El Roi – The God of Seeing
I have studied Genesis chapter 16 many times but didn’t realize there was a deeper truth hiding in this verse 13. The angel of the Lord comes to Hagar and begins to speak some very comforting words to her. We understand that Hagar is in this place because she we kicked out of Sarah’s and Abraham’s home after bearing a child for the couple.
After the angel appeared to her and began to talk with her; she mentions something very profound – but you will miss it if you don’t pause for a second or two to dig a little deeper. She said, “you are the God who sees.” Hagar is impressed by the perceptiveness of God as revealed through his angel-messenger. This is seen in the name she gives to the Lord; she calls him ’El Ro’i – meaning – God of seeing. For she is saying – here I have seen him who looks after me.
A similar thing happens again in the New Testament where Jesus comforts a non-Hebrew woman – and she too recognizes that God had appeared to her (John 4). I want you to notice a few things that are very similar in these two stories:
1. Both encounters happened at a spring.
2. Both women are in distress.
3. Both of them are gentiles.
4. They are both outcasts
5. God does everything to seek them out and bring comfort to them.
He knows your name – He sees your tears – He seeks you out
Here is the truth in these stories. God sees you. Jesus knows where you are. He understands what you are going through. He will always show up to help you. He is the ‘seeing God.’ He is not taking a nap or on a long vacation. He is aware about every trouble and trial you go through. So whatever distress, trouble, dark valley you find yourself in today – El Roi has seen you and you can rest assure that He is coming to encourage you.
Name a time in you life when you thought you were all alone but God showed up and met you at the point of your need.