John 8:56-59, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
When reading the Bible, it is important to continually keep in mind that the people of the Old Testament were real. Men like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were men who lived on this earth and faced troubles and trials very similar to those we face today (1 Cor 10:13, “common”). In our study verse, the Lord Jesus Christ tells us that the man Abraham, though he lived many years before (according to my study, Abraham was born around 1950 B.C.), “saw” the day of the Lord and was “glad”.
When reading these verses of scripture, the Bible student is able to understand at least two things:
(1) The Lord Jesus Christ is (“I am”) before Abraham “was”, and
(2) The Lord Jesus Christ, being Abraham’s Lord and God, is greater than Abraham.
Along with that understanding, the Bible student’s mind should be stirred to ask themselves, “When and how did this man Abraham see the day of the Lord?” The answer to this question is found in Genesis chapter 22 when Abraham took his son Isaac to a mountain in the “land of Moriah” to offer him unto the Lord. Genesis 22:1-2 teaches us that it was God Who “did tempt Abraham” (tested or tried), and called on him to offer Isaac, the son he loved very much, for a burnt offering. When Abraham and his son, Isaac, came to the place and time of this offering, “the angel of the Lord called” unto Abraham and “said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad,…” Abraham would then lift his eyes and look behind him to find “a ram caught in a thicket by his horns”, which he offered in Isaac’s stead. Abraham, in Genesis 22:14, would call this place “Jehovah-jereh”.
Through the years of my reading and studying God’s Holy Word, I’ve heard three different definitions of the name “Jehovah-jereh”. I believe all three are good definitions and we gain an understanding of how Abraham saw the day of the Lord and why he rejoiced.
(1) Jehovah-jereh, The Lord will provide! In Genesis chapter 22, the sentence of death was upon Isaac from verse one until the “ram” was offered in Isaac’s stead. When Abraham saw the “ram”, he saw the Lord providing a sacrifice for Himself. The “ram” was a type and figure of the Lord Jesus Christ, who would come into the world and offer Himself in the room and stead of His people. Truly Jesus was and is the ultimate fulfillment of Genesis 22:8, “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:…”
(2) Jehovah-jereh, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen! When Abraham saw the ram, he saw deliverance from the sentence of death. With an eye of faith, Abraham looked forward to the day when the Lord Jesus Christ would “save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21).
(3) Jehovah-jereh, The Lord shall see to it! While growing up, I learned what it meant to “see to something”. When my grandpa or daddy called on me to “see to something”, it meant to get it done. It did not mean to leave it for someone else, but to take care of the task myself. When Abraham and Isaac left the young men in Genesis 22:5 and traveled to the place the Lord told him to go, the only hope for Isaac to return depended on the Lord seeing to it. The Lord saw to it when He provided the ram for Abraham to offer. In this, Abraham, was able to see how the Lord Himself would see to it one day (John 19:30, “It is finished”).
Truly, truly this event recorded in Genesis 22 pointed to the day when the Lord would see to the work of salvation and offer Himself unto the Father in the elect’s room and stead. And because He saw to it, the elect family of God, as Isaac went home with his father that day in Genesis chapter 22, will one day go home to their’ Father in Heaven. Amen!