Day 5: El-roi

Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are [El-roi].” She also said, “Have I truly seen [El-roi]?”

Genesis 16:13

El-roi: The God Who Sees Me

Hagar was a truly pitiable creature. She was a servant, given by her mistress to her mistress’s husband as an old-fashioned surrogate, of sorts. She had no choice and no hope; no choice to love, no choice to marry, no hope for a family of her own. Once she bore Abraham’s child, no one else would dare take her. Her dreams were usurped by someone else’s.

For a moment, though, she had power; for a moment, she was the woman who conceived when her mistress could not, proof that it was Sarai’s womb and not Abraham’s seed that was the reason they had no children. Sarai would have been considered cursed; she, blessed. Did she allow that thought to take hold in her mind? Is that why Sarai complained about her to Abraham, saying she had grown haughty and rebellious toward her mistress? Perhaps; though perhaps Sarai’s own sense of failure influenced her perceptions, too. Then again, maybe not. Maybe Hagar did step out of line. But did she deserve the full vent of Sarai’s wrath that she received for it? Unlikely. The Bible does not cover up Sarai’s harshness or try to justify it; there is jealousy here, fueling this rage. Jealousy that was not in the least Hagar’s fault.

But God is far from blind. Sarai was cruel, but God was kind. It was to Hagar He came, to her He spoke, to her He promised. Though to some extent she may have brought it on herself; though she was an Egyptian; though merely a servant in the chosen house; though her son was not the promised son, it was her God saw.

Never have I ever been invisible to God. <repeat>

There has been no darkness in my life His eyes did not penetrate, not even the kind I made myself. He is El-roi. He is the God Who Sees Me.

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