Do you sometimes feel lonely, abandoned, troubled, in need for comfort when anxious? In the Old Testament we read a true story about a woman servant, Hagar, who was used by her master, Abram, according to the custom of the day, to produce a child on behalf of his barren wife, Sarai. When Hagar became pregnant, she mocked Sarai, who then mistreated Hagar. Finally, things got so bad that Hagar escaped into the desert. It was a dangerous thing for a woman to do. She could have been abused or taken captive by nomadic traders. Being pregnant, she could have lost her baby from the hardship of traveling with few supplies. Somehow, she made it to a spring of water in the desert and sat down exhausted.

Hagar must have known about Abram’s living and true God, but she was probably confused. Her future was uncertain, and she felt abandoned and forgotten. But then we read, “Now the Angel of the Lord found Hagar by a spring of water in the desert – the spring along the road to Shur. “Hagar, servant of Sarai,” He said, “Where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I am running away from my mistress Sarai,” she replied. (Gen. 16:7+8).

The angel told Hagar what to do and promised her that He would multiply her descendants through the child she was carrying. Hagar, encouraged and amazed by this experience, gave a new name to God – “El Roi” which means “THE GOD WHO SEES.” She returned to Abram and Sarai and gave birth to Ishmael.

The story above teaches us that firstly, God saw Hagar (16:7-12); and secondly, Hagar saw God (16:13-16). God saw Hagar’s affliction, resulting in Hagar seeing God and submitting to His plans for her.

NO MATTER what your afflictions and difficulties are, our EL Roi sees you. Psalm 121 affirms that “God watches over ALL your comings and goings.” Hagar could flee from the presence of Sarai, but she couldn’t flee from the presence of the Lord. You can try to run from difficult circumstances, but you cannot hide from the God who sees you. God knew Hagar’s name and all about her, yet He asked her where she had come from and where she was going.

Wherever in the Bible you find God asking a question, you can assume that He is not looking for information. He always knows the answer, but He wants the person to think about the situation. Your real need in a difficult situation is not to escape, but to recognize that God sees you and knows you by name. He loves you and desires only the best outcome for you. When you recognize Him through the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit, He will assist you in every detail of your life.

Thank You blessed El Roi, that You see me continually. “For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:13 – 16) I love and adore You precious Abba Father God, who watches over me constantly.


Myrtle Turunen