Names of God—Part 33

YHWH Yireh

Names of God—Part 33

The LORD will sort it


YHWH is God’s actual name which he revealed to Moses from the burning bush, it implies the personal nature of God.
The second part of the name here is how God relates to us:

Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe said, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.”
Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want, Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe says, “Where you want this killin’ done?”
God says, “Out on Highway 61”

Highway 61 revisited – Bob Dylan

This is one of the commonly referred to names of God, written in English as Jehovah Jireh or Yahwey Yireh. It is usually translated as the LORD provides. But the Hebrew language has very few words, so there is often more than one meaning to a Hebrew word in English. YHWH Yireh can mean the LORD provides, as is given in most English translations, but it can also mean the LORD will sort it. Which does it mean? That all depends on whose point of view we are taking, Abraham or Isaac.

Although the proper name of God, YHWH, was given to Moses, the name was already in use and is used in several parts of Genesis. This is one of those.

God has asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. (See Genesis 22) Abraham and Isaac set out. When they get to the place of sacrifice Isaac asks where the lamb to be killed is. Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide the sacrifice. From Isaac’s point of view, God will provide.

To Abraham, things are more complicated. Prior to this God has promised Abraham that through Isaac he will be the ancestor of many people. He cannot do that unless Isaac lives long enough to have children, and now he is told to sacrifice Isaac. Which one is Abraham to believe? I cannot be both.

Sacrificing your children was common back then. Fast forward a lot of years and King Manasseh of Judah sacrificed his children. It eas a way to keep the wrath of the gods at bay. A sacrifice involved burning vital parts of the sacrificial animal, one thing you could be sure of was that it was dead.

What is different about Abraham is that he trusted God. He trusted God to give him many descendants through Isaac and also that he should sacrifice Isaac. If God said he could give descendants through a dead Isaac, Abraham trusted and believed him for both. Even though it seemed it impossible, he believed God could sort it.

That is what a relationship with God is, it is a relationship with someone who can sort out the seemingly impossible if we trust him. We are not promised that things will be easy, we are not promised no pain, but we are promised is that a God who loves us will be with us through the hurt and pain.

God will sort it.


This is my favourite version of Highway 61 revisited, by Johnny Winter.


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