticipation of the next crisis or disaster. We also utilize the terminology for acquiring our requirements and desires in life, such as bill payment, a new automobile, a new home, clothing, and food.
God’s greatness as a provider is most clearly shown in the face of the suffering that no human can bear: the death of a loved one. Abraham’s wife Sarah was sterile. God promised Abraham and his wife Sarah that she would have a son and become “a mother of nations” (Genesis 17:16).
The birth of Isaac to the old couple was the realization of God’s promise. When Abraham was going to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, he put his faith in God and believed that God would perform a miracle to prevent the slaughter. God provided a ram caught in a bush to use as a replacement offering and save Isaac’s life.
The fact that Abraham named the area “YHWH-yireh,” or “Yahweh will supply,” is a lovely testament to Abraham’s faith in God and to God’s essential nature. God never gives up on His chosen people or those he cherishes. Mount Moriah, the mountain where Abraham made his sacrifice, is now home to the Muslim shrine known as the Dome of the Rock but was formerly the site of Solomon’s and subsequent temples.
Throughout the Scripture, we can see God’s giving character in the lives of many people. However, the greatest provision of them all is His own son, Jesus Christ:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Is Jehovah-Jireh Important Today?
This Old Testament title for God may not seem pertinent in today’s high-tech, information-rich world. After all, what significance does a divine name from antiquity have for modern people?
First, it teaches us that God is trustworthy because He never goes back on His promises. You need to read the Bible, which is God’s inspired word, to find out what He says.
Second, knowing this name tells us that God has the answer to our most pressing question: “How can I be right with God?” When we ask God for anything, we often view it as a demand, telling him to step in and provide. Most of us have faith that God will take care of us through answered prayers, whether they be financial or in the aspect of our family, friends, and church.
When life seems uphill, and we feel like God has abandoned us, remember what God says in the book of Matthew (6:25–27 and 33): “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
26“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
27“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
33“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
If Abraham acted in the faith that God would raise Isaac and would provide a miracle of some kind, we should do the same. When we say Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide, we can be certain it is true. We can see it in the flowers and birds. And we can see it at the cross—Jesus Christ, God’s great provision.
By sending His Son, Jesus, to suffer on the cross for the sins of humanity, God has provided for us everlasting redemption. Since God has given us the greatest gift, He will also provide all our other needs, no matter how large or little.