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 see the One who sees me.”
The story of Hagar in Genesis 16 is a sad one for a number of reasons not the least of which is the failure on the part of Abram and Sarai to trust totally on God’s promises. The initiative appears to have been Sarai’s as being infertile she sought to solve the problem her way rather than waiting upon God. She made a proposal to Abram that he should produce a child, which would have been counted as her own, using her servant Hagar as a surrogate mother and Abram went along with the scheme rather than encouraging his wife to trust God’s word of promise.
The result was successful at one level in that Sarai now had the child she could not wait for but using the surrogate scheme which was seen as perfectly acceptable in the surrounding Near East cultures. However this action resulted in animosity between Sarai and Hagar when it became clear that Hagar was pregnant. (v.5). Further, for the second time, Abram appears to abrogate his responsibility as the Head of the house and says to Sarai ‘do to her as you please’. This results in Sarai treating Hagar so badly that she runs away. (v.6)
It is a sad story with ramifications for the modern world where surrogacy is not uncommon in many places but it is what it says about the God who sees that I want to make the focus today.
Hagar was ill-treated and it appears simply to have been a chattel of the Abram and Sarai to be used for their convenience, whereas this should have been very different as Abram was a recipient of a great promise from the sovereign God.
But is spite of this God valued Hagar and bestowed blessing on her. The angel of the LORD found her, following here running away, and says
Return to your mistress and submit to her. I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.
She was the underdog. She was the misused one. She was the powerless one but God met her in the form of the Angel of the Lord and her response was deep and perceptive as she spoke these words:
You are the God who sees me….. I have now seen the one who sees me!
She returned to Abram and Sarai and bore a son and Abram gave him the name Ishmael.
As you read this today is there some issue in your life which makes you want to run away because it is too big for you? Are you feeling alone and fearful?
Then remember this beautiful truth about God – He is the one who sees you. Come to him in your need and you will by the grace of that same God be able to say ‘I have now seen the one who sees me.
What a God, what a comfort!