In this time of worldwide pandemic, did you ever ask yourself “Is there really a God?” or Is there really a God that looking from above, why is this happening?” Today let’s talk about the other name of God and how it shows that indeed He is the God who sees.
Its kind a different from the others because it was named by a woman, a servant to be exact. So, the protagonists of our story today are God of course, and Hagar the servant of Sarai. Today we will learn something from Hagai how she experienced God and how she named God “El Roi”. Let’s read Genesis 16:13.
“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 [f]seen Him who sees me?”
So, before we jump to our key verse, let me give you a background of what is happening here. We go back in Genesis 12:2, we remember that Abram was called by God, and God gave him promises:
1. From Abraham, there would become a great nation – more than the sands on the sea shore.
2. That Abraham’s name would become great.
3. The last thing promised was that from him all nations would be blessed. And ultimately this finds fulfillment in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now everything was good, Abraham followed God. Only there’s a little problem, just a little problem. It had been 10 years from the promise, but still no baby, still no sleepless nights because of a loud cry at midnight. Sarai did not conceive a child.
Let’s read Gen. 16:1 “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.” After 10 years of waiting, still, there was no closer to seeing the promise fulfilled. They were getting impatient. Now they thought why they don’t just help God. Then we can see on the same verse, “So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children.” Sarai still acknowledge God, that it’s still God’s will that she didn’t born a child. But look on her next statement. He told Abraham “Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall [a]obtain children by her.”
Okay before we judge Sarai, let’s look on Sarai’s side. There is a promise that they will be a great nation, of course for that to happen, Sarai need to bear a child at least one. Also remember in their time, to have a child is the biggest responsibility of a woman. If you are a woman, you are expected to bear a child to continue your lineage. And Sarai is the wife of the Tribe’s leader. Really, it’s a shame for her. So, they made their move.
Now, you, I and most of us tend to do that as well, we are so impatient; we want everything to be instant. We always say “God your will be done” but in reality, it’s our own will we want to happen. We tend to insist what we want, even it will harm us. We have our prayers that if God did not give to us, we already have a backup plan for it to happen. Am I right? So, Sarai and us here have no difference, we’re all the same.
So, they came up with the idea to use her slave. “And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.” And his good and obedient husband agreed. In verse 3, “Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan.”
It’s important also to note that on that time, being a slave, you don’t own your body; it’s your master’s possession. So, everything in you, or everything you produce, it will be owned by your master. In this case if Hagar will bear a child, they will take it and make it their own. Its kind a weird for today’s time, but in their time it’s normal. So yes, it happened. In verse 4, “So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived…” So, their plan succeeds, Hagar conceived a child. But we know that God were not pleased on what they did. It’s God who will give them a child, not man resourcefulness. They take their situation on their own hand instead of leaving it to God. Now Sarai need to face the consequences.
“And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.” Now Hagar got pregnant, she looks down on her mistress. It’s now her chance to become somebody, not a slave anymore that has no rights at all. But it got it to her head. It made Sarai really angry. He goes to his husband and said, “Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The Lord judge between you and me.” Maybe Abraham is like, what??? You are the one suggested it right? Maybe all husbands here can relate. And of course, who will win? So, Abram said to Sarai, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.” And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.”
Can we see the result of their action? Now there is so much conflict. Hagar was miserable because of the torment and mistreatment she suffered at Sarah’s hands. Sarah was miserable because of her present situation and that of another. Abraham I’m sure was also miserable because he was being blamed left right and center and was too weak to do anything about it, he was torn between two angry women.
So, we can see, we suffer, we facing challenges, trials or whatever we experiencing now, it happens because of what? Because of our own decisions, because we leave it in our own hands rather than giving it to God. It will always end to chaos.
And sometimes, like Hagar, we want to run away, run to somewhere that we think we can escape to whatever we are facing. Maybe some of us, or the one sitting next to you feel the same way. They feel miserable, there is a conflict with a family member, you have conflict with your boyfriend or girlfriend, financial problem, you are getting bullied, and you are depressed, you feel rejected, and you feel you don’t belong or you are not satisfied in where you are right now. And like Hagar, you want to run away somewhere where you can find some peace, some rest, and some refreshment. And if you think you are alone with this, you’ll have to think again. Let’s see what the next verse says.
“Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
By the way the “Angel of the Lord” here, I believed it’s what we called Christophany or the manifestation of the pre-incarnate Christ, and we can see the authority on what he is saying, not just a mere messenger. So, God talked to Hagar.
“The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.” 10 Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”
The Lord want her to go back and of course it will not be easy, because she will come back to his mistress who was angry with her, but look on the verse 10, God gave her a promise. It’s like God saying, where are you going? Stop right there! Go back! But don’t worry I got you!
Now you, yes you! Who feel that their life is a misery? God heard the misery of Hagar then be assured that God will hear yours too. God let you experience that not just because He wants to or He just abandoned you. He wants you to realize ask yourself? Where are you going? Why are you going there? God wants you to stop! And go back, face your problem, but this time you are not alone, but with God.
Now we are here in our key verse, let’s read, “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?”
The God that sees me, in Hebrew “El Roi” Now when we say El, it means strength, mighty, powerful, strong, so they used it to described God as strong powerful mighty being. Hagar in her time of struggle learns something about God and maybe we experience also that hardships that maybe we will learn something about God, by experiencing His power, by experiencing Him personally.
Roi, in Strong’s definition, it means sight, whether abstractly in terms of vision or concretely in terms of a spectacle. When we talk about God seeing ability, it is something that a human cannot comprehend.
1. . God can see your sufferings.
In Psalm 121:4, it says “Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
Even the most watchful parent has to sleep. But Scripture makes it clear God never slumbers. Those who were praying, those who were abandoned, to those who are full of worries, God sees you. He sees your struggles, He sees your affliction. And if you think that the strong and mighty God that sees you will do nothing, you are limiting God!
To those mistreated, under attacked, remember that there is a just and righteous God watching from above. Read Psalms 33:13.
2. God can see yesterday, today and tomorrow.
God is not limited as well in time; He can see everything regardless of time, from beginning to the end. See Ecclesiastes 3:11 and Proverbs 5:21.
Like Jeremiah, God already saw what is ahead of him as well as Ishmael. They were not born yet but God saw their future. Whatever you struggling now, don’t think it happen without a reason. God put you on that situation, knowing what will happen in the future. He has plans for you, not to harm you but to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future.
You know, whatever you experiencing now, just give it to the Lord. You’ll just be exhausted thinking what will happen or what you will do, but God? He knows everything, because he sees everything.
3. God sees you everywhere
God just not see the past present and the future, He as well sees you wherever you are at the same time. Even here in the Philippines, Africa, South Korea or wherever place you could think of, God sees us all at the same time. So, nothing in this world, God does not see. Read Psalms 139:7-8.
Wherever you are, rest assured, He is there, in our own laughter and in our tears, in our success and in our failures. We will never be alone.
It says in Jeremiah 23:24, no one can hide from the eyes of the Lord that He cannot see. Which leads to our next point and maybe it will be our least favorite.
4. God sees what is inside.
According to In Psalm 44:21, “Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Maybe, God is full of grace, but let’s not forget, that we are still accountable of what we are doing. “For He knows the secret of the heart”, there is no secret that God doesn’t know, for he sees it. Those times when you are on your own, when you are doing something or looking into something, God sees you. The time you stole that pen, God sees you. The time you lied on your husband or on your wife, Good sees you. For those who still dwelling on their sins, God sees you! We cannot mock God! You worship him with your mouth and that same mouth you are cursing other human being who have been made in God’s likeness.
We sing praises and worship God with matching tears but our minds are full of evil thoughts. But God sees it all. Let’s not forget that every action we do, there is God watching us. We are just fooling ourselves if we think we can hide our dark secrets to God. And when the judgment comes, we cannot deny anything, whatever justification you’ll say, you know what God will answer? “I saw you”.
But don’t get me wrong, God is not watching there 24/7 just because He is waiting for you to commit mistakes. He is watching you, me everyone here, because he cares and loves you
God showed Himself to Hagar as the God who sees. Remember this, wherever you are, which point of your life you are now, whatever challenges you are facing right now. There is One strong mighty, powerful God who sees you! He has the power, He sees you, He will deliver you!
Emilyn A. Ramirez