Sunday, March 7, 2010

When God Sees Me

Then she called the name of the LORD,“You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees”

Genesis 16:13

If I had been in Hagar’s shoes, I think I would have run away, too. Being a slave in a foreign country was bad enough, but being suddenly promoted to second wife of the master then within months demoted back to the status of a slave would have been too much.

It’s a familiar story. God had promised children to Abram but the years passed and his wife, Sarai, didn’t conceived. So, she decided to use her maid as a surrogate. Hagar would be the one pregnant but Sarai would own the baby.

I suspect Abram treated Hagar well, for she became quite proud and letting everyone know that she was better than her mistress. Things became heated and Sarai roughly reminded Hagar that she was a slave and would never be anything more. Humiliated, Hagar took off preferring to face death in the desert than hanging around the tent with Sarai.

I don’t blame her. The situation was very unfair. But, she must have been lonely and frightened out there in the desert. She had no resources, no safe place to go, no friend to lean on. Then, the Angel of the Lord showed up giving her instructions, offering comfort and assuring her of a good future.

In amazement, Hagar—who evidently knew little or nothing of God—coined a name for the One who spoke to her. She called Him, “You-Are-The-God-Who Sees.” Realizing that the Creator of the universe saw her and cared about her plight deeply touched her heart and changed her life. Such careful love gave her strength. She returned to Sarai and waited out the rest of her pregnancy. It was a difficult assignment, but with assurance that God was watching over her, she finished her course and became the mother of a great nation.

As I read the story again, I was fascinated anew by the name Hagar used for God. What must it have been like to have your primary concept of God be one of an all powerful Being watching your ever move? Curious, I began to look up references about the eyes of the Lord and what He sees as He looks down. The passages were abundant.

God sees me---
When my days are ordinary, [1]
When I my efforts go unnoticed, [2]
When I need to talk with a friend, [3]
When I am confused and not sure which way to turn, [4]
When I am sinning, [5]
When I’ve been mistreated, [6]
When my reputation is questioned, [7]
When my situation is the very worst I can imagine. [8]
Even when I doubt the reality of His presence, God still sees me. [9]

The idea of God’s continual watching could be uncomfortable. After all, we might not want our every deed and word exposed. It is only when we also know Him as the God of love and grace that His “watching” becomes “watch care,” and we find our hearts snuggling into the peace of His every present, benevolent gaze.

[1] Psalm 14:2; Psalm 102:19; Psalm 33:13 [2] Acts 10:3-4; Genesis 6:8 [3] Psalm 34:15 [4] Psalm 32:8 [5] Proverbs 15:3 [6] Deuteronomy 26:7 [7] Luke 1:25 [8] II Chronicles 16:9 [9] Psalm 94:9

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