Tag Archives: Jehovah Jireh

M7E Freedom Because God is Jehovah Jireh

Offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom.—Romans 6:17-18 Msg.

Freedom of Jehovah Jireh

WITH JEHOVAH-JIREH OUR FREEDOM WILL NEVER QUIT

When we make Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives and offer ourselves and all we have continually to Him, our freedom will never quit. The ways of God for us are the same as they were for Abraham—to lay everything meaningful on the altar. That includes possessions, professions, houses, and family. When we obey, Jehovah-Jireh will return these things back to us one-hundred-fold, with His supernatural stamp upon them.

The Biblical foundation for the principal of giving all to God and being able to believe for the hundred-fold return comes from the parable Jesus taught about the rich young ruler. He ran to Jesus, fell on his knees and asked what he needed to do to obtain eternal life. He had kept all the commandments. He had done so many things.

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said, ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’

“At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’” (Mark 10:21-23).

“Peter said to him, ‘We have left everything to follow you!’

“‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first’” (Mark 10:28-31).

The rich young ruler had kept the commandments since he was a boy, but he had failed the first one, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod. 20:3). If he could have done what Jesus asked of him, demonstrating his love for God by letting go of things, Jesus would have supplied more seed to him as the sower and “made [him] rich in every way so that [he] could be generous on every occasion” (2 Cor. 9:11). We can hope this man obeyed Jesus later, but according to Scripture, we do not know.

In this chapter are stories of those who obeyed God in giving up possessions, professions, houses, and children to God, and how Jehovah-Jireh returned His abundant blessings to them.

FREEDOM WITH POSSESSIONS

Freedom with possessions

Kim Crowe [from chapter 6], now over fifty and single, dreamed of a house of her own. But, it was something she would never possess. She had to lay it on the altar and give up that dream forever. She had to be willing to rent, room with her sister, live in apartments and eventually with her aging parents to care for them. But Kim and her cars was another story, indeed!

Shortly after she became a Christian at thirty years of age, Kim began to pray for her own car. She saved $300 to buy one, without praying about a specific purchase. After buying a car, her parents happened to give their red car to her. Her hasty purchase lasted only one week before breaking down. She thought, I should have prayed about it first, now I’ve lost $300!

Shortly afterward, the red car was stolen from the parking lot of her apartment. It was found in front of a Hells Angels’ apartment two blocks away. Only a Bible was missing from the inside. She traded the red car for a blue Escort.

When leaving her apartment to go to work, again, her car was gone. She thought, Oh, swell, second time. No one is going to believe this!

As Kim was filing a police report, officers were having her blue car towed from the middle of an intersection. Whoever had stolen it went on a joy ride, let it run out of gasoline and abandoned it during noon rush hour. Before the police report was taken, the car had been found— unscathed. It had been hot-wired, was covered with fingerprint dust, but was cleaned up at the Ford dealership before being returned to Kim.

When the red car was stolen, she was not frantic. By God’s grace, she went to Him and asked, “Okay God, why is this happening? What am I supposed to learn from this?”

The answer she heard was: It all belongs to me. I let you keep what you can have, and I take what you place above me or anything you don’t need. I can take it all. I can leave it all with you, one way or the other.

“I learned that everything I have belongs to God, and should be given back to Him. I learned this with possessions. It took longer to apply this to people.”

She told the policemen, “My car belongs to God. If He had wanted it, it was okay with me. If He had kept it, He would make a way for me to get to work. I guess He wants me to have it.” The police had never heard anything like this before. “It blew them away,” Kim said.

When she told them it was the second car she had stolen from her and returned, “That really blew them away!”

Kim traded her blue Escort in on a truck before moving from California to Kansas where her daughter lived. She was unable to keep up with the payments and it was repossessed—two months before her employer sold to another company. She moved back to California.

Kim was without a vehicle for nine months before her grandfather finally gave her his car. It sat in a garage so long that the tires were rotten—an eighteen year old car with 67,000 miles, no air conditioning, but it lasted a number of years.

When September 11, 2001, hit, her pastor, friends and parents said, “You need to go back to Kansas to be with your daughter and grandchildren.”

She prayed about it, and agreed God was leading her back. Meanwhile, Kim’s grandpa gave her an advance on her inheritance from him, and she purchased a three-year-old Caravan. Her job was then down-sized, yet Kim’s attitude was always upbeat, in complete trust, “God is so gracious. It’s awesome!”

Kim’s sister had become ill, her favorite aunt had died, her mother was dying, and she knew God was leading her back to California, in her debt-free Caravan, to care for them. She also found out she needed to go to the west coast for her own specialized surgery.

FREEDOM IN PROFESSIONS

Freedom in Professions
Photo of an unsuccessful business team busy at a meeting

Kurt and Davi M. moved to Michigan after his Army service. He took a position as distribution manager with a large corporation, shipping hospital beds all over the world. Davi managed government housing complexes throughout the state. After years of these high-stress jobs, seeing little of each other and no “life” together, they knew a change had to be made. But what, and how?

