“When God Sees You!”

Rev. J. Loren Russell

Genesis 16:7-8, 13 NKJV
Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
13 Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

Incognito is what a person does when they do not want to be noticed. They will wear clothing that is not common to them, wear a mask to hide their faces, distort their appearance with make-up, or call themselves by a different name. I do not know if Hagar was trying to go unnoticed as she traveled the road back to her hometown of Shur, but I know that the angel of the Lord recognized her as the servant of Sarai. He knows of her defiance to her mistress and instructs her to return and submit to Sarai’s leadership. Then, he tells her that he knows she is pregnant, then details for her the life the child will live.

Intrigue, suspense, and drama are all part of this Biblical account of the “father of our faith” and his wife. Hagar was the maid servant to the barren Sarai (whose name means princess). Sarai gave Hagar to her husband Abram to be his wife and give him a child. Hagar indeed became pregnant but began to despise Sarai. Abram gave his consent to Sarai to do whatever she desired with Hagar. Sarai began treating her cruelly. So harsh was her treatment that Hagar ran away and headed back to her hometown in Egypt.
Hagar probably felt betrayed, marginalized, and isolated by the treatment she was enduring, even though she started it. It is ironic that she was living in a house with a man of God, but she would rather go back to the pagan lifestyle of her ancestry than to put up with the abuse she was suffering.

While she was in the wilderness by a spring of water, having stopped to refresh and regroup, she is confronted by an angel of the Lord. Some theologians argue that this was a theophany, a preincarnate (Old Testament) appearance of Christ, who tells her to go back and humble herself to her mistress.

Hagar acknowledged that she was recognized, and the one who identified her was the Lord Himself. She calls His name, El Roi, the God who sees me. There are no circumstances and no situations that escape the observation of the Lord. He sees everything and knows everything about us. He knows our abilities and our troubles. As a lasting memorial to her encounter with the Lord while in the wilderness, Hagar names the place where they met, Beer-Lahai-Roi, the well of Him that lives and sees me.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary says, “It is taken for granted, though not expressly recorded, that Hagar did as the angel commanded her… Those who obey divine precepts shall have the comfort of divine promises.” Hagar was not overlooked by the Lord, and neither are we. Always remember that He is ever watching! The Lord is always looking for an opportunity to be gracious to us.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company and The J. Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting, an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at www.smashwords.com/books/view/993177)

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