Jehovah Will Provide (Yahweh-Jireh)

Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh Will Provide. As it is said to this day, “On Yahweh’s mountain, it will be provided.” Genesis 22:14

In Genesis 22:14, the Hebrew word translated “provided” is rah-ah (ראה – H7200) meaning ‘to see’. The phrase “Yahweh Will Provide” is a translation of a compound word, a combination of the words Yahweh, and yireh, which is derived from the word rah-ah. It means that Yahweh will ‘see’ or ‘see to’ something. The reference is to Gen 22:8, where Abraham had told Isaac that God would ‘see’, or ‘see to’, the lamb for the burnt offering:

Gen 22:[7] Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, “My father?” He said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” [8] Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they both went together.

Abraham had been ordered by God to sacrifice his son Isaac on the mountain (Gen 22:2). But Abraham had faith that he would receive Isaac back from the dead (Heb 11:17, 19), and perhaps reasoned that God would provide an animal somewhere along the way, that would be a substitute for Isaac (Gen 22:6-7). He told Isaac that God would ‘see’ or ‘see to’ the sacrificial animal (Gen 22:8).

But God did not immediately provide that substitute. Abraham therefore obediently prepared to sacrifice Isaac, the only son born by his wife (Gen 22:9-10). It was then, when he had ‘seen’ the obedience of Abraham, that God intervened and provided a ram as a sacrificial substitute for the boy:

Gen 22:[12] He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy, neither do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” [13] Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

God ‘saw to’ the provision of the ram, the substitute for Isaac. God provided it to Abraham, and accepted it as a sacrifice from Abraham, instead of Isaac. And this idea of using a lamb, or similar flock animal, as a substitute sacrifice was carried on in the Law of God:

Exo 12:[11] “It shall be, when Yahweh shall bring you into the land of the Canaanite, as he swore to you and to your fathers, and shall give it you, [12] that you shall set apart to Yahweh all that opens the womb, and every firstborn which you have that comes from an animal. The males shall be Yahweh’s. [13] Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and you shall redeem all the firstborn of man among your sons.

Lev 16:[21] Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, even all their sins; and he shall put them on the head of the goat, and shall send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. [22] The goat shall carry all their iniquities on himself to a solitary land, and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.

Isa 53:[5] But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed. [6] All we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The sacrificial lamb is a type of the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ on behalf of his people. He is the true Lamb that God provided for himself:

The consummate act of obedience that Jesus Christ paid to the law was in suffering the ultimate penalty for the disobedience of His people that the law demanded. Thus, while upon the cross, Jesus Christ, as a perfect representative, substitute, and sacrifice for His people, became a curse for His people and suffered the unmitigated fury of God the Father, which was equivalent to suffering the very pains of hell. This was not for any guilt He had contracted Himself but for the sins of His people. Their guilt was imputed to Him, and He suffered the penalty their sins deserved. His finished work on the cross appeased God’s wrath in full toward all for whom He died and paid the ransom price in full for all for whom He died, guaranteeing the salvation of all for whom He died. [Gen 22:13; Exo 12:3-13; Lev 16:21-22; Lev 17:11; Psa 22:1-18; Psa 32:1; Isa 53:1-12; Dan 9:24-26; Zec 13:7; Mat 26:28; Mat 27:35-50; Mar 15:24-37; Luk 23:33-46; Luk 24:46; Joh 11:49-52; Joh 19:16-30; Act 17:3; Act 20:28; Rom 3:24-25; Rom 5:6-11; 1Co 1:30; 1Co 5:7; 1Co 6:20; 1Co 15:3; 2Co 5:21; Gal 1:4; Gal 2:20; Gal 3:13; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:7; Eph 2:13-17; Col 1:14,20-22; Col 2:13-14; 1Th 5:10; 1Ti 2:6; Tit 2:14; Heb 2:9-10,17; Heb 9:12-14,26-28; Heb 10:10-18; Heb 13:12; 1Pe 1:18-19; 1Pe 2:24; 1Pe 3:18; 1Jo 1:7; 1Jo 2:2; 1Jo 3:5; 1Jo 4:10; Rev 1:5; Rev 5:9]

Christian Confession of Faith, IV.C.2

In taking the sins of his people upon himself, Jesus Christ paid for them completely. He propitiated, or turned aside the wrath of God against his people. Thus, the sins of his people can never again be charged against them. They are freed from the sentence their sins deserved, and can never again be held guilty for those sins.

