The Names of God: Yahweh Jireh

This is the eighth post in a series on the names of God.

This is the third variation of Yahweh that we have meditated on in this series. Yahweh Jireh is the name of a place rather than a name for God. “So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The LORD will provide;” as it is said to this day, ‘On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided’” (Genesis 22:14). Still, it contains God’s personal name and reveals an incredible aspect of God’s character. The English Standard Version gives the meaning of Yahweh Jireh in its translation of Genesis 22:14. Yahweh Jireh means “The LORD will provide.”

In Genesis 22 God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, at a mountain that God would reveal to him. Abraham obeyed the Lord. Abraham took Isaac up on the mountain named Moriah. Abraham had not told Isaac what was going to take place. In Genesis 22:7, Isaac asked a question that pulls on the heart strings of every parent, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for burnt offering?” In verse eight Abraham responded, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

Abraham had no idea what God would do. People reading this account today can easily see the result, but Abraham could not know. Hebrews 11:17-19 says that Abraham offered Isaac in faith, knowing that God could raise him from the dead. Abraham trusted God with the son of promise (Genesis 17:19).

Abraham was getting ready to slay his son, but the angel of the LORD stopped him. Abraham’s response of faith was rewarded by the Lord with a provision. The LORD provided a ram in a thicket for a sacrifice. God provided a substitute for Isaac, preserving the son He promised to Abraham. After offering the ram as a sacrifice, Abraham named the place Yahweh Jireh.

One may ask, “What about the Lamb?” Abraham said that the Lord would provide a lamb, but He provided a ram instead. God did supply a Lamb for Himself in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). The ram was a temporary substitute that looked ahead to the eternal Substitute.

God has provided much for believers in the church age. He has provided substitution through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2). He has provided deliverance from sin through the death of the Son on the cross (Ephesians 1:7). He has given the Spirit to seal and indwell each believer (Ephesians 1:14). The LORD, the self-existent, all-powerful God provides for His own.

Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version ®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.