8th November 2011

The God Who Sees Me

“The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur.”
Genesis 16:7 (NLT)

Here in Genesis, we find that Abram and Sarai had waited a long time for the son God had promised them (Genesis 15:4). They became impatient and Sarai suggested to Abram, according to the custom of the day, that he should take her servant, Hagar, for his wife and perhaps they could get a son through her (Genesis 15:2-3). Abram agreed. Then we find that when Hagar became pregnant she looked at her mistress with contempt.  As a result of this, she was treated harshly by Sarai, so she ran away into the desert.

Lonely, frightened and weary, she stopped to rest.  She had no one to turn to and no one to care for her. But God knew where she was and he cared for her—and so, there by the spring, Hagar had an experience of God, himself. The angel told her to return to her mistress, and also informed her of the blessings that God would bestow upon the son she was carrying.  It became obvious to her that this was none other than God meeting with her. She was instructed to call her son Ishmael.  This name means, ‘God hears’, and then we read in verse 13; “Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her.  She said, ‘You are the God who sees me.’” Or, ‘El Roi’—‘The God who sees me.’ Then she named the spring, or well, Beer-lahai-roi—‘Well of the Living One who sees me!’ In her time of need God brought to her the assurance that in his loving care she was not forgotten.

In this incident we also come face to face, eyeball to eyeball, with El Roi, the God who both sees and cares. He also draws near to us in times of stress and strain, in times when we are running away from something, and gives us the courage to return and face whatever the problem is. In him we find refreshment, encouragement and strength.

The writer to the Hebrews in the New Testament encourages us with these words:  “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV). 

Thank you Father, for being the One who always sees our tears and hears our cries; for being the only One who can plumb the depths of our anguish in times of trouble and for stooping down to provide comfort, courage and strength for us.

Study by Cliff Neill

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