A Series on the Names of God
Lesson Thirteen: Yahweh-Yireh (Jehovah-Jireh)
Main Idea: When we obey him, Yahweh-Yireh will provide everything we need.
Memory Verse: “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
This is part 13 of 16 in our study of the Names of God for kids called, “Hello, My Name Is… A Series on the Names of God.” Visit that link to navigate to other lessons in this curriculum.
Attachments Download for this Lesson
- Read lesson, Scripture references, Hebrews 11:17-19, John 1:29, Luke 9:23, and 1 Timothy 6:17-19
- Gather: Bible, lesson plan, dry erase markers or chart paper and markers, several bandanas or scraps of fabric to use as blindfolds, “Ram” printable, scraps of white paper, scraps of green paper, glue sticks, colored pencils or crayons.
- To help keep track of the names of God learned over this series, write each lesson’s name of God on the board along with the main idea. Tape a strip of paper over the name, and one over the main idea. Use this to review the lesson as you go. Alternatively, use large flash cards with the name of God on the front and the main idea on the back. Create one of these every week and review with the class as you go.
- Take time to meditate on this lesson and apply it to your own life. Do you ever have the problem of thinking about God as if He were a vending machine? You pray for what you want and expect to get it. I know I fall into this trap far too often. The truth is, God provides everything we need, not everything we want. Sometimes we blur the line between “needs” and “wants.” Our truest, greatest need is salvation, which he provided in Christ, and his mercy, which he gives us every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23.) Take time to repent of any habit in you to treat God like He is a vending machine, and praise Him that he will provide for your every need.
- Genesis 22:1-18
- Jeremiah 29:11
- Romans 6:23
- Romans 8:32
- Matthew 6:30-33
- John 14:15
- Ephesians 6:1-3
- Isaiah 1:19
- 1 Kings 2:3
- Joshua 1:8
- 1 John 3:22
- John 14:23
- Deuteronomy 5:33
Game: Obedience Relay
In this game, students will learn that when we faithfully obey God, he will provide us with good things. Explain to your class that they are going to do a team obstacle course relay, and that every team who finishes the race will earn a prize, (such as a small piece of candy or a sticker,) and that the team who comes in first will get two prizes. Divide your class into groups of two. If you have more than six students, divide your partnered students into groups as well. For each group, set up an identical obstacle relay through your room. Include things like going around the chair, under the table, and over the stack of books. Blindfold one student from each pair of two. When you say go, the partner without a blindfold must lead the blindfolded child through the obstacle course and then back through the room to where they started. Then, if you have teams, have the next pair in the team go. After a pair has gone through the obstacle course, switch the blindfold so the kid who was leading will now walk through it blindfolded. Continue play until every student has had a chance to lead and to be blindfolded. Whichever pair of students, or whichever team finishes first, wins.
Message: Open in prayer, then say, can you believe how much we have learned about God through this study on his names? We have learned that God is our strong creator. He has always existed and always will. He is our Lord and our Father. He is Jealous for us, and fills us with Perfect Peace. He is our King, our Rock, our Judge, our Shepherd and our safe Refuge. Every time we learn a new name or title for God, we learn more about who God is and about how he loves us. God has given us so many names by which we can get to know him! Today’s name of God is all about how much God gives us.
Today’s name only shows up in the Bible once, but it’s a really popular and well-known name of God. I’m going to read the story in Genesis where we find today’s name. Now I’ll warn you, if you have never heard today’s story, it may seem kind of intense. But don’t worry, it has a happy ending. And we’ll discuss the crazy sounding part. It’s kind of a long passage of Scripture, so I want you to follow along in your own Bibles to help you stay focused. I’m going to read Genesis 22:1-18. (Use good out loud reading skills to keep your class engaged through this long passage. Don’t rush through it, but slow down and emphasize key passages to help the class listen well.)
“Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called.
“Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”
2 “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
3 The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”
6 So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, 7 Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”
8 “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.
9 When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”
12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”
13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven. 16 “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that 17 I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. 18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.””
That was quite a long and intense story! Let me clear a few things up real quick. This can be a confusing story, and I want to be sure you all understand some important points. When we read this story, we tend to picture Isaac as a little kid. We can’t really know for sure, but most Bible scholars think he was probably between 18 and 37 years old. He was most likely in his mid to late twenties. His father, Abraham, was over a hundred years old, so it does make 30 look like a little kid. So when we read in verse nine that Abraham “tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood,” we have to understand that Isaac trusted and obeyed his father. Abraham probably didn’t have to fight with Isaac to get him on the altar.
Also, God has good plans for our lives. It says so in Jeremiah 29:11. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Abraham and Isaac knew and trusted God. They knew that no matter what happened, their lives would not be disasters. God was, and is, in control, even when things seem crazy and scary. Like this story.
So did anyone catch the name of God in this passage? It’s a tricky one. (Have students guess. After a few guesses, refer them to verse 14.) The name of God we find in this passage is Yahweh-Yireh. (YAH-weh-yer-AY). It means “The Lord will provide.” (On the board, write, “Yahweh-Yireh, the Lord will provide.”) You may have heard it before as Jehovah-Jireh. (Write “Jehovah-Jireh” on the board.) That’s basically a mistranslation or mispronunciation, but it stuck and now most people know this name of God as Jehovah-Jireh instead of Yahweh-Yireh. I’ll try to use both throughout the lesson so you become familiar with this name of God.
