Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

Who is God? – Day 4

The One who Sees Me

Bible text(s)

13Hagar asked herself, “Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?” So she called the LORD who had spoken to her “A God who Sees”.

Genesis 16:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

A name is very important. It is the means by which a person is set apart as an individual and is given dignity; no one would ever like to be referred to as “boy”, “girl” or “it” all his life. Your name determines who you are; it is the means by which you are introduced to someone and how that person refers to you afterwards.

A name usually also carries a meaning, which often reflects in the personality, character, or nature of its owner. This sets parents-to-be the difficult task of choosing a name worthy of their young, and often takes a full nine months to do it.

In today’s Scripture, we have the surprising example of Hagar, a young slave girl, giving a name to God. She does not call Him by a single proper noun, but by her experience of one of His characteristics. He is to her “the God who sees me”.

Unlike Abram, she had not had the privilege of having God visit her personally, yet God’s actions show that He was as aware of her, the slave girl, as He was of her master Abram. In fact, it was Abram and his wife Sarah’s impatience to see God’s promises fulfilled, in their seemingly hopeless situation, which led to Hagar’s dire situation in the first place.

God had promised Abram that He would make a great nation of him through his offspring, even though Sarah was barren and past child-bearing. Abram and Sarah used faulty human reasoning and logic to interpret God’s promise, thus using Sarah’s young slave girl to provide the child. Then when God, in His timing, produced the miracle and Sarah gave birth to Isaac, Hagar and her son, Ishmael, were banished into the desert and would have died there, had it not been for the caring God, who saw their desperate situation and came to their rescue.

We all have moments in life when we feel helpless, fragile, vulnerable and alone, like Hagar, and wonder who actually knows or cares that we feel frightened and desperate. Do we trust in “the God who sees me” to rescue us?

Who is God to me

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