On twitter, it is fun to read the ‘handles’ of people who post there. Often the names people use say something about the poster. God has a series of compound names in addition to Elohim, Jehovah, El Shaddai. These names tell us something about God that are significant to remember.
After my last post I was so struck by the significance of these compound names that I had to go back to Genesis and find the first one, Jehovah-jireh. It is used in Genesis 22:13-14.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
This ‘shall be seen’ is in the sense of God’s provision. God provides. Abraham was about to offer his own son as a sacrificial burnt offering. This is not a big show of ‘appeasing the gods’ so prevalent in that culture. God does not have to be appeased. Yes, Abraham would do anything for God. He genuinely loved God, but the whole event proves that ultimately that it is God that provides, not man.
Evidence that God provides is so prevalent everywhere. It’s in His Word. It is found displayed in nature. It shows up in individuals led by the spirit of God.
God’s provision appears in remarkable clarity. There is no mistaking it. Sometimes man’s thinking however, gets in the way. Man is responsible to do his best. In Exodus when the Israelites came up against the Amalekites, Joshua was the one sent in to lead the battle and he did his best, but it was Moses up on a hill holding up his hands to God that brought about the victory. It is a classic example how God is the one who provides.
Abraham had several instances where he tried to make something happen by his own means (birth of his first son, the lie to Pharaoh about Sarah being his sister are examples). Moses did too. It is very easy to do and it happens all the time today. God is not an over-doer in the sense he does not throw everything at the wall to see what sticks, He always does what’s right. Man often overdoes and seldom gets it right.
There are so many versions and interpretations about this section in Genesis 22 and one could go on and on analyzing it till the cows (or the ram) come home, but the point that God made with Abraham is all wrapped up in the name Jehovah-jireh. God provides! We just need to do our best and let Him do the rest! The key ingredients of doing our best are: prayer, listening (always a part of prayer), reading up on, waiting if necessary, and acting when the time is right.