The Lord will See. Do you See?
John D. Telgren

When Abraham offers up Isaac as a sacrifice in Genesis 22, he calls that place Yahweh Yireh, "The LORD will provide." Out of the over 1200 times the word, "yireh" is used, English Bibles translate it "provide" only three times, once in Gen 22:8, and twice in Gen 22:14. In nearly every other occurrence, it is rendered, "see" or "saw" or "look." With that in mind, you can render this verse as,

"And Abraham called the name of that place, 'Yahweh will see.' Just as it is said to this day, 'In the mountain of Yahweh it will be seen.' (Gen 22:14)"

"The Lord provides" seems more preferable than "The Lord sees." However, that is not precisely what the word means. So how would those going to the mountain of the Lord find comfort in the fact that God "sees?" God seeing is more than just seeing. The idea of God "seeing" is rich with meaning. Here are a few examples.

"…And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of {their} bondage rose up to God. … God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice. … The LORD said, 'I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, … So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, …' (Exo 2:23 - 3:8)."

God "saw" Israel in their bondage, and moves to deliver them. That's why Israel sang comforting songs about God "seeing" them.

"The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth,…Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness, To deliver their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine (Ps 33:13-19)."

Mary echoes the same sentiment when she receives the announcement that she will bear the son of God. Here, the Greek word, "epibleplo" is often rendered "he has had regard for." However, it literally means "to see," or to "look upon."

"And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has looked upon state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed (Lk 1:47-48)."

So God is not just a disinterested watcher. When God sees, he acts. He provides. His most wondrous provision was salvation at the cross, when he himself provided his own son for our atonement.

According to the saying in Gen 22:14, when we come to the Lord, it will be seen. In other words, God notices. Since God has noticed, he wants us to notice as well. That is why Jesus told his disciples,

"Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest (John 4:35b)."

Jesus is calling us to notice. We live among people who need desperately to come to know God. Do you notice? Your neighbor needs to experience the love and grace of God in his life? Do you notice? Your co-worker is having a bad day. Do you notice? Someone in the body is struggling. Do you notice?