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