“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert… She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” (El Roi) for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Gen 16:7, 13)
Here we have a glimpse of the drama in Abraham’s household. It is not a pleasant story to read. Most of the time we ignore its lessons because we think we know ‘who Hagar is’: ‘Is she not the mother of Ishmael, ‘the father’ of the Muslims?’ Biased, we find no beauty in the story. But then we forget that this is the Word of God and our Lord’s glory shines there in all its pages. Let’s read it again…
God promised Abraham that he will have a son. He believed the promise. But he and Sarah, his wife, were ‘well advanced in years’. To have a child at their age was humanly impossible. Frustrated, Sarah devises a strange plan… Let Abraham have a child with her domestic slave, Hagar. Then they will ‘adopt’ that child. This is the strategy of doubt. God may surprise you with the success of a plan not of Him. The arrangement ‘worked’. Hagar became pregnant with Abraham’s child. This should have been wonderful news for all in the house. But trouble came with ‘the blessing’. Immediately, Hagar began ‘to despise her mistress’. She refused to honor, to respect her. Pregnant with the child of promise, or so she thought, she rebels at the idea that she is still a slave to an old, barren, cursed woman. The blessing of God made her proud and foolish. Quickly, Sarah reminds Hagar of her status and mistreats her. Sad story…
Lesson! Sarah’s reaction in hurting Hagar is wrong. We cannot sin and then try ‘to kill’ the consequences of our wrong choices. For example, your fornication may end in an unplanned pregnancy but abortion will not solve the problem. It will only complicate it. There is no ‘short cut’ with God. Al sinful choices should send us to the Cross! We should humble ourselves and repent. Misplaced aggression is always a sign of unrepentant pride.
Hagar runs away with ‘the treasure’ of Abraham. Her name in fact means ‘Flight’. She runs into the desert and gets lost there. That surely means death. Then the Angel of the Lord ‘finds’ her beside a spring that is on the road to Shur. The word Shur means a fugitive, to travel about as a harlot and a merchant.
Lesson! You can never run away from God. He will find you even in the desert of sin!
This is the first time ‘the Angel of the Lord’ appears in the Bible. It is a pre-incarnate appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please observe how He extends grace and mercy to a lost, confused, hopeless woman in deep misery. This scene reminds us of Jesus sitting by another well, asking for a cup of water from another Gentile woman, also ‘a sinner’ (Jn 4).
Lesson! Jesus reveals His deep love to all lost sinners, even to the Gentiles.
You can be Hagar! Appreciate her saving encounter with the Lord. Hagar weeps and prays. God hears her desperate cry and helps her. Hagar’s pregnancy is confirmed by the Lord. She will have a son and his name will be Ishmael, which means: ’The Lord hears’. God is described here as ‘the One who sees’ and ‘the One who hears’ the cry of needy desperate people. He is the merciful God. We may wish that God ignores the prayer of our enemies, but God is God to all His creation. Do not limit God. The sun shines on all, both good and bad. The rain falls on all, both saved and unsaved. This story of Hagar humbles me. I bow at the feet of Jesus who reminds me today of His mercy and grace.
Lesson! Yes, the desert is not too hot for the Angel of the Lord to find you there! Your situation is not too desperate that God cannot help! I wish that you do not waste God’s acts of mercy on only natural desires. I wish that your soul be saved, even as God heals your body from sickness and your heart from slavery sorrow.
Lesson! As I walk with the Lord, I discover that He loves more and He helps more people I could have imagined. Jehovah El Roi is the God who sees you. He sees you right now. Yes, right now! Even before you see Him, He is there with you. Have faith and pray. You lose nothing by crying for help to God Almighty. Your story is not ended yet. Each breath is a sign of hope. Even if men rejected you, pray! God hears! God sees! God answers prayers!
In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God!
Jehovah El Roi is my God!
God sees me! God hears me! God answers my prayers!
Jesus will never leave me and never forsake me!
To His glory alone!
In Jesus name