Okay, so technically it’s the name Abraham gave the mountain where God told him to sacrifice his son, but it became known as a name of God because God IS the God who will provide for us. The name is “The Lord will provide,” not “The Lord might provide,” or “The Lord provided a long time ago but I’m not sure he will now.” When we know that Yahweh-Yireh is “The Lord will provide,” we have the confident hope that God will do great things for us in the future. Think about it this way. The people of Israel have been through some rough times. They were slaves in Egypt, and then they wondered around through the desert for forty years before coming into the Promised Land. And then they were captured and taken away from the Promised Land. And then when they came back, they had to rebuild their city. Very long story short, the Israelites went through some tough times. But through all of this, they remembered the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. They knew that God provided for Abraham and Isaac. Abraham trusted God, so he was willing to give up his one and only son. Instead, God provided a ram for the sacrifice. The Israelites looked back to the story of Abraham and looked forward to God providing the savior, his own Son as a sacrifice for their sins. They knew that God had provided for Abraham and they looked forward to Yahweh-Yireh providing for them too.
Does this story of Abraham and Isaac sound a little familiar? God provided a ram so Isaac wouldn’t have to die. Think back to a couple of weeks ago, when we learned that God is our Good Shepherd, and Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Good Shepherd takes care of us by providing the Lamb of God, Jesus, to take the punishment for our sins. Remember Romans 6:23 says that the “wages for sin is death.” But Yahweh-Yireh provided us with the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice, to take away our sins. Let’s have a quick sword drill. Take all fingers and bookmarks out of your Bibles and hold them above your heads. When I say go, turn to Romans 8:32. Go! (Read, or have a student read, Romans 8:32). “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” Whenever we start to worry about having what we need in life, we can remember that Jehovah-Jireh gave us his one and only Son, Jesus, who took away the punishment for our sins by dying on the cross. God sacrificed his own Son so we can be close to him. If he’s willing to give us his one and only son, don’t you think he will give us everything we need? (On the board, write, “God provides us salvation through Jesus.”)
Let’s make a list on the board of some of the things we worry about. (Write the student’s responses on the board. Listen compassionately and be sure your class does the same. Gently but firmly correct any rude comments or laughter as children share their worries. Some examples could be failing a test, getting lost, not having enough food, losing or not having friends.) We all worry about a lot of things in life. The Bible has comforting words for us when we start to worry. Matthew 6:30-33 says, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Yahweh-Yireh gives us everything we need. It doesn’t say everything we want, but we can have everything we need. (On the board write, “Gives us everything we need.”) What do we have to do before God gives us everything we need? It says in the passage I just read. (Allow students to answer.) We need to seek the Kingdom of God and live righteously. Basically, we need to obey God. The thing we need most in the entire universe, even more than we need food or water or clothes, is salvation. We need Jesus to save us from our sins more than we need anything else. We are saved from our sins when we believe that Jesus died to save us and then we obey him. If we are not willing to obey Jesus, then we don’t really love him. Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love me, obey my commandments.”
I want to take a moment to look at some of the ways that Yahweh-Yireh will provide for us when we obey his commands. I have several verses, so instead of having you turn in your Bibles to all of them, I’m going to pass out cards with the passages written on them. You’ll team up with the people around you and decide what blessing for obedience is mentioned in each verse. We’ll talk about them as a whole class. (Pass out the “Blessing for Obedience Verses” cards. Group the students so they are working with the people they are already sitting around. Walk through the groups as they work to provide guidance, then bring them together to discuss the blessings associated with obedience. For your convenience, I have listed to verses below and underlined to blessing.)
- Ephesians 6:1-3: “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
- Isaiah 1:19: “If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.”
- 1 Kings 2:3: “Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go.”
- Joshua 1:8: “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
- 1 John 3:22: “And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him [God] and do the things that please him.”
- John 14:23: “Jesus replied, ‘All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.’”
- Deuteronomy 5:33: “Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy.”
(Continue after discussing the verses.) So to sum it up, when we obey God, we will prosper, or succeed, we will live long lives and God will live in our hearts. When we obey him, Yahweh-Yireh will provide everything we need! And since Jehovah-Jireh is so generous to us, we need to be generous to everyone we meet. That’s how we show that God loves everyone! As we pray today, I want you to pray in your heart for God to show you how you can be generous this week. Maybe you can share your snack with a kid at school who doesn’t have one. Or you can share your time with a lonely friend. Or you can share your toys with your brothers and sisters. God is generous to us, so let’s be generous to others! (As students work on today’s craft, you can ask them in what ways they plan to be generous providers this week.)
Close in prayer.
Craft: Ram Collage
Pass out the “Ram” printable to each student. Allow them to color the background and the words as you remind them that just like God provided a ram for Abraham, God will provide for our needs when we follow him. After the students color the picture, they can then tear small strips of white paper to glue to the ram for wool. If they curl the end of the paper around their pencil before gluing it to the paper, it gives a nice 3D, wooly effect. After they glue on the wool they will use green paper to cut and tear leaves to glue on and around the ram, especially around its horns, to show that he is stuck a thicket, just like in Genesis 22:13.