El Roi: The God Who Sees
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4 (NIV)
Do you know that no matter what circumstance you find yourself in at this very moment, God sees you? Would it be a comfort to know that there is not a tear that will roll down your cheek of which God is not aware? Would it be encouraging to know that at the end of time God himself will wipe your tears away? Sweet friends, these statements are TRUTH.
We have God’s Word to let us know that our Father knows and sees everything! This truth is found throughout scripture, but today let’s focus on Hagar’s story from Genesis 16 to help us study our God El Roi—the God who sees.
Sarai, Abram’s wife, cannot get pregnant. To be childless and unable to get pregnant in her culture was seen as a direct curse from God. However, years prior to this moment, God told Abram directly that he and Sarai would have a child. Sarai assumes that God has forgotten His promise. And what is an intelligent woman to do when so much time has passed and it appears that God has forgotten? She takes the situation into her own hands and makes things happen! Waiting is not fun. As time passes, it can appear that God doesn’t care which can lead to a sense hopelessness.
Sarai asks her husband Abram to lay with Hagar, her maidservant. Abram agrees and Hagar gets pregnant with a son she names Ishmael. Like any woman who has played God, Sarai becomes angry. She blames Abram for the situation. A hatred for Hagar grows within Sarai and she mistreats Hagar which causes her to flee from Sarai.
The consequence of sin is always the same—death. Sarai’s relationship with both Hagar and Abram die due to her bitter feelings over the pregnancy and birth of their child. But God showed mercy to Hagar when she was cast out of the family. He was merciful and directly comforted her. In her moment of comfort, Hagar calls God “El Roi—the God who sees me.” Having God seek her out did not change her situation, but she was very aware that God came to comfort her, that He saw her, and He was very much aware of her pain.
I do not know what is going on in your life, but I do know that God has told us that He sees us. He cares when we are hurting and He comforts us. Does God owe us comfort? No, but we find comfort in trusting in the truth that there is nothing we go through that He does not know and that one day, He will make all things right. Our sweet Jesus will make all things good and His hand will wipe our tears away (Revelation 21:4 NIV). Until then, we will suffer, we will hurt, and we may wonder if God sees what is happening to us. May we take comfort and remember that our amazing God is El Roi—the God who sees!
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