His Name is… El Roi

Written by Cheryl Erasmus

There is more after ELOHIM – JAHWEH - ADONAI

Genesis 16 tells the story of Hagar.  This is a slave woman taken from Egypt to serve Sarai as a handmaiden.  The relationship to begin with was probably a good one between mistress and slave, since I doubt that Sarai would have chosen Hagar for her plans, if this were not so.
Sarai possibly considered her barrenness with bitterness, although I don’t think she was even aware of any such overt resentment at first.  Sarah then made her plans to help God out of His slowness (in her opinion) and she went to the traditions and culture of her time to find her solution.  

Twenty-twenty hindsight tells us that if we go to the creation and culture for our solutions instead of the Creator, abuse and trouble invariably follow.  So Sarai offers her handmaiden to her husband as a surrogate mother with the intention of then taking the child born to be raised as her own child.

Hagar falls pregnant
         Hagar’s heart becomes arrogant
                   Hagar is sneering and cheeky towards Sarai
                            Sarai’s resentment overflows in awful behaviour.

It becomes an unbearable situation, ending up with the Sarai abusing Hagar to such an extent that she runs away into the desert.  But the Angel of Lord finds Hagar near a spring in the desert.
Here’s the first aspect we should notice is that Jesus seeks and finds the lost, the broken, the hurting—even if the situation is of our own making.

The Angel of the Lord knows about her and her situation.  God knows her heart.  God knows that Hagar was in this situation partly as a consequence to her own behaviour.  But God needs to stop her in her tracks “Where do you come from and where are you going Hagar?”  Then God answers “Go back and submit.”  The situation you find yourself in is partly of your own making and it is just no good running away!

He then reveals Himself to her as the One who Sees - EL ROI.  He promises that her son to be born, would also be a great nation and that his name was to be Ismael (God hears) - for Jesus is the One who sees and hears all cries of our hearts and lives.   Hagar goes back to Sarai in obedience to God.

But there are eternal consequences when Abram and Sarai take matters into their own hands. God’s warning sounds so clearly for us.  This is what the Lord says in Jeremiah 17:5 “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”  Hagar’s son and his descendants were always at war with the children of Israel.

Let us choose to always trust in the Lord.

Now to go back … there is another result of the appearance of The Angel of the Lord -it is that He reveals more about the nature of God, by revealing another one of His names in the midst of this particular situation again.

Genesis 16: 13-14 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.”
That is why the well was called BEER LAHAI ROI = WELL OF THE LIVING ONE WHO SEES ME.

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