Genesis 16:13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
I was in church one Sunday, and an unexpected cry came out from my heart to the Lord, “See me, God!”
I don’t know where it came from. It’s not that there was anything wrong, dear friend. But there it was… uttered even before I could comprehend why it had come bursting forth. I began to tear up as I began to understand the cry of my heart.
In God’s gentle voice, I felt Him respond, “I SEE YOU.”
His words felt heavy with His glory. He said them slowly. I let them sink in. I let the truth sink in, and my heart began to settle.
His response, so calm and so gentle, gave me a sense of deep assurance. It was all I needed – that assurance that He sees me, all of me.
It was if, in that one moment, the Lord assured me that He sees all that I’m going through. He sees my past, my present, my future. He sees the highs and the lows, the joys and the sorrows, the resting and the struggle.
He sees – me!
And He sees you.
This experience reminded me of another woman in the Bible who was also met by the God-Who-Sees…
If you want to read the whole story, it’s in Genesis 16, but I’ll just catch you up for now.
Hagar was the Egyptian slave of Sarai, the wife of Abram. At this point, God had already told Abram that Sarai would become pregnant in her old age and produce an heir. However, they did not wait for God’s timing and instead took matters into their own hands. Sarai gave Hagar to Abram and Hagar became pregnant.
Then everything got messy. Hagar, now carrying Abram’s son, began to feel contempt towards Sarai, her mistress. In response, Sarai became harsh with Hagar and badly mistreated her. Things became so bad that Hagar fled into the wilderness to escape.
It is this situation that we find the very first mention of the Angel of the Lord (who is the pre-incarnate Jesus) appearing to someone in the Bible. This is a very big deal! This is the first time the Angel of the Lord appears to a human, and He chose a single mother-to-be who had a pride problem and was fleeing from her mistress.
The Angel of the Lord speaks with Hagar and tells her to return to her mistress and to submit to her. He then speaks over her future and tells her of the life of her future son, Ishmael.
To all of this, Hagar responds “You are a God of seeing… truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” (Genesis 16:13)
This was a mutual experience of seeing. Not only was Hagar being seen by God, but she was also seeing Him! It’s as if she said to God, “You have looked at me, and now I can look at You.” She had a face-to-face relationship with the living God.
Hagar called God by His name:
El Roi. The God Who Sees.
The God who beholds us.
The God who holds us in His gaze.
The God who can’t take His eyes off us.
The God who looks deep inside, sees all our mess, and loves us deeply.
The God who feels all that we feel.
The God of all compassion.
The God who sees our future and holds it in His hand.
The God who sees it all – and understands.
Dear friend, whatever you’re going through today, whether you have to submit in difficult circumstances, or whether you feel like you’re being mistreated, or whether you feel like running away, God sees you.
God sees YOU.
May this knowledge bring you deep assurance of His love and His closeness to you today.
Do any of these situations resonate with you today? If they do, ask God for His love to comfort you and for His help.
- I have to submit in difficult circumstances.
- I feel like I’m being mistreated.
- I’ve had enough and I want to escape.
You are the God-Who-Sees. You see me. You see my beginning and my end. You see my past, my present, and my future. You see all my highs and all my lows. You see me when I struggle and when I am at peace. You see it all. I thank You for choosing to look upon me.
Lord, I know that in every situation I go through, be it bad or good, You are with me. You have met with me and You are close to me. I ask that Your love would feel so real and tangible to me today. Please instruct and guide me about what to do today.
In Your mighty name, amen.
Do you know of anyone who is going through mistreatment at the moment? Pray for them. Pray that the God-Who-Sees would meet with them, comfort them, and help them.