From Praying the Names of God Week Five, Day Three
The Hebrew word raah (RA-ah, from which yireh is derived) means "to see." In this case, it is translated as "provide." Since God sees the future as well as the past and the present, he is able to anticipate and provide for what is needed. Interestingly the English word "provision" is made up of two Latin words that mean "to see beforehand." When you pray to Yahweh Yireh, you are praying to the God who sees the situation beforehand and is able to provide for your needs.
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 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." (Genesis 22:13-14)
PRAYING THE NAME
He [Abraham] bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven,"Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
"Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." (Genesis 22:9-12)
Reflect On: Genesis 22:9-12
Praise God: Because he is highly exalted, glorious beyond our understanding.
Offer Thanks: That God has pursued a relationship with you.
Confess: Your tendency to shrink back when God asks something difficult.
Ask God: For the grace to make the necessary sacrifice.
This passage captures one of the most dramatic moments in the entire Bible. It's a scene filled with tension. A man is about to slay his only son, not as act of cruelty or rage but out of homage to his God. The story shocks and bewilders. What kind of God would ask a man to do this?
What kind of man would obey?
The questions betray our ignorance. Seeing the story through human eyes, we miss the point and fail to see what it means to be God and what it means to be human. Why would God ask for such a sacrifice? Because he knows there is no other way for us to learn that he is God. When we put something on the altar, sacrificing it to him, we acknowledge two things: that he is God, and that we are not God. This is the worship we need to offer, the worship that will allow us to experience his provision for our lives.
Each of us will be faced with Abraham's dilemma, perhaps many times in our lives. In our case, it won't be a matter of physically placing a child on an altar, but it may mean placing a child in God's hands, forswearing our tendency to be a little god to that child, trying to control her universe and to keep her safe. If not a child, then something else—a relationship, a career, a gift, a dream. Whatever it is, if we offer it to God as Abraham offered his only son, we will begin to know God as Yahweh Yireh, the Lord who provides everything we need.
Pray for the grace today to surrender your life again to God. Open your hands as you kneel before him as a symbol of your willingness to give him whatever he asks and to receive whatever you need.
Two of Ann Spangler's most-loved books have been released in paperback: Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus.
These books help us understand the biblical context in which these names and titles were revealed, and help us gain a more intimate knowledge of the Father and of the Son.