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.” (ESV)
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.” (NIV)
Most Christians grow up learning to see Hagar as a villain. After all, Paul tells us that Sarah’s son is blessed and Hagar’s son is cursed… or is he?
Both Hagar and Sarah are very complicated women living at a time when having children was the most important task both men and women could accomplish in their lifetime. Men, such as Abraham, needed a son to pass on his estate to and who would in turn care for him in his old age. Women needed sons to care for them in a society in which men earned most of the money.
Sarah was Abraham’s beloved fitst wife. Hagar was just Sarah’s servant who was given to Abraham, without any choice, to Abraham to bare children. Now, I don’t imply that this was rape. This was a very honorable move up the social latter. Sarah and Hagar must have had a good relationship for Sarah to choose another woman to lay with her husband even in a society in which this was common among the rich. If Hagar and Sarah had been friends, it didn’t last past Hagar’s pregnancy.
The most important details in this verse is that whether Hagar was right or wrong in her conflict with Sarah, God appeared to Hagar, an Egyptian slave. Egyptians had many gods to choose from, but Hagar recognized and worshipped the same God as Abraham and Sarah. This God, though, didn’t just love her rich master and mistress. He loved the penniless, friendless outcaste and her son.
God saw Hagar.
That is really powerful the more you think about it. World empires are rising and falling. The rich is getting richer and the oppressed die in obscurity… or so it seems.
The scriptures say that God see… and cares!
This verse and message has meant a lot to me this year in 2021. It seems like the foundations of the world has been shaken in everyway. People are rushing about in crisis mode, yet the rich can still take luxery flights to space and wealthy politicians can debate whether the poor are just lazy. I have approached tons of special needs organzations for help, respite care, or resources, but often felt like the world and even the church’s reply has been “Let them eat cake!” In all of this, I hear the whisper of scripture saying, “God sees me.”
Somehow, all us little people with little problems (compared to national problems) are still part of God’s plan. The Bible says that he sees the sparrow fall (Mathew 10:29-31), but the implications of the verse is not that He sees without caring. He cares for a tiny common sparrow and He cares for us.
To me, that means more than He notices and passes by like the Priest and the Levite did to the injured man in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). No, God is the good Samaritan who not only helps the injured man, but lavishly paid all the bills for him to be cared for.
You may say, “That is all nice church talk. I am still hurting. No one is helping me!”
It is true that the Church (including even us who are hurting) need to be the hands and feet of God, pouring put the generosity we have received on those again us. Sometimes that just doesn’t happen. God still sees. He still jas a purpose. It doesn’t make sense now, but perhaps it is to equip you with experience to help lots pf pthers inthe future.
Hagar’s troubles did not end when God saw her, but it did preserve her and her son so that they would be the source pf a new nation. All of those throughout history read of Hagar when they read the Bible. God saw her and her pain, then used her struggles to minister to thousands of others. She became a blessed mother of the Ishmaelites.
Hold on you! God is the God who sees!