March 01, 2024

The Lord Will Provide

Sinclair Ferguson
The Lord Will Provide

We can trust God to provide us with everything we need, for He has already given what we most need: His Son. Today, Sinclair Ferguson expresses the gracious significance of the name of God revealed on Mount Moriah.


I don’t know about you, but I find that when I begin to think about the big themes in the Bible, there seems to be no end to them. My own first thought this week was to think about who God is by reflecting on perhaps four or five names we find in the Bible, but we’ve got stuck with one. Well, not stuck, I hope. In fact, you might say we’ve been trying to be like theological gemologists holding up a precious stone to the light and admiring some of its facets. And in this case, we’ve been mining in Exodus 3 and examining the precious jewel buried deep into that chapter: the great name, Yahweh, the Lord, I Am, what used to be translated as “Jehovah.”

If, like me, your first Bible was a King James Version, you remember that in Genesis, there is one place where this name is expanded. It’s expanded into Jehovah Jireh. You remember the verse? It’s Genesis 22:14: “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide.”

But if you remember the words, do you remember their context? Where was that place? Well, geographically it was Mount Moriah. Does that remind you of what happened there? Yes, that was where Abraham went to offer his son, Isaac, the son of the promise, as a sacrifice to God. But the angel of the Lord intervened. And as Abraham turned around, there was a ram caught in the bushes, a divinely provided substitute for his son. And so, he called the place “The Lord will provide.” He must have hardly been able to believe that his own words had been fulfilled.

As they were climbing the mountain, Isaac had said to him, “Father, we have everything we need here for the sacrifice except the sacrifice.” And Abraham had responded, “God Himself will provide a lamb for the sacrifice.” Haunting words. But if Abraham reflected on this dramatic experience of the angel of the Lord, the way I’m sure Moses must have when he was addressed by the angel of the Lord, I wonder if he ever wondered, “I told Isaac that the Lord would Himself provide a lamb for the sacrifice, but it was a ram, not a lamb that he provided.” I wonder, is that significant?

Well, what is significant is this: Later on, hidden away in 2 Chronicles 3:3, we discover that Mount Moriah was the area where Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. It was, therefore, the area where Jesus spent the last week of His ministry; went through His agony in Gethsemane; was arrested, condemned, crucified, buried; and then wonderfully raised from the dead. Truly on the mountain of the Lord it came to pass: God will provide for Himself the lamb. There on Mount Moriah, on the edge of King David’s city, took place the event all history had awaited since Abraham had spoken to his son as they climbed the barren wastes of that elevated ground. There the words of the greatest of the prophets of the old covenant era, John the Baptist, were fulfilled: “Behold the Lamb God has provided, who will take away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Jehovah Jireh, the Lord, will provide the lamb for the sacrifice.

Do you remember we began this week asking what is God like? And we should end it by saying this is what He is like: He is the God we can trust to provide us with everything we need, because, as Paul says: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:31–32).

Maybe we’ll come back someday to these words, but for the moment, let these two words be fixed into our hearts: Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide. And if you want to be sure He will, then look nowhere else than to the cross of Jesus Christ, because there He has proved that He will provide beyond any doubt.