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The God Who Sees Me

Do you ever get a garage sale find that is a real gem?  When we were on furlough last year I hit the garage sales in our area (whichever city we were in) every Saturday morning.  Well, I found this study book for 50 cents and brought it home.  I decided to start it last week; it's on the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and it is so rich and full that I'm gleaning all kinds of insight out of it for personal growth and for teaching purposes. 

Yesterday's study was on Hagar.  I have never given her much thought.  Truth be told, I've had a negative perspective on her my entire Christian life.  She's the Egyptian slave who bore the "other" son to Abram.  That son (Ishmael) was the father of another nation that historically has made life difficult for Christians.  Ishmael was born because instead of waiting on God's perfect plan, Sarai took things into her own hands and handed over her maidservant to her husband to bear him a son.  As expected, once Hagar found out she was pregnant, animosity grew between the two and well, total pandemonium broke out in the tents.  Hagar was sent away into the desert to "cease to exist".

Yet, God saw Hagar and came to her.  He had a plan for her life, even after things got really messed up. The poor girl, I  wonder if she even had a choice in the matter...  Could she have refused to lay with her mistress' husband?  Doubtful.  She was just a mere servant and who was she to give opinions to her boss?  It wasn't that she had brought humiliation upon herself; she was a victim of sinful choices that lead to a major breakdown in the home and a painful separation of not only her job, but her source of food and shelter.  As I meditated more on her circumstances, I started to have a compassion for this woman and I was moved by God's care for her.

He gave her unwanted son a name.  Ishmael means, "Yahweh has been attentive to your humiliation."  How beautiful it is that God showed up in her utter desolation and told her that he has cares for her and that even though she felt completely abandoned, she was not alone.

What was even more moving to me is that Hagar, the lowly maidservant, is the only Old Testament character to give God a name; we see that name in Genesis 16:13.   El Roi.  "You are the God who sees me."  Not only did he see her, he gave her life meaning and he changed her shame into joy, with the knowledge that her son would make history.

Friends, God sees us when no one else seems to care.  He comes to us in our most desperate moments, he knows when we feel alone, when we're completely exhausted and when we just want to craw behind a rock and hide.  He has been attentive to our situation and he is the one who can turn our circumstances upside down.  I can just see the joy in Hagar's face as she returns to Abram and Sarai, a transformed woman. She is no longer just a slave, she is one who has seen God and that encounter made all the difference.

Do you believe that God sees you today in your greatest need?


  1. Thanks for share this!!!! That was what I needed today to know!!! God is see me!!!
    Norberto Obermann

  2. What a great thought, that God SEES me! This would make for an awesome sermon. God bless.


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