One question you may be asking is “Why are there so many names for God.” We have all been called names that were meant to describe us – some nicely… some not-so-nicely. But we don’t have anywhere near the number of names or nicknames that God does! Each of the names of God gives us a glimpse into His character… and because He is Good, all of them are good. It is like looking at a beautiful diamond, each facet reflecting light … the glory of the stone. Every Name of God is like another facet of Who He is … His character … reflecting His Glory. For all eternity, we will forever be discovering more and more of our God.
Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will provide
In Genesis 22, we read the account of God testing Abraham. God had revealed himself to Abraham and made promises to him. They had a blood covenant – a contract that could only be broken by death. God would give him a son through whom all the nations would be blessed. When God made this promise, Abraham and Sarah were pretty old already, and they still had to wait before they saw the answer to their prayers. Abraham was 99 years old, and Sarah was 90 when Isaac was born. Can you imagine being pregnant at 90 years old, let alone chasing a two year old!
Then God tested Abraham and told him to offer his son – his only son – as a sacrifice. I cannot imagine what this did to Abraham. He’d waited so long for a son. What had he gotten himself into with this covenant? And all God’s promises to him were tied to this son. Was the Lord trying to back out of his promises? He believed God – but just how was this supposed to work? Made no sense. Was the Lord just toying with him?
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Abraham obeyed. (I’ve always wondered if Sarah even knew, or what she did… or said! I certainly would not have been silent! She too had waited a long time for that child.) Abraham obeyed, even when his heart was breaking and it made no sense to him. But God… I love those words. But God knew that this act of obedience would mean that God would now have to offer HIS ONLY SON. That is how blood covenants work. And God also knew that he would provide the lamb for the sacrifice – for Abraham (and for us.) But Abraham didn’t know that. Hebrews 11:19 tells us he reasoned that God could raise Isaac from the dead… but how could he be sure? That had never happened before. He just trusted and obeyed.
But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you…”
God has provided Jesus – the Lamb of God – as the sacrifice for our sins. So, here’s a question. Is God done being our Provider? I don’t believe so. We are told in Hebrews 13:8 the “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He doesn’t change. He is still Our Provider. Not our jobs. Not our talents. Not our efforts. Not the government. The Lord. Jehovah Jireh!
Emmanuel – God with us
Isaiah 7:14 (NLT)
…the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Emmanuel (which means ‘God is with us’.)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
We could not get to God. He came to us. And not just once. He dwells with us … everywhere … everyday … all the time…. through his Holy Spirit. And He has promised to NEVER leave us nor forsake us (give up on us, wash his hands of us, think we are too much trouble or not worth it!)
Do you feel God’s Presence with you? Yes? No? Sometimes? God’s promises don’t depend on our feelings. Feelings can be wonderful, but they are not a reliable indicator of what is true. God is faithful to His promises … all of them. He is with us always, whether we feel Him or not
Jehovah Shammah – God is there
Ezekiel 48:35 (NLT)
The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. And from that day the name of the city will be ‘The Lord is There.’”
God is there…. Where exactly is “there”? Yes, He’s in heaven, but how is that supposed to help me here?
Often I’m praying for someone who is nowhere near me – Maybe on the other side of the world, or across the country. My heart will ache for them, wishing I could just give them a hug or help in some way, but I can’t. And even if I were there, how can I really help them? BUT GOD CAN! HE IS THERE!
Not only does Jehovah Shammah tell us that God is There, referring to a place, but he is also There, referring to a time. None of us knows what is going to happen, what we will have to face. (We do know that we win in the end because we’ve read the end of the Book!) But the future is intimidating. So much can happen – good and bad. What will we do? Will we be okay? Will our loved ones be okay? God sees our future. He knows where He is leading us. He knows what we are going to need to learn now, to handle what is coming. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End – and everything in the middle, too. And He is Emmanuel, God With Us, and He is There, too!
Another great truth in Scripture – He has GOOD plans for all of us. He can be trusted.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I do not know what the future holds, but I know WHO holds the future.
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