The God Who Sees Me

Genesis 16:13 "Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-The-God-Who-Sees (El Roi); for she said, 'Have I also here seen Him who sees me?"

Recently I have been jumping around between a number of different devotional books, and today found myself reading the page from our church's Our Daily Bread devotional, and was reading Genesis 16:1-13 which is the account of Hagar the handmaid of Sarai who was given to Abram to fulfill God's promise to Abram.

The problem with this decision for Hagar to have a relationship with Abram if you remember, though, was that that was not part of God's plan which He had promised Abram. 

God had promised Abram, that he would be the father of a great nation (Israel). That his descendants would number as the stars in the sky, and the grains of sand on the ground. In man's finite understanding of God, though, Sarai, Abram's wife was becoming impatient. Here she was almost 90 years old beyond childbearing age, and Abram approaching 100. 

How could God use her to give birth to Abram's one and only descendant? 

In her strong-willed desire to see God's promise come true, she sent her handmaid Hagar to Abram so that she might bear him a son, and a descendant as God promised. 

Upon seeing though that Hagar could give Abram that which Sarai could not Sarai became very bitter and angry towards Hagar, so Hagar fled for her life.

It was there in the wilderness of Canaan between Kadesh and Bered that God met with Hagar. A woman that was fleeing from the hand of her owner. 

Can you imagine what it might have been like for Hagar on that particular day by that spring of water? Most likely she was parched, she had no direction in which to turn, she was literally running for her life, probably constantly looking over her shoulder in fear... and yet the Angel of the Lord comes to her and promises her something that just seems impossible. 

Upon telling her to return to Sarai, the LORD tells her that He is going to multiply her descendants, just like he was going to multiply Abram's descendants. 

The Angel gives specific instructions as to how the child's name would be Ishmael. 

Today the Islamic faith traces their roots back to Abraham not through Isaac as the Jewish people do, but instead through Ishmael. 

Had Abram and Sarai only obeyed God, Ishmael and the descendants of Ishmael never would have been a problem for the Jewish people, but alas like many of our own actions done in haste with impatience, we reap the consequences of not waiting upon the Lord. 

Yet here is this woman, whom God does not destroy, nor despise, and yet He lovingly speaks to her words of promise, and she then responds by saying, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?" 

What a profound statement - El Roi. The God Who Sees... What a blessing to know that God is constantly setting vigil over us. Watching us at all times, even when we do not necessarily see Him. 

His hand of protection and provision sustain us, and give us blessing after blessing, so may we instead of finding ourselves ignoring God, seek to see Him as we know that He is watching us.