Gen. 22:14--"And Abraham called the name of that place
Jehovah-jireh." (The Lord will provide)
The most severe trial of Abraham's faith had just
ended--his well-beloved Isaac was saved from the sacrificial altar, and
another offering was presented in his stead. Well, then, might the patriarch
raise a stone of remembrance, with the inscription engraved on his own
heart, "The Lord will provide."
Exod. 17:15--"And Moses built an altar, and called the
name of it Jehovah-nissi." (The Lord is my Banner)
Moses, the leader of Israel, with the rod of God in his
hand, was seated on the top of a hill, in the valley of Rephidim. Beside him
stood Aaron and Hur, supporting his arms in the attitude of prayer. Beneath,
the hosts of Israel and Amalek were engaged in stern and bloody conflict.
Victory, hitherto, had leaned to neither side for any length of time. When
the hands of Moses were raised, then Israel prevailed; and, when they were
let down, Amalek prevailed. But now it was no longer uncertain. The three
united suppliants implored Divine help--"and Joshua destroyed Amalek and his
people with the edge of the sword." No wonder a feeling of security was
experienced by Moses, and that future danger was no longer dreaded--no
wonder that the motto of his remembrance-stone was this, "The Lord my
Judges 6:24--"Then Gideon built an altar there unto
the Lord, and called it Jehovah-shalom." (The Lord is my Peace)
A dark cloud had gathered upon Israel--they had forgotten
the wonders of the Lord, and His mighty doings in their behalf. The hosts of
Midian prevailed against them, and the last ray of hope seemed to have
vanished. Their cry for help and deliverance, sent up in the hour of
extremity, was answered by the Lord, in reminding them of their
transgressions, and of His patience and forbearance. No promise of immediate
help was given. But now, as ever, "man's extremity became God's
opportunity"--an angel appeared unto Gideon, "as he threshed wheat in the
winepress, to hide it from the Midianites," and revealed the purpose of the
Lord, to make him the deliverer of Israel. Poor, and without influence,
Gideon feared to occupy this high and responsible position, but he was
cheered by the promise, "I will be with you." A sign was granted, to assure
him that he was the appointed messenger of God. Upon the offering which he
presented to the angel, fire descended from heaven, "and consumed the meat
and the unleavened bread." Need we wonder that, when entering on the great
undertaking, his heart, oppressed and downcast, at the thought of Israel's
woes, and of the horrors of war, which wrung from them the cry of bitterest
anguish, the altar-stone should be inscribed by Gideon,
"Jehovah-shalom"--"The Lord send peace!"
Ezek. 48:35--"And the name of the city from that day
shall be Jehovah-shammah." (The Lord is there)
The prophet Ezekiel, when declaring the division of the
land among the twelve tribes, and the extent of the glorious city, gave this
as its great and glorious distinction, "Jehovah-shammah"--"The Lord is
Jer. 23:6--"And this is his name whereby he shall be
called, Jehovah-tsidkenu." (The Lord our Righteousness)
The prophet Jeremiah, when foretelling the advent of
Messiah, the righteous Branch, who was to make satisfaction for the sins of
His people, and by His obedience, and sufferings, and death, reconcile them
to an offended God, speaks of Him by a name dear to every believer,
"Jehovah-tsidkenu"--"The Lord our righteousness."
Christian! have you no stones of remembrance? Along the
pathway of your life are there no memorials of Jehovah's love? Ah,
yes! You, too, can tell of seasons of danger and distress--when prayer
prevailed on high--when, from the depths of your troubled soul, the cry
ascended heavenward, "Lord send help out of Zion," and deliverance was
given. The enemy came in upon you like a flood; but even then, when the
contest was fiercest, and the battle raged hottest, "the Spirit of the Lord"
lifted up His standard, and the victory was yours. Surely, in such an hour,
this was the language, of your soul, "Jehovah-nissi"--"The Lord my banner."
Or, look backward again. Remember that time, when some
heavy trial was impending over you, some sore bereavement was dreaded,
at the prospect of which, your very heart failed you, and the sunshine of
your life was wrapped in deepest gloom. But your God in mercy spared the
blow--the trial came not--the bereavement was stayed, and again the voice of
rejoicing was heard in your home. And, if an anxious thought still lingered
in your heart, and the shadow of the cloud still darkened at times your
pathway, oh! was not this, to you, a cheering and consolatory thought, that
come what may, He who listened to your prayer for deliverance, would also
listen to your prayer for grace, and that the covenant between you and your
God, permitted you to utter these blessed words "Jehovah-jireh"--"The Lord
Yes, believer! and times there may have been in your past
history, when the burden of sin was peculiarly oppressive, when your
soul was bereft of comfort and peace, and as, with trembling step and aching
heart, you pursued your weary journey, the language of your burdened spirit
was that of David, "My soul is cast down within me." For you, there was no
comfort in the Word, no joy in the means of grace, no happiness in prayer.
Like a benighted traveler, you were groping in darkness, and, all the while,
the whispered inquiry and taunt of the great adversary was, "Where is now
But your trial hour came to a close. The Comforter's
voice again was heard; the light of your Father's countenance shone upon
you; and, once more glad and joyous, the prayer of Gideon became yours,
"Jehovah-shalom"--"The Lord send peace."
Reader! you have entered the sanctuary; you have taken
your place at the communion table. Has the language of your soul been
this--"Jehovah-shammah"--"The Lord is there?" Trusting no longer in
yourself, but coming to the mercy-seat, poor, hungry, and penitent, was this
your prayer?--"O God, have mercy upon me a miserable sinner. Pardon and
accept me, for the sake of Him whom You have revealed as 'Jehovah-tsidkenu,'--'The
Lord our righteousness.'"
"Why should I fear the darkest hour,
Or tremble at the tempest's power?
Jesus vouchsafes to be my Tower!
"Though hot the fight, why quit the field?
Why must I either flee or yield,
Since Jesus is my mighty Shield?
"When creature comforts fade and die,
Worldlings may weep, but why should I?
Jesus still lives, and still is nigh!
"I know not what may soon betide,
Nor how my needs may be supplied;
But Jesus knows and 'will provide.'
"Though sin would fill me with distress,
The throne of grace I dare address,
For Jesus is my Righteousness.
"Though faint my prayers and cold my love,
My steadfast hope shall not remove,
While Jesus intercedes above.
"Against me earth and hell combine,
But on my side is power Divine--
Jesus is all and He is mine."