Pastor's Pondering


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The God Who Sees Me

by Duane Mabee on November 4, 2021

In Scripture, God is called by a number of Names.  Each Name teaches us something about the character of God and helps define what a relationship with Him looks like.  God’s personal Names are frequently revealed during times of difficulty.  Hard times are ripe for learning more about Who God is. 


One such time occurs in Genesis 16.  There God reveals Himself to a runaway slave.  It’s a difficult situation.  Most of you will remember the story of Sarai giving her slave to her husband in sort of a surrogate mother arrangement.  Not surprisingly it didn’t go well, and Sarai abused her slave until she ran away.  That’s when God revealed Himself to Hagar.  Not a situation we would like to be put in so that we can learn more about God.


God appeared to Hagar in her distress and asked, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”  His question let her know that He already knew the answers.  You belong to Sarai.  You are her slave, and you’re running away.  Hagar freely admitted it.  What good would it do to hide from Someone Who already knows. 


God’s response is not what we would have wanted to hear if we were in Hagar’s sandals.  He didn’t sympathize with her.  He didn’t encourage her to assert her rights.  He said, “Go back.  Return to your mistress and submit to her.”  Don’t misunderstand.  God does not always want us to go back to abusive situations.  Nothing in this passage condones what Sarai did, nor does it condone Hagar’s actions.  Instead, God told Hagar, “I know your situation, and I will be with you in it.  I will give you a son, and I will make him great.” 


Hagar didn’t complain.  She didn’t resist.  She did what God told her to do.  Something about the fact that God saw her and knew her situation was enough to get her through.  She Named God, “The God Who Sees Me” and she called the place where He spoke to her “the well of the Living One Who sees me”. 


What we learn about God through this Name is that He doesn’t always remove us from difficult situations.  Sometimes, He sends us into them.  But He sees all that happens to us and around us.  He knows and understands what we’re going through.  And He will be with us.  He will control the outcome, so that it is best for us and glorifying to Him. 


What does it mean to you that God see you?  He knows you and what is happening to you.  How might it encourage you to know that, while God may not immediately halt what’s going wrong, He has set limits on it and will bring about what is good in due time?  God is the Living God Who sees you and knows.  He is in control.  He is for you.