His Name is El Roi

“…You are the God who sees…” Genesis 16:13

When believers think about Abraham and Sarah’s faith, we often focus on Isaac, the promised son in the bloodline of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 11:8-12, both are noted for their faith, but Abraham and Sarah are a lot like people today – they weren’t perfect. They both laughed at the promise of God, thinking it to be impossible (Genesis 17:17 and 18:12-15). Laughing wasn’t the only thing they did out of faith; they also both decided to try to fulfill the promise on their own by using their servant, Hagar, to give their family an heir.

Abraham was known in the area as a man chosen by God. He had tremendous influence and wealth. He had a beautiful wife that he loved. Hagar was an Egyptian servant for Sarah. She was not rich. She was not influential. She had no husband. Hagar was a subordinate to Abraham and Sarah, making a living by working underneath their authority. Her leaders decide she will marry Abraham for the purpose of giving her child to them. After marrying Abraham, having a sexual relationship with Abraham, Hagar conceives and Sarah becomes jealous. After using Hagar, Abraham abandons her and allows Sarah to harm her. Hagar is so mistreated that she flees from Sarah. She is now a single expectant mother that is so tormented that she leaves her job, her home, and her security. Hagar is now in a wilderness with no help, no money, no food, and no refuge. It seemed as if she and her baby would die. She was hurting, alone, and in despair.

Hagar was about as low as anyone could be. The Bible says the Angel of the Lord found her. He approached her and asked, “Where are you going?” She answered, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress.” Hagar was running away from Sarah, an employer who had used her in the worst possible way and then despised her. The Angel of the Lord gave Hagar a message from God. He told her that God had heard her affliction, and she was to name her child Ishmael, which means “God hears.” He promised Ishmael would live in the presence of his relatives, letting her know it was safe to go back. The message gave Hagar hope.

When the Lord came to her, she was hurting, alone, and in despair. Her response was “You are El Roi,” meaning “You are the God who sees.” Have you ever wondered if God knew what you were going through? Does He notice? God sees and knows everything, He longs to come through and act on your behalf. Look to Him; He is your El Roi.

Application: God sees you, and He wants you to see Him. Look to Him, and He will come through for you.

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