January 6, 2018 – Jehovah El Roi (EL raw-EE) – Pr. Rick Nagaoka

She [Hagar] 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 [the “well of the Living One who sees me”]. — Genesis 16:13–14 (NIV)

Most of us know of the story of Abraham and Sarah and how they tried to provide an heir for themselves due to Sarah’s infertility. It was just a chapter earlier that God made a covenant to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations; that his descendants (15:5) would outnumber the stars. In their act to jump start God’s promise, Sarah enlists Hagar to bear Abraham’s heir. Once Hagar is pregnant she begins to despise Sarah (16:4), which leads to her being mistreated and finding herself on the run (16:8) with no where to go. In her despair, the Lord comes to her and places a promise over her (16:9) descendants as long as she goes back and submits to Sarah. It’s through this blessing that Hagar calls out the name “Jehovah El Roi, the God who sees me”. What’s interesting is what she says next, “I have seen the One who sees me”.

There’s a lot to gain from this scripture but I wanted to focus on “Jehovah El Roi”. How many times have we tried to fulfill the promises of God in our life, when in reality it’s his promise over us…so only He can fulfill them. The Lord appears and gives a blessing over her child, Ishmael (God listens) but with a stipulation, go back and submit yourself to your mistress. Sometimes we need to get over ourselves to find a place of humility and come under the authority and covering God has placed over us. Jehovah El Roi is most commonly defined as the God who sees (me) but Hagar goes on to say (13-14) “I have now seen the One who sees me”. You see Hagar’s eyes were opened and she saw the Lord and His provision over her. Too many people live like the Israelites of old that saw God from afar and only believed when He provided. I want us to be a people that seek out the Promise-giver outside of the promise being fulfilled or not. Hebrews 11:39 speaks of those who were commended for their faith, even though they never received what had been promised.

Lord, help us to be a people that seek out your presence so that we can say just as Haggar did, “I have now seen the One who sees me”. Not just for the blessings and promises but just to be with You, O God! In Jehovah El Roi, amen!