The God Who Sees
A daily devotion for June 11th
7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 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.
9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her." 10 The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count."
11 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.
12 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
toward all his brothers."
13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi ; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
[Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her:You are the God who sees me(Genesis 16:13a).
It is the angel of the Lord who finds Hagar. This is the first appearance of the phrase
angel of the Lord in Scripture, and as we compare it with other uses, we find that this refers to none other than the pre-incarnate Christ. He says several things to her. First,
Where do you come from, and where are you going? These are arresting questions. Hagar answers the first, but she has nothing to say to the second. She does not know where she is going. Where can she go? The question draws her helplessness sharply to her attention.
Then the angel says,
Return and submit. This is the only way to experience the grace and blessing of God. Had she gone on wandering into the wilderness, it would have been disastrous. Both she and the child in her womb would have died. When God finds us wandering, this is always what He says:
Return and submit!
Submit to the circumstances you dislike, and I will work it out. To do anything else is folly.
With the command to return comes the promise of blessing. Blessing always follows obedience.
I will multiply your descendants so that they will be too numerous to count. And then follows the prophecy of Ishmael's nature.
He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every man and every man's hand against him. He will be a nonconformist, a Missouri mule—a man with whom no one can get along.
Hagar, glimpsing here something of God's omniscience and power, names Him
The God Who Sees Me. This is the circumstance that gripped her.
Here is a God who sees me and knows me just as I am as well as all that concerns me. So she named the well
The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.
Have you found God to be the one who lives and sees, the one who knows all about your life and your circumstances? The one who knows the past and the future and says to you as He said to Hagar,
Return and submit? That is the place of promised blessing.
We are also told that this well is located between Kadesh and Bered. Kadesh means
holiness, and Bered means
judgment. Here is the well of grace, lying between holiness and judgment. When we begin to stray from the place of God's blessing toward the certainty of judgment, God meets us on the way at the well of grace, saying,
Wait a minute. I don't want to have to make this known to others. I don't want to judge you openly. I don't want to bring trial or affliction or heartache into your life to make you listen. Listen now. Return and submit so I won't have to do this. That is the well of grace. So Hagar returns, and Ishmael is born.
Dear Father, teach me that You are theGod Who Sees Me,and when I run, teach me to return and submit.
Life Application: Have we caught a vision of God as the One who sees us, knows us, and intimately cares for us? Are we running to Him or away from Him?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.