GOD SEES ME
Amazing God, You are rich in mercy and lavish in Your care of me. I lift my whole being in praise to Your great name.
Read Genesis 16
Hagar and Ishmael
16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”
6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,[a]
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 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[b] all his brothers.”
13 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[c] the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi[d]; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is your story, your struggle – the promise on which you are waiting?
Ten years have passed and Abram and Sarai are progressively less likely to conceive a child. What practical solution could there be to help God’s plan along a bit, other than Hagar (1,2)? It was even allowed for in the culture of the day – a slave-girl could legally be used as a concubine and then sold. But the turmoil which followed, setting aside God’s revealed plan for marriage (Genesis 2:24), is a screeching rage of discord and results in the further fracture of the family (11,12).
In the midst of this mess, God is busy. Whatever mistakes were made, God is at the heart of the drama, healing, restoring, and rebuilding. Re-read the conversation between the fleeing Hagar and God’s angel-messenger (7–14). Harsh though the pathway for Ishmael may sound, Hagar has not been abandoned and her son will be the father of a nation. For Hagar, she emerges from this encounter, not dismissed, but knowing that she is seen by God (13).
Do you identify with Hagar in this story – feeling abandoned and abused? Do you identify with Sarai – impatient and wanting life to move along? Commit afresh to following God’s lead, in His time.
Loving Heavenly Father, life in our world can be so complicated. We remember women who are in distressing situations like Hagar. We pray for Your intervention in their lives, either directly or through the love and care of Your servants. Thank You, Lord.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.