Here are some of the verses referred to by the Confession:

Lev 17:[11] For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life.

Isa 53:[8] He was taken away by oppression and judgment; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living and stricken for the disobedience of my people?

Mat 26:[28] for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.

Act 20:[28] Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.

Rom 3:[24] being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; [25] whom God sent to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance;

2Co 5:[21] For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

All the benefits of salvation, from regeneration to final glory, were purchased for the people of God by the propitiating work of Jesus Christ. By laying down his life on the cross, and pouring out his life blood for them, he turned aside the wrath of God against their sins, and secured for them the eternal favor and fellowship of God toward them. This is the infinite value and preciousness of the blood of Christ (Rom 5:18-19, Rom 8:1-2, Gal 3:13, Col 1:20-22, Heb 9:26-28, 1Pe 3:18, 1Jo 4:10, Rev 5:9).

And therefore, since the work of Christ is so central to the Gospel, it should be obvious that any attempt to claim that the benefits of Christ’s work extend even to those who don’t believe the Gospel, and eventually end up in Hell, is gross blasphemy. It implies that the work of Christ actually accomplished nothing in and of itself, because it allegedly took away the sins of everyone without exception, yet the vast majority of those people are punished for their sins anyway. And it implies that the work of Christ requires the work of the sinner before it becomes effectual:

Those who deny the effectual work of Jesus Christ, claiming instead that the blood of Jesus Christ atoned for everyone without exception (including those in hell), deny the very heart of the gospel. They do not believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation; instead, these self-righteous boasters believe that it is the effort of the sinner that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. These blasphemers deny that Jesus Christ made full satisfaction for sins and that Jesus Christ accomplished and ensured salvation for all whom He represented. They trample underfoot the precious blood of Jesus Christ, treating it as something of no value. They glory and boast in themselves, for whatever one believes makes the difference between salvation and damnation is what one glories and boasts in. There is not a single one of these blasphemers who is a child of God. [Psa 25:14; Psa 74:18; Psa 94:4; Psa 139:20; Pro 30:12-13; Isa 28:14-18; Isa 42:8; Isa 48:11; Joh 16:8-14; Rom 3:27-28; Rom 4:2; Rom 10:3; Rom 16:17-18; 1Co 2:12; 2Co 10:3-6; Gal 1:8-9; 6:14; Eph 2:8-9; Phi 3:18-19; 1Ti 4:1; 2Ti 3:2-5; 2Ti 4:3-4; Heb 10:29; 1Jo 2:22-23; 4:6; 2Jo 1:9]

Christian Confession of Faith IV.C.6

As Abraham predicted, God has provided a sacrificial lamb on behalf of his people, a propitiating sacrifice that is at the heart of the Gospel. It is what makes the Gospel to actually be good news, because it reveals how God remains just, and yet also justifies the guilty (Isa 45:21, Rom 3:26). And that Lamb is his very own firstborn son (Joh 1:36, Act 8:32, 1Pe 1:19, Rev 5:6). Praise God for the great provision he has made for his people, in the person and work of Jesus Christ!

2 Thou pardoned thy people hast
all their iniquities;
Thou all their trespasses and sins
hast cover’d from thine eyes.
(Psalm 85, The Psalms of David in Metre)


See Also:

What Did the Work of Christ Accomplish?

Judging Saved and Lost

IV. Christology – The Doctrine of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ

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