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Jehovah Jireh

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Jehovah Jireh

Dordt Chapel—Sept. 20, 2005

Genesis 1:26-29; 22:6-14

Theme: God provides life.


Purpose: To experience the rest of living in the Good News of God’s providing.


Need: We need Good News of God’s providing in a broken, uncertain world.


Key Phrase: Jehovah Jireh, the Lord provides


Image: Brought to our knees

Introduction: The College Experience

1.              Four weeks into the college experience—How does it feel?

2.              Some are hitting the frustration stage

a.        Tests are starting

b.        Demands are growing

c.        Things are not going as planned or hoped

(1)     They are not for Prof. Weidenaar with an emergency appendectomy

(2)     They are not for me with frustrations still from where I moved from two years ago

(3)     They may not be for you

d.        Many of us need some good news in the midst frustrations and struggles

3.              But some of you are excited

a.        New things are happening

b.        You are discovering new possibilities in yourself and in your world

c.        Things are going better than expected

(1)     There are new friends

(2)     There are new freedoms

(3)     There are new opportunities

d.        You are rejoicing in good news

4.              For many of us it is probably a little of each

a.        It may change from day to day and hour to hour

b.        But I want to share one image of God, one theme song, to unite us

5.              Here it is—Jehovah Jireh

a.        Some of you might recognize it from a praise song

b.        By the time we are done I hope it will mean more to you and become a theme song for this week, maybe this year, maybe your life

c.        Jehovah Jireh means “The Lord provides”

6.              The song begins in Genesis 1, the same place the mosaic began a few weeks ago—Read 1:26-29

I.       God Provides for Life

A.    Creation Structures

1.      All of creation is structured to provide for life

2.      He creates a magnificent palace with riches and treasures and then gives it to his human creatures

a.      They are to be his representatives

b.      They are to be his agents directing and developing the world

3.      The key image is God’s giving

a.      He gives a place

b.      He gives power

c.      He gives permission

d.      He gives purpose

B.    Creation Blessing

1.      The key word is “God blessed them”

2.      We used to talk about this as the cultural mandate

a.      A mandate is a command

b.      In good Protestant work ethic we jumped immediately to what we have to do

c.      But it is not a command.  It is a blessing

3.      What is a blessing?

a.      This is hard for us because we do not live in a blessing culture

b.      It does show up a little in significant rituals

(1)   A the end of this service I will speak a blessing

(2)   At a wedding a parental blessing may be given

(3)   Some parents may still bless their children at a stage of transition

c.      A blessing is more than a wish or even permission

d.      A blessing is to give the power, the rights, responsibilities, and resources

(1)   It is to say the words and give gifts

(2)   It is to give over the future to the others care

4.      God gives humanity his blessing

5.      Jehovah Jireh is a celebration of life

a.      It is a song of praise and thanksgiving

b.      It is recognizing the blessing of God

II.     God Provides Life

A.    The Desert

1.      But let us be honest.  We do not live in this garden

a.      Even a Rock song, I think, by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, sung of wanting to get back to the garden

b.      The Fall has made the gift work, painful work, work that does not seem to work

c.      This is why we are tired and need rest, but our world tells us to work harder

2.      We long for the garden, but the garden is gone now

a.      We must get to work

b.      Life seems more like a desert than a garden

B.    The Declaration

1.      But even in the midst of this desert one declared Jehovah Jireh

a.      In the midst of famine, threats on his life, and war

b.      Even though he had made some bad choices, had wrestled with trusting God, and suffered family conflict

c.      Even when challenged in a way he could not understand

d.      He said, “God will provide”

2.      We turn to Genesis 22, the great test of Abraham

a.      Isaac asks—verse 7

b.      Abraham answers—verse 8

c.      The writer tells us—verses 13-14

3.      Jehovah Jireh is a cry of faith

a.      It is a cry when we cannot see how

b.      It is a cry of hope

C.    The Deliverance

1.      When David sinned by trusting his own military might more than God’s provision, he repented and bought this same piece of land and offer a sacrifice

2.      On that same spot Solomon build the Temple—Genesis 22:14b

3.      Jehovah Jireh is a cry of repentance

4.      On the same spot of land were Abraham, David, Solomon, and Israel had declared “Jehovah Jireh” God provided

a.      God provided deliverance from the desert of sin

b.      And God provided life again

c.      How ironic that when Mary Magdalene saw Jesus at this place, she mistook him for the gardener

5.      Jehovah Jireh is a proclamation of restoration

Conclusion: Seeing Blessing

A.    To speak “Jehovah Jireh” is to see blessing

1.              How do you see blessing?

2.              Part of it has to do with the hands

a.        Prof. Veenstra helped us see the hands of God last week

b.        The hands on the head or shoulder are a blessing

c.        There is why in a priestly blessing at the end of a worship service the hands are extended to over you

3.              Yet there is another image in the word

a.        In the root meaning of the word in Hebrew is to bend the knee, to kneel

b.        To be under the hands of God’s blessing one must kneel before him

c.        Kneel to say that all we have is a gift from God

d.        Kneel when we are broken and in need of help

e.        Kneel in faith and kneel in prayer

4.              Prayer--I ask you to kneel and close your eyes—Ephesians 3:14-19

B.    Praise--Now I ask you to rise up to sing

1.              Lift up your hands

2.              Ephesians 3:20-21

C.    Blessing—God kneels down to put his hands on you

1.              Revelation 19:9—Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”

2.              Revelation 22:14—“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”

3.              Revelations 22:17b—“Whoever is thirty, let him come; and whoever wishes. Let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

4.              Jehovah Jireh

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