And Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord provides.” It is said to this day, “In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.”
I love this name for my Heavenly Father. One of the main roles in life of a father is to provide for his children, and the same is true for our Father in Heaven. He is our provider of all things we need.
I was blessed to grow up with a father who provided abundantly for our family. He is wise and responsible with his finances and an excellent steward of what God has given him (sadly, that is apparently not a genetic trait I inherited). I remember growing up both of my parents working very hard to teach me the difference between needs and wants...I tend to be a slow learner, so I still struggle with this despite the best efforts of my parents! Our idea of what we need, is not always God's plan, but God's plan is always best.
In the almost 15 years of our marriage, Rick and I have struggled financially. But somehow, through all of our ups and downs, God as always provided for us. But, it is was not until the past few years that I truly understood the meaning of Jehovah-Jireh, the provider. It is not only about providing for our daily living and physical needs; He provides comfort to the heartbroken, He provides friends to the lonely, He provides counsel through mentors and parents to those of us who seem to need constant counseling (guilty!), He restores relationships at the right moment. He provides for ALL of our needs.
In the context of Genesis 22:14, Abraham is specifically referring to God's provision of the lamb for sacrifice in place of Isaac. John Calvin interpreted this as "God not only looks upon those who are His, but also makes His help manifest to them." Another interpretation of this reference is "Man's extremity is God's opportunity."
I can think of several situations in my life when God has made His help manifest to me. A few years ago, not long after we moved to North Carolina, my husband and I were both working full-time and struggling with putting our children in day-care. (Please do not think this is a comment on dual-income families that utilize some form of childcare, we have been in all types of situations and have found that having a parent home is what works best for our family. This by no means indicates that other options are unacceptable). We made the decision that my husband would quit his job and pursue his education full-time while staying home with our 3 children. It was a tough decision that would require sacrifice on our part, but it was important for us to have a parent home full-time. On Sunday, Rick notified his boss he was quitting; on Monday, I got a job offer (completely out of the blue) that would increase my salary by 20%. That was Jehoveh-Jireh providing!
I am thankful for my Heavenly Father, specifically in His role as the Great Provider, Jehoveh-Jireh.