WHO HE IS: The God Who Sees

The God Who Sees Me.

He knows my needs before I even speak the words in prayer. He solves problems before I even realize they are a problem. He clears my path so that I can walk without obstacles. Even when I don’t understand what He is doing, or where He is leading me, He sees my needs and meets them. He sees my pain and heals me. He sees my weakness and gives me strength.

Hagar – Sarai’s Slave

In Genesis 16:1-4 we are introduced to Hagar. We learn that she is Sarai’s Egyptian slave. So, here we see that Hagar was not related to Sarai, but had been acquired as a slave from Egypt. We don’t know whether Hagar had served Sarai before her marriage or if she had been acquired later. But, she was most likely well known by Sarai, because her role, as maidservant would have been to assist with dressing, bathing, etc.

Sarai has heard Abram tell of the promise from God that they would become the parents of a great nation. But, Sarai is still barren. So, she comes up with a plan to give Abram an heir. Sarai decides that Abram should marry Hagar and have a baby with her. And that is exactly what they did.

And Hagar became pregnant.

Sarai mistreats Hagar

Hagar’s pregnancy caused Sarai and Hagar to see each other differently. Hagar began to despise Sarai. Sarai became jealous. Being her maidservant, Hagar was constantly in the presence of Sarai. Intentionally or not, Hagar seemed to be rubbing it in that she was carrying Abram’s child – the child that Sarai was not able to conceive.

In a bit of a huff, Sarai confronts Abram in verse 5. She tries to shift all the blame to him. Abram, who clearly didn’t love Hagar, told Sarai to do what she wanted with her. So, Sarai treated her so harshly that Hagar ran away.

Hagar Sulks By the Spring

Hagar fled from Sarah, and sat down by a spring and sulked. Here she was, an unloved slave bride, pregnant, fleeing from her master. The pain, rejection and uncertainty must have raced through her mind. How would she survive in the wilderness of Canaan?

There, in the midst of her despair, the Lord showed up. The New King James Version refers to him as “the Angel of the Lord”, but the context of the passage tells us that this was God. He showed her a small glimpse of what was going on. She was pregnant and would bear a son, named Ishmael (which means “God sees”) who would become a great nation. And then, He gave her instructions to return to Abram and Sarai and to submit herself to them.

And Hagar listened. She returned to Sarai and stayed until she was sent away after the birth of Isaac.

Hagar’s Response – The God Who Sees Me

She was probably just as upset, and certainly confused. Why would God show up just to tell her to return? But, instead of continuing to sulk in disappointment, Hagar responded, giving us a new name for God – El Roi, The God Who Sees.

Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

Genesis 16:13

How About You?

Are you facing a challenge that seems like too much? Are you carrying a burden that is too big to bear? Trying to climb a hill that has morphed into a giant mountain? Take some time to pull aside and sit in God’s presence. He’s there waiting for you. He sees you. He knows what you need – and what you need to hear. Go to Him, trusting that He is the God Who Sees, and follow Him in obedience.

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