You lost your job because your direct report did not submit the project proposal on time.
You failed your subject because your group mate did not put in the work she should’ve.
You can’t claim inheritance because you just found out that your dad wasn’t really your dad.
Your boyfriend broke up with you because he fell for your best friend.
What do you do when what you’re going through was a result of someone’s irresponsibility or worse, wrong doing?
A garden variety of responses can come to surface which would include anger, revenge, bitterness, apathy.
In Genesis 16, we read the story of Hagar. She was Abram and Sarai’s servant. Because the couple was given a promise and it seemed like God was not fast enough in fulfilling His promise, they took matters in their own hands and thought of a way to make the promise happen – for Abram to have Hagar as a surrogate mom.
But this wasn’t God’s plan. He said in Genesis 15 that the heir was going to come from Abram and Sarai’s union. Somehow, they forgot what God said and made their own solution to the situation.
Painful experiences have a way of missing God or distorting what He said. The promise may have been taking some time but God’s delays are not necessarily His denials.
They may have gotten a baby (Ishmael) out of their solution but it wasn’t the plan of God. Whatever we attempt to do without God is going to be a miserable failure – or worse, a miserable success.
It caused a conflict in the household. Sarai felt miserable and all the more insecure because she couldn’t bear a child. Hagar felt contempt towards Sarai for whatever reason. Maybe because she felt superior because she was able to give Abram a child. But whatever the reason, the situation got ugly.
She was dealt with very harshly. She had to leave Abram’s household. She fled to the desert.
Out of the blue, she found herself without a home, without provision, without certainty about the future – and all these as a single mom.
She’s in this situation only because Sarai told Abram to do so. And she was only being submissive to her master and mistress. Now she’s in this dilemma.
Fortunately, God shows up in the desert and encounters Hagar. He gives a promise of blessing to Hagar.
As a result, Hagar makes a declaration – “You are the God who sees me. I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13, NIV)
One of the names of God is El Roi which means the God who sees. And the word ‘to see’ is more than just being able to visually gaze but as a shepherd would watch over his sheep is how God, El Roi, sees and watches over His children.
1. Knowing that El Roi sees me, I can be secure under His protection.
Job 24:23 says, “He gives them security, and they are supported, and his eyes are upon their ways.”
2. Knowing that El Roi sees me, I can have significance because I know He loves me.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
When a child sees his parents watches over him, he can feel the love. Similarly, we sense His love as He watches over us.
3. Knowing that El Roi sees me, I can be satisfied in His presence.
Psalm 121:1-3 says, “1I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;”
He watches over you and me. Because of that, I can be assured of His presence over my life. He will never leave, forsake or abandon.
May we always be reminded that El Roi, the God who sees and watches over us is with us.