Distant. Uncaring. Unaware.
This is how many people who believe in, but don’t really know, our great God describe Him. These words could not be further from the truth. Our God is a God who truly sees us in our weakest, and strongest, moments.
One sweltering day, our God met a young woman in her greatest time of need. She was a slave - abused physically, mentally, and emotionally. She had become pregnant and had no one to turn to in her agony. As she ran from her place of torment, she found herself in a wild desert. Hungry, tired, and thirsty, she collapsed by a small spring of water and assumed this would be the place she would die. As terrible as this situation was, returning seemed a worse fate – and to top it off, no one would care that she died. It was here, in her hour of deepest despair, our Heavenly Father Himself came to Hagar and comforted her with a promise of a future. (Genesis 16)
It was during this encounter that God was given a name. El Roi - The God Who Sees Me. No where else in Scripture does a human give God a name. No man, no prophet, no spiritual leader; it was only a woman, a slave, an Egyptian, a woman who would bear a son whose descendants would plague God’s people to modern day. Yet, God met her in her desperation, and she is granted the honor of giving God a name as she melted in His presence. She named Him from a description of a very important aspect of our living God. A Name that would echo through eternity as He meets us in our times of need. What does this mean for us today? Who is El Roi?
The same yesterday today and forever. There are very few things our God cannot do, but one of those is to change. He cannot change! That means that the God who met Hagar in the desert is the same God who sees us today. He sees your pain. He sees your heartache. He sees what holds you captive. He desires to show you His promise that He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5) His promises for you are found in His Holy Word. I encourage you, no matter where you find yourself, to open the Bible and discover His promises for you, and then hold onto them. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you personally – He SEES YOU and He wants to meet you!
It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you have done. Hagar was not part of Abraham’s household; she was an Egyptian slave purchased by Abraham for Sarai. It does not matter if you do not have a spiritual heritage rooted in God; He is ready and waiting to meet you and begin a line of spiritual heritage with you. It does not matter how you have acted in the past. Hagar was treated poorly because she became arrogant and flaunted to Sarai that she had gotten pregnant when Sarai could not. I am NOT saying that she should have been treated poorly. However, I do find it interesting that El Roi tells Hagar to go back and submit to her mistress. I think this almost correlates to how Jesus met so many men and women, and after seeing and meeting them where they were, He said, “Now go and sin no more.” He sees us, in our sin and dirtiness, and still desires to bring freedom and hope to us.
God honors even those who do not seem ‘fit’. I find it very interesting that God purposed that this story, and this name, was included in the Bible. He made sure that the giving of the name El Roi was attributed not only to a slave, but to a woman. In a time when women were seen as nothing more than property, our God elevated not only a woman, but the lowliest of the women. Throughout Scripture, we see how God points out women leaders – and many times they are much less than perfect. Prostitutes,
Gentiles, adulterers; the Bible is full of stories of women who seemed less than worthy, but OUR GOD SAW THEM!
I want to draw your attention to one final story.
It is another hot day in a wilderness at another water source, Jacob’s Well. A woman is found here, in the heat of the day, drawing water. She is an outcast. People look down on her. She is living in sin – even in the eyes of a sinful city. On this day, however, her life would change because of an encounter with our God. We don’t know all that went through this woman’s mind as she was met at the well by Jesus. What we do know is that on this day our God would announce Who He truly was. Jesus would tell this woman, “I am He (the Messiah)…” Just as God was named El Roi by a woman, it was to a woman He would meet that He would announce for the first time that He (Jesus) was God. He would announce to this woman of ill repute that He came to save ALL, not just those deemed worthy; that His name would be proclaimed on every mountain and in every valley. One of those Names is El Roi.
I pray that you are able to truly understand even a sliver of the love that our Father has for you. Hold tight to the name El Roi as you believe that He truly sees you!
Below is a video I found incredibly powerful; I pray that it ministers to you as it did to me.