They began to seek the Lord and His will for their lives. They read their Bible, good books and prayed. In a short time-span, six relatives died on both sides of their families, meaning missing work and making trips home for the funerals. Kurt decided to go back to school for his master’s degree and applied to universities near home. To do this, he and Davi both had to place their successful careers and nice house on the altar.

They both thought the way would be made clear for them, jobs waiting, before leaving Michigan, but that did not happen. The last days on the job came and went, and furniture was being moved before Davi received a phone call. She was already in the car on moving day. Another employer wanted her to do training for the housing managers of other states, from her home-based business, working half the time for the same amount of money she had been making!

Later on, Kurt finished his master’s degree and was in the process of looking for another job when he experienced breathing problems. Tests revealed his aortic valve, which had been replaced nine years prior, was not working properly. Another surgery was scheduled. A mechanical valve replaced the valve that had become like porcelain.

One week before surgery, Kurt received an opportunity to write his testimony. His story, “Change of Heart,” was accepted the next day and became a chapter in the book, His Forever: Stories of Real People finding Jesus.

Before Kurt was completely healed, he was sought out by the university that gave him his degree, to work from his home doing research—all this happening while making another move. The next move was to a brand new house that had been on the market for many months. Their offer of $16,000 below asking price was accepted.

FREEDOM WITH HOUSES

Freedom with Houses

Janice and David Lamb lived in a mobile home on five acres with their three children while they were building a house on the land. They were not yet believers, but Janice was seeking the Lord. Each day she brought out her Bible to read Scriptures about salvation, trying to understand what they meant. Every time she did, she could feel evil. After a couple of weeks of this, she started to cry and yelled, “I can’t stand this!”

Janice had a Godly aunt who had been a great influence on her. She went to Aunt Ninnie and said, “I feel evil in my own house. What can I do?”

“Plead the blood—in every nook and cranny!” she replied.

“What does that mean?”

“The word plead is a legal term meaning to take legal action,” she said.

While turning to the book of Hebrews in her King James Version of the Bible, Aunt Ninnie said, “In the Old Testament, Moses sprinkled the blood of animals on the people and everything used in the tabernacle that were used for worship. In this way everything was cleansed. But today, we have Jesus. So, what we are going to do is take the blood that Jesus legally shed for the forgiveness of sin for all mankind, into every nook and crannie of your house. With our words, we are going to purge it, and cleanse it of all evil. There’s no telling what went on in your house before you bought it.”

She then read Hebrews 9:22, “. . . things . . . are purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission [of sin].”

Aunt Ninnie and Janice opened all the cabinets and every closet and said, “In the name of Jesus, we plead the blood in this closet; we plead the blood of Jesus in this cabinet; we plead the blood of Jesus in this nook, and in this crannie.”

By the time they had worked their way from the back to the front door, there was a great calmness Janice could feel. She cried. It had worked!

In this way, she gave her house to the Lord, and it was in that home that Janice and David both accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

M7B Obedience Better Than Sacrifice – Jehovah Jireh

PARTIAL OBEDIENCE IS DISOBEDIENCE

On the third day, Abraham saw the mountains of Moriah in the distance. He told his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Gen. 22:5). Notice his faith-filled words, “we will come back to you.”

Partial obedience is disobedience

Abraham determined to follow through with what he knew in his heart to be true—that God would raise Isaac from the dead. Partial obedience is disobedience. There is no better illustration of partial obedience than when, many years later, God asked King Saul to rid Israel of the Amalekites, because they had attacked the children of Israel as they came up from Egypt. His command was to completely destroy them, including animals. Their evil ways against God would be as sin is to a body; left unconquered, they would be as cancer, eating away the good.

Saul did as God commanded through his prophet Samuel—except, he brought back the Amalekite king and allowed his soldiers to keep sheep and cattle. When asked why, Saul said to Samuel, “to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal” (1 Sam. 15:21 emphasis added). Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”—1 Samuel 15:22-23

OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE

Obedience is better than sacrifice. God’s purpose for instituting sacrifices of the best animal with no defect, besides the shedding of blood [discussed in Chapter 4], was to teach obedience to His Word, and to lay the groundwork for when He would send His perfect Lamb. Saul did not revere the Word of God. He rebelled. His words make that clear. To him, God was Samuel’s God, not his own, and from that day forward, God prepared a young shepherd boy, David, to take over as king.

In contrast, Abraham believed and obeyed God from the very beginning, and he did so immediately. And it was counted to him as righteousness. Abraham took the wood and placed it on his son. He carried the fire pot and the knife, and they walked on, seeking the exact place of worship God said He would show him.

