Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said, So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.
Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering, I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”
“Your servant is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
Then the angel of the Lord told her, Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”
The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility towards all his brothers.”
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: You are the God who sees me,” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi, it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave him the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
The angel of the Lord found Hagar by the spring. God finds us when we are alone and in the wilderness. There is no wilderness that we can flee to, and be out of the sight of God.
Sometimes we run away from situations and run right into God. Hagar ran away from Sarai, but ran into God. How many of us when running away from some bad memory, some unfair treatment, have “run into God”?
El Roi sees and He will send comfort in the affliction. When life becomes too painful to bear, we can find strength in remembering what Hagar discovered. The Lord is “the God who sees me.” When we understand that the Lord is aware of our pain and needs, our strength will be renewed. God not only sees us now, He sees our future. He promised Hagar a future for her unborn son, Ishmael. We too, have hope for tomorrow, whatever our pain is today.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the assurance that you see us. You look down on us and all that you created, with eyes of love. What comfort this assurance brings. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(Reprint from Homewords Small Group Bible Study Ministry, January, 2011)