YAHWEH YIREH: the Lord will provide

And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19


Meaning of His Name:

When God gave Himself the name El Roi, the God who sees me, He let us know that He sees where and who we are. He sees ME— the real me, with all my flaws and failures. He looks at you and me and chooses to love us. How stunning is that?!

Yet there is another way in which God says He sees us. The name Yahweh Yireh, meaning the LORD will provide, can be more graphically translated as, the LORD who sees ahead of me.

He not only sees me now, right where I am, but He also is looking ahead at where I am going. He sees what I cannot- every twist and turn of the path ahead.

And in all His seeing, He provides.

This name for God, Yahweh Yireh, is first mentioned in an uncomfortable moment of Abraham’s life, and then used over and over again in Scripture to point to what it looks like to be a man or woman of real faith.

Abraham had already made his mark as a man of faith by leaving all that he knew— his home, his career, his security, “not knowing whither he went”[1]. He’d heard from God and followed in heroic faith.

And God had honored that faith by giving him land and riches and what he wanted more than anything else in this world— a son of his own.

It’s the kind of fairy tale-like story all of us love: Abraham’s welling up of courageous faith and God’s generous pouring out of blessing, making all his dreams come true.

And that story might have ended nicely right there, except that “later on, God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience.”[2]

Just like God tested Job… and Peter… and even His own Son.

God asked Abraham to take what he treasured most, “your only son, yes, Isaac, who you love so much-“[3] out into the bleak wilderness of Moriah[4]. There Abraham would be required to “offer him up” in absolute dedication to the LORD.

I squirm in my seat as I read those words.

How could God ask that of one He called a friend?

Why would He?

Yet Abraham, father of our faith, didn’t ask those questions. He just went.

Setting off as the sun was rising over the desert, Abraham saddled his donkey, hoisting his young son on it’s back along with a bundle of wood for the sacrificial offering. All the boy knew was that he was on an adventure with his father and a couple of servants.

A strange entourage trekking across that barren land.

Three days into the journey, Abraham spotted way off in the distance that place where all his dreams would die.

And still he went.

When his little boy asked, “Father where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Abraham must have choked on his answer. “God will yirah, my son.”[5]

Can’t you see them?

Father and son walking together towards death.

How God must have loved His friend in that moment. Did tears spill from the Father’s eyes as He watched the determined steps of a father willing to let his own son— his only son, die just because God said so?

At the last moment, God caught Abraham’s hand in His and provided a ram caught in the thicket to sacrifice in his son’s stead.

Can you imagine the worship that went on there on that mountain? Father and son, arms wrapped around each other in heart-pumping relief. Weeping, laughing, hollering, as shouts echoed off barren cliffs.

There was nothing tame about Abraham’s faith!

What is it that you love more than anything else? What are your dreams?

Will you walk in Abraham’s story to lay down your loves at the foot of the Cross? Willing, even eager to leave it all to go after Jesus?

And will you, instead of striving and fretting, trust Him to look ahead and see what He knows you need?

Will you trust Him that much?

Could you? Could I?

Dare we?

With a heart longing for that kind of reckless faith,


Genesis 22

Philippians 4:19,20

Hebrews 11:17-19

2 Kings 4

[1] Hebrews 11:8 KJV, I love the way the words go!

[2] Genesis 22:1

[3] Genesis 22:2

[4] which, strangely enough means Jehovah seeing (All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible, Lockyer)

[5] Genesis 22:8 provide, or see ahead

May 30, 2011
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16 comments... (add a comment)

  1. Beth

    Thank you for this, I needed it. Now I just have to have faith in myself to be able to know what it is that God is asking of me! So often I can confuse, scramble, and make excuses for what God might be saying when really I just need to trust that what I am hearing is Him.

  2. Anna

    This is so beautiful-thank you for sharing. I so desire to live a life full of faith and I have come to learn that means I MUST step out-leave comfort zones-“be missional” 🙂 Part of the reason I quit my job was because I felt I hadn’t truly lived in faith in a long time knowing that He would provide…and He so did!!!
    Thank you for sharing all of this wisdom-certainly helps me while I am reading!
    xoxo, Anna

    • You are going to have a treasure chest full of stories to pass on to all who need to really know HOW He does provide… can’t wait to start hearing them!

      • Beverly Maggio

        I really enjoyed your statement on trusting God and having Faith beyond anything when we ask God to fulfill a need . May God continue to be first in your life. He is my all and all.

  3. Kate

    thank you once again for words of wisdom! yet again, His timing in speaking through you is impeccable. i am in such a season of learning to trust His provision, it is frightening and thrilling all at the same time. i’m praying i really learn to walk in that every single minute. thank you diane for this reminder.

  4. Dina

    Thanks so much for those words of encouragement. It seems like I’ve hit a brick wall in the last year, as God molds me and shapes me, and it gives me hope that one day, God will provide a way out, as he did for Abraham. He sees that which I cannot right now, and that helps me get through today.

  5. Marie

    Thank you for this wonderful blog, Diane. You truly have a gift of making God’s word come alive for all of us in such a special way. It’s wonderful knowing that God sees ahead of us and will provide for us in everything. I sure did experience that when one of my sons was in the Marines in the combat zone of Iraq. God gave me those moments of peace during all of that (when I’d let Him, that is!). Now that experience gives me all the more reason to trust when other circumstances in life seem so unpredictable and sometimes frightening. I truly want to hear His voice, to follow it, and to live my life as He would have me live . . .trusting that He will provide everything that He knows I need. Thanks again for opening your heart to us!!

  6. Chelsea

    This was just the little bit of encouragement I needed to hear today! God is so faithful to provide for ALL of our needs. A friend of mine keeps reminding me of Hebrews 12:29, “Our God is a consuming fire” and my prayer is that He will consume all of me and my hopes and dreams and that my story will be one of courageous faith like Abraham’s. It is so hard to imagine faith that follows NO MATTER WHAT and that is exactly what God has been asking of me. Thank you so much for the sweet reminder that He is the LORD who sees ahead of me!

  7. Celeste

    I feel comfort in these words. I have recently lost my father. Although he was older we took care of eachother. I have been nervous and anxious not knowing what’s to come. Thank u for reminding me of the greatness that is.

  8. Susan

    Wow! What a story and deep revelation.
    God is talking to me and I am willing to follow His voice.
    Total confidence and reliance on Him, yields guaranteed positive results beyond measure. May this be what we strive for daily.

  9. GLORY TO GOD!!! HE is the Way and the How!

  10. Mary

    Thank you!!! Gratitude for your beingness beloved!!!

  11. Pingback: Yahweh Yireh | buckeye16girl

  12. Jeff

    Very powerful statement could we could I could you im learning to trust Jehovah with all my heart. He will provide and I’m a living testimony

  13. Tom

    Yireh… Provider. God tapped me on the shoulder to remind me that only He will provide what I need. Seen or unseen. I was unfairly laid-off from my position the only one working for my family. On one of the banners in our church said on it Yireh. I did not know the meaning. I decided to look it up and saw and read about the meaning. The next week our Sunday School teacher said she was going to be out and needed me to fill in he place, I said yes. I looked up the lesson and it said Yahweh Yireh: The Lord Provides. God’s reminder that He is aware of our very situations and is still with us.

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