When my first son Connor was born, he slept in a bassinette right next to my bed where I could keep a good eye on him. As a new mommy, it took me awhile to actually have him sleep in the crib alone in his room. When I finally got the courage to have him sleep in his crib, I had the video baby monitor on right next to me. I just love the baby monitors we have these days! What did mommies do without them back in the day! (I could say that about a lot of things!)
Not only could I hear Connor through the monitor but I could also see him…I so loved my video monitor! Ok, present tense, I so love my video monitor! Yes…I still use the monitor…and yes my boys are no longer babies…My justification? …The boys’ room is on the other side of the house… and frankly it just makes me feel a whole lot better that I can see them!
I know at some point I will need to give up using my “baby” monitor but for now it gives not only me greater comfort when I sleep at night but also the boys. What comfort it brings them that mommy and daddy can see them and they have nothing to be afraid of!
As God’s children, we too are under the watch of our heavenly father’s eye…not through a confined screen of a video monitor…but by his omnipresence…his presence everywhere.
Are you afraid, worried, or troubled today? Do you believe that God sees you right now? …in whatever circumstance you face, whatever difficulty burdens you, whatever struggles you bear?
In Genesis, we find the story of a woman named Hagar. A woman, who was not respected…not valued…tormented…mistreated…and alone. A woman we can all be encouraged by when we think God doesn’t see us…doesn’t see our suffering…doesn’t see our pain…doesn’t see our difficult circumstances…
Hagar was the maidservant to Sarah, Abraham’s wife. To give you a brief background summary beginning in Genesis 15…
Abraham and Sarah remained childless and in those days it was custom that if Abraham died without having a son, then his eldest servant would be the heir. But the Lord said to Abraham…
“This man [referring to Eliezer, Abraham’s trusted servant] will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Genesis 15:4-5 NIV
So God promises Abraham and Sarah descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky by having a son of their own who will carry on the family line.
However in Genesis 16, after 10 years of waiting and still childless, Sarah decides to give her maidservant Hagar as a substitute wife to Abraham. Sarah takes matters in her own hands thus showing her and Abraham’s lack of faith.
So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. Genesis 16:3-4 NIV
Notice here that Hagar is described as an Egyptian slave. So basically, she was an outsider…a piece of property…and not valued much.
When she [Hagar] knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.”
“Your servant is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. Genesis 16:4-6 NIV
Think about it…Hagar was just a servant. It was not her decision to sleep with Abraham and fall pregnant. It was not her idea…but now she was being blamed for it and mistreated because of it. Life wasn’t fair and she couldn’t take any more. So she fled and headed in the direction of Egypt…she wanted to go back home.
What are you facing today? What difficult circumstances do you face today that you wish you could run away from? Is life just not fair? Are you being disrespected, mistreated, not valued…like Hagar?
As we go on to read Genesis 16:7-14, we see that the angel of the Lord finds Hagar all alone…
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,[a]
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward[b] all his brothers.”
13 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[c] the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi[d]; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered. Genesis 16:7-14 NIV
Hagar didn’t have it easy at all, but in the midst of her suffering, God met her in an amazing way and revealed himself to her as El Roi…the God who sees!
“El”… means “Mighty Strength” or “the Strong One”
“Roi”… means “to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider.”
Therefore, El Roi can be translated as “The Strong One who sees”! Love this!
Hagar discovers that she really wasn’t alone…God had seen her predicament with perfect clarity. He knew about the abuse in her past…He pinpointed her exact position in the present…and he saw what the future held for her…descendants too numerous to count from her son named Ishmael which interestingly means “God Hears”.
No matter where you are in life – no matter what is happening in your little world – even if you think that you are totally isolated and think that no one knows what you are facing – you can be assured that God is concerned with what happens to you…you can be assured that you serve El Roi…the God who sees…what comfort that brings!
This is the God who watches over you today…El Roi…whether or not you recognize his presence. Being aware that you may sometimes find yourself in desolate places…He is always near…helping you find a path though your troubles…working out his plans for your future. He knows the beginning, the end, and everything in between! He will never leave you or forsake you!
He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; Psalm 34:15
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, Psalm 33:18
The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. Proverbs 15:3
1) Do you face difficult circumstances today? Do you face struggles so difficult to bear?
2) Do you believe that God sees you exactly where you are at this present moment?
3) Do you trust that God will never leave you or abandon you?
1) Be encouraged today by Hagar’s story that God sees you.
2) Pray for greater trust and assurance in knowing that our God is El Roi…the God who sees. Believe that God loves you and cares for you. Believe Jeremiah 29:11.
3) Read God’s word to build your faith, encourage you and comfort you during your difficult circumstances. And be encouraged that God will see you through…He sees it all!