Let me paint the picture here for those of you who don’t know the story of Hagar. She is a servant to the wife of a man named Abram (who later became Abraham). God promised Abram a son but he, like all of us, figured God wasn’t doing it fast enough so he persuaded his wife Sarai to give him Hagar (her servant) as his wife so he could have a son. You see, Abram’s wife was not able to conceive. So, she agrees, Abram sleeps with Hagar and gets her pregnant, and then things go south fast. Hagar got an attitude with Sarai. Sarai gets jealous that Hagar is pregnant and throwing her shade. Abram, rather than defend Hagar, let’s Sarai do whatever she wants with her. Sarai, like any other woman consumed with jealousy, doesn’t treat Hagar very kindly so Hagar runs away.
Queue our verse for today. Hagar is in the desert, alone and afraid when she encounters an angel…
First of all, let’s point out the beauty found at the beginning of our verse: She gave this name to the Lord. How cool is it that the first time we see a name given to the Lord, it’s from a woman in distress whom God finds in the desert and ministers to her through an angel?! What does she name the Lord? “El Roi” which contains a double meaning “God who sees” and “God of my seeing.” Honey, if you aren’t getting goosebumps right now, you aren’t reading this right.
How often do we find ourselves in a Hagar situation? We’re alone, desperate, sometimes we aren’t any more in the right than the person who wounded us, and we desperately need “El Roi” in all of His goodness. We need God to see us. We need God to come down and rescue us. We need Him to reveal Himself in such a tangible way that we cry out surely you are the God who sees me!
It didn’t stop there though, did it? Hagar needed a revelation! She needed to gain God’s perspective on this situation. You see, the angel wasn’t just for her comfort, it was also for her perspective. Take a look…
The angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”
The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son.
The angel ministered to Hagar through promises but also said “go back and humble yourself.” The reality is Hagar played a part in this story. She needed to submit herself once again to Sarai because her ego got in the way. God loved Hagar so much that He sent a physical encounter with an angel to comfort her, challenge her, and speak to her destiny. In that moment of challenge, God become El Roi to Hagar, the God of her seeing. He transformed her heart and her mind so that she could return and face the situation at hand (which, as we see later in the passage, isn’t going to be an easy road for Hagar or her son). She could now see through His perspective, with His lens, leaning into His promises and comfort for the future ahead. Friends, how beautiful is that?!
God’s story is so amazing when we get in and dig out the jewels found within. If you find yourself in a Hagar situation today, where things seem hopeless, whether by your doing or someone else, remember this: God is El Roi to you. He sees you. He loves you. He knows every detail of your life and… He wants to transform your mind so that you can see this situation and all of life through His lens, submitting to His purposes, leaning into His promises. He is for you today, friends, and He is inviting you into a relationship that will transform your life and bring hope back to a hopeless situation.
Be blessed today as you seek El Roi, the God who sees and becomes the lens through which you view all of life!