Scripture Reading: Genesis 16:6-16
“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.'” (Genesis 16:13)
Hagar was a young slave woman who had fled from her mistress (v. 6). She was pregnant and all alone in the wilderness. She had been terribly mistreated and had no one to whom she could turn. In the eyes of the world, she was an insignificant person who had no one to care for her.
The angel of the Lord found Hagar by a spring of water in the wilderness (vs. 7,8). God sought her; she was not seeking Him. She was running away from everyone, but God came to her. God is more interested in us that we can ever be interested in ourselves.
Genesis 16:7 contains the first mention in the Bible of “the angel of the Lord.” Many Bible scholars agree that the angel of the Lord is a per-incarnate manifestation of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity. It was obvious that Hagar was meeting God (v. 13). God saw her distress and came to her aid.
God told Hagar to return to her mistress (v. 9). This would be no easy thing for Hagar to do. But when we have made a bad decision, we have to do all we can to make it right and we have to be willing to face the consequences.
The angel of the Lord promised Hagar that she would have many children (v. 10). He went on to tell her that she would have a son and that she should name him Ishmael (v. 11). The name Ishmael means “God hears.” By giving this name to Hagar’s son, God was saying that He hears the cries of the afflicted. The angel of the Lord gave Hagar a prophecy about her son — “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (v. 12). It is interesting to note that Ishmael became the father of the Arab people.
After the encounter with God, Hagar gave this name to Him — “You are the God who sees me.” The God who heard Hagar was also the God who had first seen her. In her rebellion, God sought her out. How comforting it is to know that God hears us in our misery and sees our needs. Even when we are running from Him, He comes after us!
Lord Jesus, You hear my cries and You see all my troubles. It is so comforting to know that You are aware of all the struggles I face. You are with me in them and will come to may aid. Even when I am running from you, I know You are coming after me. You will never let me go!
NOTE: I will be on vacation next week and will not be posting devotionals. I’ll resume the week of June 28th.