From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Two, Day Two
An Egyptian slave, Hagar encountered God in the desert and addressed him as El Roi, “the God who sees me.” Notably, this is the only occurrence of El Roi in the Bible.
Hagar’s God is the One who numbers the hairs on our heads and who knows our circumstances, past, present, and future. When you pray to El Roi, you are praying to the one who knows everything about you.
She [Hagar] 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.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi [the”well of the Living One who sees me”]. (Genesis 16:13-14)
PRAYING THE NAME
The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.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.
Then the angel of the LORD told her,”Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”
The angel added,”I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”. . .
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.” (Genesis 16:7-13)
Reflect On: Genesis 16:1-14
Praise God: For his eye is on the sparrow.
Offer Thanks: For God’s watchful care.
Confess: Any tendency to accuse God of abandoning you.
Ask God: To increase your awareness of his presence.
Most mothers find it reassuring to have a baby monitor in an infant’s room. I say “most” because I once heard a story about a young mother whose monitor had the opposite effect. A few minutes after tucking her baby in for his midday nap in the upstairs nursery, the woman suddenly heard a loud crash, as though a two-ton gorilla was rampaging in the nursery. Rushing upstairs, her heart beating wildly, she reached her child’s room, threw open the door, and saw something she couldn’t possibly have imagined—her baby sleeping quietly in his crib. The monitor, it seems, had picked up sounds transmitted by another monitor in a nearby home. So much for technology!
But that is not all. Now there are products on the market that can keep track of dogs, wallets, elderly parents, parolees, and even potential kidnapping victims. My personal favorite is the “Wherify,” a wristwatch-like device that can verify someone’s exact location in sixty seconds flat.
Useful as these locator devices are, they would have done Hagar little good because no one seemed to care about her and her unborn child enough to monitor her progress in the desert—no one but El Roi, that is.
Alone, impoverished, pregnant—there is almost no worse nightmare for a woman. And yet Hagar discovered she wasn’t alone. God had seen her predicament with perfect clarity. He knew about the abuse in the past. He pinpointed her exact position in the present. And he saw what the future held for her—a son named Ishmael, descendants too numerous to count. Hagar and her child would live and not die.
No wonder she was willing to return to Abraham’s household as the angel of the Lord instructed. No wonder she called God El Roi and then exclaimed, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
El Roi, a God so watchful that he is said to note when even the smallest sparrow falls to the ground—this is the God who watches over you today, whether or not you recognize his presence. Aware that you may sometimes find yourself in desolate places, he is always near, helping you find a path through troubles, working out his plans for your future.
Meet your spiritual ancestors as they really were: Less Than Perfect: Broken Men and Women of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them.