Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yahweh Jireh - Provision For A Purpose

Genesis 22:14 “And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide (Yahweh Jireh); as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.

This is the first time in the Bible that we see the name “Yahweh” joined to another name. It’s found in the story of Abraham, specifically when he was about to offer his son as a sacrifice. God tested Abraham’s commitment to Himself by asking him to give Isaac as an offering. Abraham obeyed, trusting in the fact that God promised him descendants through Isaac. If Isaac died, then Abraham knew that God would have to bring him back to life again. After he tied Isaac up and placed him on the altar, just as Abraham was about to bring the knife down on him, God stopped him. Abraham passed the test and God sent a sheep for Abraham to offer up instead. In response to the provision of a sacrifice, Abraham called that altar and that place “Yahweh Jireh”.

This story shows us a common principle in many of God’s names. Many times people would build an altar in a certain place and name it after the name of God. This is why, even though Yahweh Jireh was technically the name of the altar, it is also the name for the God of provision.

It’s significant that the first time God ever connected His name Yahweh (I AM WHAT I AM) to a part of His nature, He connected it to His provision. God want to provide for you! Sadly, it’s a common teaching that God wants His people to be poor instead of rich. It’s claimed that God even opposes the rich and wealthy. But can’t you see how that teaching opposes what He reveals about Himself in this name?

Proverbs 10:22 shows us what God’s blessing will do for us; “The blessing of Yahweh makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” We see the effect of that blessing on Isaac’s life in Genesis 26:13-14: “The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.” Isaac was so blessed that an entire nation became jealous of one man!

In fact, many of the men and women God used throughout the Bible were very wealthy.
God’s blessing on Noah allowed him to build the largest vessel the world had ever seen before.
God’s blessing on David allowed him to personally donate the equivalent of five billion dollars to help build God’s temple.
God’s blessing on Solomon made him the wealthiest king the world had ever seen.
God’s blessing on Joseph gave him access to the entire nation of Egypt.
God’s blessing on His people in the exodus let them walk into the wilderness with all the wealth of Egypt.
Jesus Himself had enough to care for twelve men and their families - He had His own personal treasurer!
God is not opposed to His people being wealthy!

What He is opposed to is giving people what they can’t handle. Third John 2 declares, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” If your soul isn’t prosperous - if your mind, will and emotions remain uncontrolled - God won’t allow prosperity to come your way. Why, is He keeping it back to punish you? Not at all! He loves you!

But Proverbs 1:32 tells us that prosperity will destroy a fool. We see this over and over when someone wins the lottery. People who barely manage their paychecks suddenly get swept away by a tidal wave of money. What happens to them? It usually destroys them in the end. God will not be the Author of your destruction! He will always give you what you can handle.

What you need to see behind God’s provision is that it’s provided for a purpose. God provided that sheep to Abraham to spare his son and provide a sacrifice. God blessed Noah so He could build an ark and save the human race. God blessed David and Solomon so they could build the most impressive building on earth for His people to meet with Him. God always provides to fulfill His purpose.

One of our favorite verses is Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.” We memorize it, quote it, claim it and hang it up on our refrigerator. What we never notice is the first word - “And”. Let’s read the verse in context, starting with verse 18: “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Paul was writing to a church that had just sent an offering to help him preach the Gospel! Even our favorite prosperity and provision verse shows that God always has a reason for prospering His people!

Christians often have an attitude of, “as soon as I have more than I need, then I’ll be able to be generous.” But that’s absolutely backwards! Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” We need to show ourselves faithful with little before we’re trusted with more. So generosity comes first - and then the blessing.

Remember this: God’s provision is not intended to support a “me-first” mentality! Yahweh Jireh will provide prosperity for His people for His purpose!

No comments:

Post a Comment