The Egyptian maidservant Hagar was pregnant by Abram, the father of all believers. She was on the run from her mistress Sarai because of big problems at home, to which she herself had contributed due to deficits in her character.
In the middle of the desert she meets the angel of the Lord at the spring on the way to Shur. Jesus, who is really the One speaking with her in this Old Testament theophany, instructs her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority. I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.” Or, in other words, “You will burst at the seams with all the abundance of divine blessings you will receive.”
Everything would begin with the birth of her son Ishmael (meaning “God hears”), which is considered a true answer to prayer. This child would have a particularly rough and warlike character and be a leader; i.e. he would have influence.
Wow, what a story in a few verses! It concludes with Hagar’s exclamation, which is also incredibly significant for your and my life today: “You are the God who sees me, El Roi.”
Let’s take a closer look: Some amazing things in our lives start with some kind of deficiency, a crisis, or an unresolved situation. And this is where we see Jesus show up as the absolute expert. In the midst of the persecution and flight of this needy Egyptian maid Jesus appears to her as the angel of the Lord at the very moment when she laments over her hunger and thirst.
I want to encourage you to expect Jesus to meet you where your desire or need is greatest. We see the same thing happening in the New Testament, for example with the woman at Jacob’s well. Jesus loves meeting you right where you need Him in your life.
As is so often the case, He first asks questions: “Where are you from, where are you going?” He asks about your current situation in life: “How are things looking? What are you involved in right now? What’s going on? What are you doing?” It’s good to answer the Lord, just as Hagar did. Apparently, this is what it takes for a divine strategy from heaven to be revealed for your future. Isn’t this what we all need at different times?
After the Lord revealed His specific plans for Hagar’s future and how to get there, she had a realization that is still crucial for us today. She recognizes, “Wow, I serve a God who always sees me. I’m always on His radar! Nothing escapes Him, everything is revealed to Him. All my needs are already known to Him, He sees my needs, He is totally interested in me and in how I feel. He’s so wonderful!”
We belong to a fantastic God whose name El Roi gives us deep insight into His nature, the way He thinks, and the way He feels. He pursues the life of every one of us here on earth with great zeal and looks for ways He can help those who love Him. Wow, what an awesome God!
Character deficits, crises, or personal hardships are no hindrance for Him. On the contrary, it almost seems as if that is when He loves to get involved.
This is the true gospel. The message of His grace, love, righteousness, and truth! Our God is better than we could ever imagine. He is unrivaled, glorious, fully reliable, and always loyal. I love serving Him! You too?