By Any Other Name - Jehovah Jireh

This morning, I found myself for some inexplicable reason humming the song "Because of Who You Are." I hope you all know it. It was written by Martha Munizzi in 2000, and first released on her album Say the Name in 2002. It's been covered dozens of times, including by our own choir, Send Judah First. We do this song quite often, actually.

So I started thinking about the many names of God, and how each one defines a different one of His characteristics. And I thought I'd explore that a bit. Let's begin with the song..


Believe it or not, "Jehovah Jireh" was the first song I learned when I started playing guitar. When we pray, we call on Jehovah Jireh all the time, don't we, but do we really stop to think about why?

Let's start with the "Jehovah" part. The Name that God gives himself when speaking to Moses is translated into English as "I AM WHO AM." This is written יהוה in Hebrew, following the occasional practice of removing vowels in writing. It is transliterated into English as "YHWH", which is where we get the name "Yahweh." These four characters are called the Tetragrammaton, and this name is by tradition never spoken by most Jews, and certainly not by the Hebrews. I'll talk about Adonai at a later time, but basically if you put the vowel points back in, you get something that sounds roughly like Jehovah.

The Book of Genesis was written traditionally by Moses, and certainly during the time of Moses, so any references to the name of the Lord would have been rendered this way. So, when in Genesis 22:14 it says "And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” this is literally translated as "YHWH Yireh." Jehovah Jireh.

But what does all that mean?

You see, when Abraham went to that mountain, and Isaac asked him where the ram for the sacrifice was, Abraham told him that the Lord will provide the sacrifice. And this is true. Jesus Christ was the Sacrifice provided by the Lord. But we also look to God for all of our needs. God wants us to depend on Him. Let me say that again. God wants us to depend on Him. Totally and completely.

I remember when I was out of work for several months last year, and the world seemed to be falling down around us. Somehow God pulled it all together, and the breaks all came our way. But we had right away surrendered it all to Him. And that's the key. I will not be afraid, because the Lord will supply all my needs. Jesus sent his disciples out saying " Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road." Luke 10:3-4.

Now think about that. Imagine walking to another town, several days distant, and not taking any money with you, not taking a change of clothes, or food for the trip. Why would Jesus ask this of them? Because he wanted them to rely on God. And when God provided for them, it would be a mighty demonstration of His power. And then you and I would have the faith to do the same.

Jehovah Jireh, my provider...

Next up: Jehovah Nissi, Lord you reign in victory!


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