The angel of the Lord found Hagar…” Genesis 16:7
You know the story of Abraham and Sarah – childless and old, God promised them a son, but in the waiting, they grew impatient and Abraham slept with Sarah’s maid Hagar, and she conceived. But their act of faithlessness caused tremendous grief for the Egyptian slave-girl. Twice Hagar wound up in the desert, weary, hungry and frightened. On her first excursion, Scripture tells us “The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert” (Gen. 16:7). The Hebrew word for “found” means “to cause to encounter.” God purposefully put Himself in Hagar’s path to cause her to have an encounter with Him. He set Himself right where He knew she was going because His heart was tender to her. Hagar gained precious insight into who God is. Realizing that the God of her master was very much aware of her and her plight, She named the Lord El Roi – “the God who sees me” (Gen. 16:13).
After the birth of Ishmael (which- by the way – means The Lord has heard – Gen 16:11) Hagar and her son were forced to leave their home with Abraham and Sarah. When their meager supplies of food and water ran out, Hagar recognized their inevitable deaths. She put Ishmael under a tree and walked away, so as not to watch her weakened son die. She and the boy were both crying, and God once again came to Hagar and assured her that He was aware of their plight. Genesis 21:19 says, “Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” Oh, do you see the beauty of this passage? El Roi – the God who saw Hagar, now opened Hagar’s eyes so she could see. He showed her a well of life-giving water that would minister to their bodies and to their spirits.
You may find yourself in some difficult places and very hard circumstances, but I can assure you that you have never been out of your Heavenly Father’s sight. There is no place you can go that God will not be. Whether they are physical places, emotional pits, and spiritual dark caves – God has promised, “I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5) The truth is, it’s often in those hard places that we see the God who sees us. Had Hagar not been lost in the wilderness, running from the hard hand of her mistress, she would have never encountered the Lord and come to know Him. I know this to be true in my life. So often I have discovered aspects of God that I would have never known had I not been in difficult circumstances. When I was unable to put food on our table, I discovered Jehovah-Jireth – the Lord who Provides (Gen. 22:8). When I was desperately ill I found Jehovah Rapha – The Lord our Healer (Ps. 103:3). When I was discouraged and fearful, Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is Peace (Jud. 6:23-24) and Yahweh-Tsuri – The Lord my Strength (Ex. 15:2) came to encourage and strengthen me. If you are in a difficult season, look for God to reveal Himself to you in a new and encouraging way.
Beloved, if He was faithful to a frightened, lost Egyptian slave girl, and He will surely be faithful to you.