M7A Tested Through the Refiner’s Fire of Jehovah Jireh

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

Tested by Jehovah Jireh

Calling God El Shaddai recognizes that He provides our daily, basic needs and does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, while the name Jehovah-Jireh emphasizes His strength, answers and provision for specific challenges and trials when we are tested. The process of testing is the refiner’s fire that dries the riverbed so we can cross over the Jordan River into our land of promise—His personalized plan for me.

When we follow the Lord, we can be assured we will be tested, just as Abraham was tested.

In the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, we experience God as Jehovah Jireh—our Teacher with His answers. This story gives every principle we need to know in how to get through our trial of faith and pass His test.

DISCIPLES OF JESUS WILL BE TESTED

Before the events in Genesis, Chapter 22, Abraham learned to make right choices as a stranger in the land of the Philistines in Canaan. Through the problems with Hagar and Ishmael, he learned to look to the Lord rather than his wife (see Gen. 16:2). He risked his own life to save his own flesh and blood (see Isa. 58:7) when his nephew, Lot, chose to align himself with the godless people of Sodom.

Abraham first rescued Lot from four kings who took him and all his possessions in a battle. Next, when God tired of the evil, unrepentant people in Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham learned God would heed his intercession for others—Lot and his family. Through all this, he learned the second greatest commandment, to love his neighbors as himself (see Mark 12:31). Still, there came a time for the big test, the final—in the area of his most priced possession—Isaac, for whom he had waited twenty-five years.

After all these things, “God tested Abraham” (Gen. 22:1). He was about to relearn the most important of all commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

The Hebrew word for test is “to prove; this verb carries with it the idea of testing the quality of someone or something through a demonstration of stress. God was testing (refining) the character of Abraham in this instance.”[1]

WE ARE TESTED THROUGH THE REFINER’S FIRE

Tested through refiner's fire

A good teacher will always give tests; the best teachers give them when least expected. He will lay the test before the student, then leave them alone with it,[2] as God did with Abraham: “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (Gen. 2:1-2). He was then silent.

The burnt offering was significant, for it meant a “bull, ram, or male bird; wholly consumed; no defect. It was a voluntary act of worship; atonement for unintentional sin in general; expression of devotion, commitment and complete surrender to God (Lev. 1; 6:8-13; 8:18-21; 16:24).”[3] This root Hebrew word signifies the total surrender of a worshipper’s heart and life to God.[4] The teacher gives a test to see what is in the heart and mind. It is not just a silly time waster. It is the only way for the student to know the condition of his own heart.

The burnt offering meant the complete animal was wholly consumed by fire—the refiner’s fire. A group of women were studying Malachi 3:3, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver . . . .” They wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back with the group.[5]

She made an appointment with a silversmith to watch him work. She did not mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched, the silversmith held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat.

“In refining silver,” he explained, “One needs to hold it in the middle of the fire where the flames are the hottest in order to burn away all the impurities.”

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought about the verse, He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.

“Is it true you have to sit in front of the fire the whole time the silver is being refined?” she asked.

“Yes, I not only have to sit here holding the silver, but I have to keep my eyes on it the entire time it is in the fire. If silver is left one moment too long in the flames, it will be destroyed,” he replied.

The lady was silent for a moment, then asked, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”

The silversmith smiled, “Oh, that’s easy, when I see my image in it.”

OUR TEACHER – JEHOVAH JIREH – IS WATCHING WHEN WE ARE TESTED

Abraham was tested

Like the teacher, our Master is there, watching us, not yet revealing Himself, not until He can see His image in us—for He is a consuming fire—a jealous God (see Deut. 4:24).

The Bible discloses that the next morning Abraham got up early, took two servants, gathered wood, and with Isaac set out for Moriah. We can be assured it was not this easy for Abraham. He was up early probably because he could not sleep. He possibly went out a distance from the camp so no one could hear him, and there, he bitterly wept and wailed from within the depths of his very being. It was here Abraham put Isaac on the altar. It was here he let go, through suffering, and gave him back to God. It was here Abraham settled the matter in his heart—making total surrender of his worshipper’s heart and life to God.

He thought about the covenant promises the Almighty had continually confirmed with him: you will be the father of many nations; your offspring will be as numerous as the stars. He thought about the time God came to him nine months before Isaac was born and he laughed at the prospect of his one-hundred-year-old body producing a child with his ninety-year-old wife. He told God, “If only Ishmael might live before Thee!”

But God said,

“No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”—Genesis 17:19-20 NASB

Abraham consoled himself with these words, considering in his heart that God was able to raise his son from death to fulfill these promises (see Heb. 11:19). He also knew that God is not a man and speaks only truth (see Num. 23:19). He roused himself early and acted promptly.


[1] Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN, 1990) p. 1750.

[2] Point made by Linda Scammell in her testimony, “Will You be Ready for the Test?” on April 13, 2002, at Women with a Passion for Jesus group, Fort Scott, KS.

[3] Henry Hampton Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000) p. 157.

[4] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1758.

[5] Story received via email, November 3, 2004.