23/05/2018: The Names of God: “El Roi” (God of Seeing) | Colleen
EL ROI [el-roh-ee]: “God of Seeing” (Genesis 16:13) – the name ascribed to God by Hagar, alone and desperate in the wilderness after being driven out by Sarah (Genesis 16:1-14). When Hagar met the Angel of the Lord, she realized she had seen God Himself in a theophany (appearance of deity to a person: The appearance of God in a visible form to a human being.). She also realized that El Roi saw her in her distress and testified that He is a God who lives and sees all.
Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
“You are a God who sees me.” In the midst of conflict we feel the loneliest, we feel that nobody gets and nobody understands how short the end of the stick is that you’ve been given. But let me tell you that God sees it. 2 Chronicles: 16: 9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.
What God does in our story may surprise you? Because he doesn’t wipe away all the consequences (look at verses 11-12), God tells Hagar that her son is going to have lots and lots of issues with his neighbors. God doesn’t erase the consequences, what he does is create a new and bigger vision for Hagar’s life.
- Where have you come from?
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarah.” She is so focused on where she had come from that she doesn’t even answer the question as to where she is going. “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”
Psalm 139: Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
We must think about our past and analyze how that has made us who we are today. Sometimes, like Hagar, maybe we need to go back and have a conversation with someone. Sometimes we simply need to forgive.
Sometimes we need to give it to God, because we are incapable of handing lit. And sometimes we may need some counselling, I’ve had to receive counseling a few times in my life to help me clarify my mind, thinking and soul feeling so I can be more Christlike.
- Where are you going? An equally important question is, “where are we going?” Is it possible that you’ve been running away from something your whole life when God is calling you to run toward something?
That’s always what God does when we’ve been hurt and rejected. He heals our wounds, and sometimes asks us to revisit the issue, so that we can be healed and then he says, “Now let me, the person who created you, give you a better and new reason for living.” Let me do that for you. So, maybe your life has been all about where you’ve come from, and God is trying to make you see what your life and purpose could be. Listen to what Rick Warren wrote “Purpose Filled books” said, “It’s not about you. The purpose for your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet you must begin with God. Eloheim…Adonai… You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.” Dealing with our hurts (where have we come from) is always a self serving idea and must be done, but looking to the future and God’s plan is always others focused.
- God will you forgive me? . God has this plan for them to start a nation, as a matter of fact in chapter 21 we meet the son that will begin this nation. Abraham and Sarah lost patience and decided to go for it themselves and they created this mess! Some of us do the mistreating things. Gossip, backchat on a trusted friend, share confidential things… Proverbs 17:17 A Friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity. Out-do, out class, take over…
1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous; and His ears are open to their prayers
The author of The Ragamuffin Gospel Brennan Manning writes, “Come to me now, Jesus says, Acknowledge and accept who I want to be for you: A Savior of boundless compassion, infinite patience, unbearable forgiveness, and love that keeps no score of wrongs.”
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, Jesus is ready and willing and able to forgive. There may still be consequences, maybe with family or friends, but with God you’ll be all right.
I love what Hagar says in verse 13, You are the God who sees me. I have now seen the One who sees me.” That’s ultimately what happens in this process. Some of you maybe haven’t seen God in a long time, but as you go through the process of saying:”God where am I going?” As you cry out, “God will you forgive me?” You will lift your eyes to heaven and you’ll see the One who Sees You. I know that God sees you every day, but can you see God? Ask Him to put you in a place that seeing El Roi is possible. Amen!