Gen 16:13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke unto her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said: “Have I even here seen Him that seeth Me?” (JPS)
The Easy to Read Version says:
“I see that even in this place, God sees me and cares for me!”
What a joy it must have been to Hagar to see the God of Abraham in the wilderness. Probably being an Egyptian, she was forbidden to take part in the worships that Abraham led in his family. Probably she was told that to seek the Most Holy God, she had to undergo so many cleansing rituals.
Yet, a maid servant, rebelling against her mistress, in the middle of the wilderness, saw that our God is El Roi. One Who sees you even in the wilderness. The most loving God. Caring God. God Who sees us even in the wilderness and takes care of us.
Even for us, we have our own requirements of how we need to seek our Lord. There is nothing wrong in that, but most of the times when we are supposed to seek the LORD, we spend our time in finding the right spot and the right conditions to pray. As a result, we never get a chance to be surprised by our Lord Jesus Christ.
If the LORD is gracious and merciful to look at a maid servant, who was going to give raise to a wild race, even in the middle of wilderness, imagine how much more grace and love He has towards you, you who are saved by the blood of His only Son Jesus Christ.
Once for a Christian event that I was part of, some people were invited and they are not Christians. As I was getting ready for the event, I heard them planning few things to take away the honour and glory that belongs to our LORD. I was quite young at that time and I had no power to stop them. Though they knew I was overhearing their plans, they did not care as they knew I was powerless to do anything. And the Christians, who had planned that event, had already gone to the venue and I had no one to inform. Oh, this happened before the days of cell phones – in case, if you are wondering why I didn’t just call or text someone. So, I was left with no option other than to pray. So, I prayed.
When I reached the event with the same people who were plotting, the very first news we got was that the pastor who was going to lead the event had made certain changes. Which was surprising in many ways as that pastor was known to be against the same changes, but he had told others that the Spirit of God was moving him to do those changes for this event. Most importantly, those who were plotting to take the glory and honour of God, were shocked to see their counsel hit the dump because of those changes.
I cannot even explain the joy and happiness it brought to me. Later, when other Christians came to know of this, they praised the LORD along with me that God answered my prayer that day in such a clear way.
Okay, but why am I saying this? Because when I heard their plans, I was shaving and with no other choice, I prayed while I was shaving and, our God is El Roi – even in the wilderness, He takes care of His own.
Dear child of God, our God is El Roi – He sees you and He sees you now. Even in this wilderness. Pray to Him. And you will be surprised to know how caring our Father in heaven is. Be surprised. Be blessed.
El Roi. God Who sees me. And our LORD is not only sees us in the times of our troubles, but He is also the LORD Who hears your afflictions.
Gen 16:11 And the Angel of the LORD said to her: “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction.”
Yes, dear friend, He hears our afflictions. It is surprising to note that in all her troubles, Hagar did not raise her voice and cried out to God. I don’t know the reason why. Was she forbidden from praying to our LORD because she was an Egyptian main? Or because she despised Sarah, she was afraid that God would not listen to her prayers? No idea. But how sweet of our LORD to hear her afflictions.
You may not be able to pray right now as you are undergoing severe trial. Probably the trial is so severe and intense, you are not able to find even a second to raise your voice to the LORD.
Or, probably the devil is accusing of some sin or trespass that you have committed; he keeps telling you that the LORD would not hear your prayers anyway, so why bother.
Or, there is a low self-esteem that tells you, “But you are not worthy at all.”
But the LORD hears your afflictions.
The LORD knows the trials you are undergoing. HE is El Roi – God Who sees you. HE knows.
The LORD forgives faster than you can imagine. The moment your heart was broken because of conviction of sin, our Father in Heaven is waiting to embrace you and celebrate your return to His presence.
Unworthy we may be in the eyes of the world, even in our estimates; but we are precious in the eyes of the LORD. So precious that He gave His only Son to die a brutal death on the Cross for you and for me.
The LORD hears your heart breaking under the trials; He hears the sighs that escape without your knowing. The LORD hears the weeping of your heart in silence in the maddening din of this world.
HE is El Roi – God Who sees you and the LORD Who hears your affliction. In the middle of all your trials, take heart, dear friend, for the LORD is closer to you than you can imagine.