Getting to Know God - El Roi

Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. - Genesis 16:1-14

In a nutshell, Sarai became impatient while waiting on God to fulfill His promise to give her an heir and decided to take matters into her own hands. She ordered her servant, Hagar, to go into Abraham in order to produce the heir she had been able to have. Unfortunately, after the deed was done, Sarai had harsh feelings toward Hagar and mistreated her to the point that Hagar ran away.  It is in this barren wilderness that we discover the name of God that we will be discussing in this post.

Imagine Hagar's plight. Lost and alone, she wanders through the wilderness, having no idea where she's even headed. She feels abandoned and forsaken, suffering for following the orders of her mistress, nothing more. Yet despite her feelings, she was not alone. There was one who was watching and was aware of her suffering. That one is El Roi, the God who sees.

Interestingly enough, the name El Roi only appears in this one passage in the Bible, however, God's all-seeing nature is present throughout all Scripture. No matter where we are or what circumstances we are facing, God is aware and is looking on with unblinking eyes. He doesn't miss a moment.  Not a single tear falls without His notice.  He sees our past, present and future. He sees our mistakes and failures, as well as our successes and triumphs. He sees our fears and insecurities and knows us better than we could ever know ourselves. Despite how alone and forsaken we may often feel, we can find great comfort in the fact that the Eyes of Heaven are upon us. God knows what we are going through, and yes, He does care.

I don't know about you, but there are days when I feel insignificant, almost to the point of invisible. During these spells, I feel as if no one cares and no one understands. Half the time, when battling these emotions, I'm not even sure I understand myself what I'm going through. But God knows, and He understands. And with that understanding, He can lead me to a place of peace and safety, away from the harsh winds and tumultuous seas that toss my boat and rock my world.

But don't take my word for it.  Just look at some of the things the Bible has to say about who and what God sees:

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. - Proverbs 15:3

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. - II Chronicles 16:9a

Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? - Job 31:4

 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. - Job 34:21

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. - Psalm 11:4

 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. - Psalm 139:1

For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. - Jeremiah 16:17

 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. - Jeremiah 17:10

 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. - Hebrews 4:13

Hagar followed the Lord's leadership and went back to Abram and Sarai.  As the angel of the Lord had proclaimed, Hagar had a son and named him Ishmael, which means "God hears".  Through what I'm sure was one of the darkest times in Hagar's life, she was reminded that God sees and He hears.  He's paying attention.  Nothing takes Him by surprise, and nothing escapes His notice.  

Perhaps, you're facing a wilderness of your own right now.  Feeling alone and forsaken, you have no idea which way to go or to whom you can turn.  If so, find your place of rest with El Roi, the God who sees.  Believe it or not, He understands your circumstances better than you do.  Rest in His embrace.  Regain your strength.  And when it's time, He'll direct you in the path you need to follow.  Simply put your trust in Him and His all-seeing knowledge.  Father really does know best!