El Roi - God who sees me

In Genesis 16, we read about Hagar, the Egyptian slave of Sarah. 

God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of nations with descendants more numerous than the stars in the sky. After waiting for many years, Sarah convinced Abraham to sleep with her maid-servant Hagar to produce an heir. When Hagar became pregnant from Abraham, her meek manner changed to arrogance. She began to despise her mistress. As a result, Sarah treated her so harshly that she fled into wilderness.

There by a spring of water, she was found by an angel of God, who told her to return home and promised her that she would have many descendants through her son Ishmael. God had heard of her misery. She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me."Gen.16:13. She obeyed the voice of God and returned back as Sarah's servant. There she raised her son and perhaps grew in her walk with God. 14 years after the birth of Ishmael, Abraham's son Isaac the promised son was born to Sarah. One day Sarah saw that Ishmael was mocking Isaac. She feared that Ishmael would also share the inheritance with Isaac. So she decided to send Hagar and her son into the wilderness.

Alone and abandoned in the wilderness, Hagar was certain that she and her son would die.

Not only were she and Ishmael out of water, but they had also been cast out of their family. As a discarded concubine, her choices were too few. We read In Gen21:17 " then the angel called from heaven " don't be afraid, God has heard the boy crying as he lies there...and Hagar suddenly saw a well of water. God once again showed up for her. This sign of God's continued hand in her life must have given her a renewed hope and reminded her of God's promises in her life.

Using a concubine to bear an heir was a common practice in ancient times.But surely Abraham must have known in his heart that this was the wrong way to gain the heir God had promised. Hagar and Ishmael became victims of his actions. For when their home became a battlefield and a choice was required, Abraham's commitment to Sarah and Isaac took priority over Hagar and Ishmael. But God saw beyond their actions and compassionately took care of Hagar and Ishmael. God sustained them and was with Ishmael until he grew up.

Life Lesson - When the circumstances of life aren't fair, when we have been mistreated, when we have no other option but to run away, we must know that we have a God who sees.

He sees what others have done to us or spoken about us. He knows our misery. He hears the sound of our agony when our hearts are crying and no one else can hear it. Just as he watched over Hagar and Ishmael, He watches over us with compassion and a plan for our future. Many times running from a situation is the first thing we think of doing. We run because we can't handle the pressure, we run because we want a fresh start, we run because those in authority are the reason we are hurting. We run because we want to go where we are unknown and can start over. Instead of running from the situation if we ask God to intervene, He will surely help us to get through it. We serve a God who not only sees but He hears and restores us.

Submitted by:   Elizabeth Livingston