“Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, ‘Thou art a God who sees’; for she said, ‘Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?’”
Genesis 16:13, NASB
After being used and mistreated, she ran away. I can’t blame her.
Hagar must have felt so helpless when Sarai gave her to Abram as his wife. No one asked for her opinion. No one considered her feelings. They just did what they wanted for their own benefit. Sarai conceived the idea, and Abram agreed to it. He slept with Hagar, who conceived a child.
Things went from bad to worse, and hard feelings erupted:
Hagar treated Sarai with contempt.
Sarai complained to Abram.
Abram told Sarai to do what she wanted.
Sarai mistreated Hagar.
So Hagar ran away.
Sometimes life feels unbearable, and we head the other direction as fast as possible. We don’t know where we’re going, but anywhere besides “here” looks attractive. In Hagar’s case, her feet carried her to the wilderness.
She thought she rested alone by the water, but “the angel of the LORD found her” (Gen. 16:7). God spoke and revealed Himself. He instructed Hagar to return to Sarai and submit to her authority. What??? Return to the woman who had treated her so terribly? Yes, God told her to go back. The LORD also promised to multiply Hagar’s descendants through the son in her womb, whom He named Ishmael. After hearing God speak, wonder overflowed as she responded, “Thou art a God who sees” (Gen. 16:13).
Hagar never was alone. Neither are we. Almighty God sees us.
My friend, I find incredible comfort in this truth. God sees, He knows, and He cares. Throughout every life experience we call our own, God steadfastly looks on.
So why doesn’t the LORD stop all evil? Hagar certainly suffered, and others are trapped in more deplorable circumstances than she faced. Maybe even you.
I won’t try to answer the complexity of why God allows evil to persist, except to insert that sin’s entrance into the world—through Eve and Adam’s choices—unleashed a magnitude of horrific results. Because every person is born with a sin nature, evil continues to infect every generation like a festering wound.
Yet since God sees, knows, and cares, He sent JESUS.
Jesus Christ is God’s answer to the invasive curse of sin. Just as He saw and spoke to Hagar while she languished in the wilderness, He sees and “has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb. 1:2), the Word who “became flesh” (Jn. 1:14).
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Dear one, what circumstance leaves you feeling helpless, ill-treated, or alone? I pray you’ll be comforted by El-Roi, the God who sees. Let’s look to Him as He looks on us with loving eyes, trusting Him to lead us “in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake” (Ps. 23:3).
Much love to each of you in Christ,