She called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees.”
Hagar was on the run. She had become pregnant with Abraham’s child, and because of that she had begun to despise Abraham’s wife, Sarah. When Sarah treated her harshly, she ran. Genesis 16:7-8 says, “The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness. . . . He said, ‘Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?’ And she said, ‘I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.’” Hagar was running away from everyone and everything, yet while she was running away, God was running toward her.
Isn’t that what He did for you and me as well? Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” If you are a Christian, it is not because you ran toward God first; it is because God ran toward you. Even when you were rebelling against God, God took the first step in effecting your salvation.
He met this woman at the point of her need, and He asked her a question: “Where have you come from and where are you going?” He was not asking about her geographical location; He was talking about her spiritual situation: “Hagar, how did you get to this place in your life? And where are you running to now?”
The angel went on to tell Hagar, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority” (Genesis 16:9). And then God made Hagar a promise. He said, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count. . . . You will bear a son; and you shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has given heed to your affliction” (vv. 10-11). The name Ishmael means “God hears.”
Do you know the most profound insight about God in this entire chapter came from the lips of Hagar? Hagar was out in the wilderness, and after receiving this promise from God, she looked up and said, “You are a God who sees” (v. 13). In that statement, she expressed more about God than even Abraham and Sarah understood. Hagar understood that even when she was in the wilderness, God saw her situation and was listening to her prayers.
Do you understand that about God? Even though you cannot see God right now, He sees you. He knows where you have been, He knows where you are, He knows where you are going, and most importantly, He knows the plans He has for your life. God sees our situation, and He hears our prayers.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Walk, Don’t Run” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org