Genesis 16:13 “Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen Him who sees me?'”
Joseph was not the only person who faced pits of life. Consider for a moment Hagar. Hagar was a slave traded as personal property and given by her master to her master’s husband for the sole purpose of producing a child. This is not a judgment on what Abram or Sarai did, but simply an examination of the emotional state of Hagar at the moment of this story. When she becomes pregnant a series of events lead to Hagar being treated harshly and finally fleeing from the treatment. In her journey to safety, she meets the Angel of the Lord, a term used for Jesus in his pre-incarnate state. Here are some thoughts about this encounter that apply to our journey, you can read the whole story here.
- Hagar was not immune from her situation, she had despised Sarai. Even if she was justified in her attitude and I can see where this is possible, it does not change the story that she played a part in her current situation. Just like Hagar, we make decisions and choices that can have consequences and an impact on our life. Running away from the problem will never lead to a resolution.
- The Angel of the Lord’s first response is for Hagar to return and submit to the authority that she is under. A difficult request, a fearful expectation, a return journey filled with dread and anxiety. Here is the point of this, the healing and blessings of God require submission to authority and obedience to His Word. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that obedience or submission are easy tasks. What we are told is that obedience and submission to authority are characteristics of Jesus that we should emulate.
- The names of the Lord are ways to identify His character. Hagar provides a beautiful depiction of the character of God that is still true today. We have a God who sees. There is nothing in all creation that escapes his view. Sometimes we mistake His inaction for His oversight, but that is not the case. Hagar had fled from the presence of her master only to encounter the Presence of the Master. What a great place to be, found by His Presence.
During the times of Hagar, it was the father’s right to name the child. Do not miss this point, Hagar named her son Ishmael, a name that means “God hears”. I believe Hagar’s return and her submission prompted this acceptance by Abram and Sarai. I also love how God works through our pain to speak to others. Hagar was pregnant because Sarai was barren in her late seventies and her heart’s cry was to give her husband a child. Ishmael was a witness to Abram and Sarai that God hears your heart’s cry.
Once again, out of a pit of life, God has produced a blessing that impacts us today. We have a God who sees and a God who hears.