El-Roi—The God Who Sees


I have seen the One who sees me.” ‚Genesis 16:13

“Run away, escape, flee” were the only solutions desperate Hagar could devise. Sarai chose Hagar to bear Abraham’s child. Hagar was merely following orders. Now pregnant, her angry, jealous mistress abused her. Hagar’s challenges had been brought on by other people’s choices. Despised, mistreated, and abandoned, Hagar decided to run away. 

“They will never find me,” Hagar thought as she escaped into the desert. Blindly heading for unknown territory and anonymity, she left the security of food and shelter. Instead of facing her circumstances, she chose to run but was unable to get away from herself. Lost in the desert, Hagar was wrenched with hunger, agonizing over the baby, and terrified of the wilderness. Physically exhausted and emotionally spent, she collapsed by a spring in the desert. It was there the angel of the Lord found Hagar. She couldn’t escape God.

“Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” boomed the voice of the angel of the Lord in Genesis 16:8.

“I am running away from my mistress Sarai,” Hagar cried, covering her eyes from the angel’s radiance. The angel told Hagar to go back and face Sarai and submit to her. Listening intently, with awe and wonder, the angel gave Hagar a blessing and a promise about the future of her unborn child. “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count. You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery,” says Genesis 16:11.

“I have seen the One Who Sees Me!” Hagar proclaimed. Hagar experienced God. She called the Lord “El Roi, the One Who Sees Me” and named the place of the God-sighting Beer Lahai Roi. God had seen Hagar’s pain and heard her cries. “El Roi” is the name of God that means “The God Who Sees.” “El Roi” saw barren Sarai convince Abram to have a child with Hagar, her Egyptian servant. “El Roi” saw the abuses Hagar experienced at the hands of a jealous Sarai. “El Roi” saw Hagar flee into the desert doomed to die. “El Roi” revealed Himself, prophesying the nation to come from the birth of her son, Ishmael.

“El Roi” is still “The God Who Sees”…He sees us in our depression, desperation and difficulty. Maybe you don’t consider yourself as someone with a ‘break and run mentality’ like Hagar.  Have you ever denied there is a problem? Or avoided the subject of the problem by finding other things to talk about? To face a problem means to admit it and then to consider ways to solve it.

“El Roi” sees everything and knows everything, He knows and understands all that happens. Second Chronicles 16:9 says; “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Hagar experienced this strengthening when she believed God’s promise and received His blessing over her child. Although Hagar ran from a very difficult and messy situation, “El Roi” found her in the wilderness; “El Roi” helped her in returning to an impossible situation.

“El Roi” sees us in impossible circumstances when we face our obstacles with His help; we know He will work all things out for good. Instead of running from problems, run into the arms of “El Roi, The God Who Sees.” He will hold you close and give you strength to face every difficulty for His glory!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” —Romans 8:28

Let’s pray,

Heavenly Father, thank you El Roi, the God who sees, that I cannot run away from you. I am utterly amazed when I try to get away, you seek after me to gather me back to you, but furthermore you are waiting for me in the destination I’ve chosen for my escape. Thank you for your compassion; your eyes of love never let me out of your sight, and your gaze follows me wherever I flee. You sustain my every need until I come running back to you, arms, heart, and eyes wide open to be reunited with you. I tried to hide from you, but you never let me out of your sight. And you won’t ever let me go. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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