El Roi- "The God Who Sees Me"
Pronounced (El raw-EE)
Key Text- Genesis 15-21
Abram (More commonly known as Abraham- forefather of the nation Israel)
Sarai (Abram's wife. Later the Lord names her Sarah)
Hagar (Egyptian maidservant to Sarai)
Ishmael (Son of Abram and Hagar)
Isaac (Son of Abraham and Sarah. The Lord changed their names in Genesis 17, prior to Isaac's birth.)
Setting the Scene-
The Hebrew name for God, "El Roi" only occurs once in Scripture, in Genesis 16:13.
Then she [Hagar] called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, "You are a God who sees..."
However, to better understand the emotion and meaning behind the name, we must first look at Genesis 15. Beginning in verse 2, we see that Abram and God are having a discussion regarding Abram's childless state. Abram's wife, Sarai, is barren and Abram is distraught over the idea that one of his male servants, Eliezar, would become heir and guardian over his estate- as was customary at that time. In verse 4, God- in His complete Sovereignty- informs Abram that He has other plans.
"This man will not be your heir, but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir." -Genesis 15:4God then takes Abram outside to look toward heaven and promises Abram that He will make his descendants as numerous as the stars.
Fast forward many years later. Abram and Sarai have yet to conceive and bring forth the child God had promised. Sarai grows impatient, doubting that God will keep His promise, and therefore decides to take matters into her own hands. She gives Abram her maidservant (Hagar) over as his wife, so that she may obtain a child through her (Genesis 16: 2). Her plan succeeded. Hagar conceived and was with child- only- Sarai was furious and treated Hagar harshly (Genesis 16:4-6). Hagar therefore fled to the wilderness in fear and this is where she encounters the Lord- El Roi.
1. God calls Hagar by name (Genesis 16:8)
-God is an extremely personal God and He cares for you intimately. He calls you by name!
2. God sees you right where you are and He knows where you are going (Genesis 16:9-12).
-Hagar, an Egyptian slave, was pregnant and far from home. Abandoned...alone...she felt forgotten and betrayed by all who knew her. As a foreigner, YHWEH was not her god, and yet... He saw her and drew near to her. She had not escaped His notice. YOU- have not escaped His notice.
3. God has not forgotten you (Genesis 21: 9-21).
-Once again, we find Hagar in the wilderness, only this time she is accompanied by her son, Ishmael. Sarah saw Ishmael as a threat to her son's (Isaac) inheritance and called for Abraham to send them from her sight. After what little provision Abraham gave them was depleted, Hagar fully expected to watch Ishmael die there in the desert. Yet, God heard their cries of desperation and promises them hope and a future-by making a great nation from the descendants of Ishmael (Genesis 21:17-20). He had not forgotten Hagar and Ishmael. He has not forgotten you. In HIM we can find hope and a future.
Praying the Name:
Take some time to read and reflect on Genesis 15-21 and Psalm 33:13-15; 18-19.
Praise God for the following:
*He sees you
You have not escaped His notice
* His watchful care
*His faithfulness to hear your prayers
*His timely help
*Upholding His promises