Saturday, July 21, 2007

Jehovah-jireh

I tried to write this last night before I went to bed and it just didn't work. I said that I was going to do this series. I made a commitment. I knew that I would be busy this morning, so, as I said, I tried to write last night. I have to leave take a man to work release in Goshen by 6:30 a.m., then I have Mom's church service back in Goshen, at Greencroft, at 10 a.m., I have to get ready for the Sunday School department games at the picnic this afternoon and sometime I've got to pick my grandson Jakub up over in Osceola. I've got a pretty busy morning ahead, but the understanding and insight just were not there. I had read the verses, but again it just wasn't coming together, so I went to bed and read them again. Using the Amplified Bible, I read all about Abraham's life, meditating on it, anointing my hands, several times with a variety of my oils, praying, filling my lungs, immersing myself in the odors of the Bible. . .and finally just went to sleep. A few moments ago, at 2:22 a.m., I awoke from a dead sleep, these thoughts in my mind.

:) :) :) :) :)

Jehovah-jireh

This name, is listed as a compound name of God, but it actually was a name given by Abraham to a place. The mountain of God, Mt. Moriah:

Genesis 22:14
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (KJV)

and Abraham calleth the name of that place `Jehovah-Jireh,' because it is said this day in the mount, `Jehovah doth provide.' (YLT) [Young's Literal Translation]

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." (NIV)

In this case I think the KJV misses it. The final phrase in the three translations that I have put in bold font type, comes from the same word that is used a few verses before:

Genesis 22:7-8
And Isaac spoke unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? (8) And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. (KJV)

In this verse KJV has 'will provide'. In verse 14 above, KJV uses 'it shall be seen' for the same word. I think that 'will provide' is a much better sense of the intent of the verse.

Here's verse 14 again:

Genesis 22:14
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (KJV)

and Abraham calleth the name of that place `Jehovah-Jireh,' because it is said this day in the mount, `Jehovah doth provide.' (YLT) [Young's Literal Translation]

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." (NIV)


The word translated Jehovah-jireh is from the same Hebrew base word as the word translated 'will provide' in verse 22:7.

This is the word that Abraham applied to the mountain, but really as much as the mountain, the label could have been applied to Abraham's life. He lived his live filled with the faith that: God would provide:

Genesis 15:1,5-6
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (5) And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. (6) And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Notice what it says: Abraham believed. Abraham had faith. Abraham always knew that God would provide. He left his land, not knowing where God was leading him. He took his son to an altar with a knife in his hand. It was counted as righteousness for Abraham. Faith is not righteousness. Strong belief is not righteousness, but God counted it the same as righteousness. . .

Let's look at a couple of other passages from Abraham's life:

Genesis 17:17-19
Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? (18) And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! (19) And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Genesis 18:10-15
And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. (11) Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. (12) Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? (13) And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? (14) Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. (15) Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Have you ever wondered about these two passages? This contrast between the two has always bugged me. Until tonight they never made sense to me. Abraham and Sarah both laughed within themselves when God told them that they would have a child. Almost the very same words are used in each passage. God simply ignored Abraham's laughter. God nailed Sarah to the wall for her laughter. That has never seemed quite fair to me. Why ignore Abraham's laughter and make such a big deal over Sarah's laughter.

Abraham's strong belief, his lifelong pattern of stepping out, knowing that God would provide was counted as righteousness in Genesis 15:6. Again faith is not righteousness. The two are not the same. To have faith counted as righteousness, must mean that behaviors, actions that were not righteous, have been overlooked, forgotten, ignored, counted as righteous behaviours. Things that he did, times he laughed and should not have, times he lied calling Sarah his sister. . . who knows what other times, what other actions that are not mentioned. . . his faith, stepping out in his certainty that God would provide, these actions counted as righteousness. . . Lots of implications here for our lives. God values very highly stepping out in faith. . . believing in Him. . . living our lives. . . personally knowing Him as a God that provides. . .

Dave

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