What do you know about your name? Does it have a special meaning, definition, or purpose beyond simply what the combination of letters represents? When someone hears it, do they truly get an understanding of who you are?
The thing about a name is that it has the ability to identify, summarize and define an existence within the context of one word. However, without a personal encounter, a name can merely become a symbol, an arrangement of arbitrary sounds. If you want to truly know a person, you have to not only know them by name, but by nature.
Throughout Scripture, God’s true presence and character is made known by the meaning of His names. Each name identifies aspects of His nature. His names also identify His presence in our lives. The problem is that many of us know His names, but are not fully aware of His nature and therefore we lack a true encounter with His presence.
One of the important things to know about the majesty and make-up of God’s names is that they carry weight. They matter. Attached to each of God’s names is a set of character qualities, promises and meanings. And unless you fully understand and know them, you run the risk of not accessing or utilizing them to the fullest potential that God has designed.
Jehovah is the name most of us are familiar with in one form or another. It is also the name that is used most frequently throughout the Old Testament—over 6,000 times.
This name, Jehovah, is God’s personal name. Jehovah translates to “I Am who I Am.” We can talk about the power of God and even His presence, but when we talk about Jehovah, we are talking about Him as a person—His relational essence. Jehovah is the side of God who relates to you and me, His creation. Jehovah reveals the characteristic of God that personally reveals Himself to us, right in the middle of the trials, struggles and details of life.
This is a characteristic you want to remember because it lets us know that we serve a very real and very personal God. He wants to be in a relationship with you!
But I don’t want you just to get to know the name Jehovah, because when Jehovah is combined with Jireh – it takes on a whole new meaning. In this compound connection of Jehovah with Jireh, God unveils Himself in a very personal manner.
The root word for the name Jireh literally means “to see,” yet when joined with Jehovah the literal translation is, “The Lord provides.” You see, the combination of these two names, Jehovah and Jireh, tells us that there is a relationship between God “seeing” and God “providing.”
I know this concept can be a bit hard to grasp, so, to help us better understand Jehovah-Jireh, let’s look in Genesis at Abraham’s story and his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. Through this story, you get a clear picture of the direct link between our provision and God’s seeing.
First you have to know that Isaac was extremely special to Abraham and represented a promise of God to him. However, God needed to know that Abraham would obey Him even when it was painful and hard to understand. Genesis 22:2 tells us that God tested Abraham and told him to take his son to be sacrificed, which was clearly a contradiction. Yet out of complete faith, Abraham obeyed and trusted that God would provide an answer to the difficult situation he faced. If you are not familiar with the details of this story, I encourage you to read Genesis 22. In summary, God provided for Abraham after He saw his willingness to obey.
So the question is: What must God see so that He might provide for you when you are caught in a contradiction of life? He needs to see the same thing that He saw in Abraham. Abraham did not delay his obedience. He did what God had asked him to do even though he didn’t know how God was going to work it out.
Friend, are you willing to trust God completely with whatever it is that is your “Isaac”? In case you are wondering, yes, everyone has an Isaac. But just like with Abraham, God expects us to act and to let it go so that He can see our faith and we can experience Him as our loving, relational provider, Jehovah-Jireh. Whatever it is that you are holding on to so tightly—whether it’s your career, marriage, health, finances, search for a mate—you need to follow what God has instructed you with regard to it. God longs to be Jehovah-Jireh to you today. He longs for you to truly know and experience the full manifestation of His name.