The God Who Sees



Genesis 16:13 “Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”


There comes a time in everyone’s life when we feel alone and desperate for a situation to change. It is in those valleys that we see God and His character the most clearly. I’ve heard the expression “it is not on the mountain peaks, but the valleys where the best fruit is grown.” I’ve also found it to be true that “God allows you to hit rock bottom, so you find that He is the rock at the bottom.”

The question remains, “why does it take a crisis to get my attention and focus tuned to see God?” Shouldn’t we rather be seeking after God daily in that manner? The answer is yes, but sadly we can be bull headed and flawed in our thinking. With some of us, it takes quite a jolt to wake us up. But, regardless, we come through it because of God and we start to see His very character played out in our lives; a lesson for next time!

In Genesis 16, we read of Sarai & Abram, with Sarai unable to give Abram children of their own. We then see human, flawed logic attempt a resolution to that problem, instead of holding tight to what God had promised! If you read through the chapter, you can easily see the situation go downhill quickly.

Sarai, using limited, depraved logic offers her handmaiden, Hagar, to her husband.

When Hagar conceives a son (Ishmael), we see that Sarai is furious and actually despises Hagar. It is stated in verse 6 that “And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.” Imagine being Hagar. Yes, I realize it was a complex and messy situation, that should not have even existed, had they exercised faith and patience in the Lord. Put yourself in Hagar’s sandals for a moment; alone, pregnant, suddenly banished from any sense of protection and provision.

In Genesis 16:7 that the Angel of the Lord found her in the wilderness, by a spring of water. He addresses Hagar by name and reassures her that she is indeed with child and that she needs to go back to Sarai and Abram. He also tells Hagar that her son’s name will be Ishmael.

Then in verse 13, we see the very character of God, the “one who sees me”, displayed when Hagar says “Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

We see another instance of the name of God in Genesis 21. We see that the Lord blesses Abram and Sarai with the birth of Isaac. Sarai then tells Abram to banish Hagar and Ishmael, so that Isaac alone would be Abram’s heir. The Lord speaks to Abram, telling him to send the pair away, but that He would also make a nation from Ishmael, but the promised nation would come through Isaac.

Then we read of Hagar and Ishmael wandering in the wilderness of Beersheba. All of their water was used up and Ishmael was so near death (in her mind) that she placed him under one of the shrubs and moved away from him, as to not watch him die. Desperate, she lifted her voice and wept. We see that God hears Hagar and provides a cool water spring for them and reassures her that her son will live. God is still the “God who sees me” (you). Trust Him in your circumstance!

Matthew Elroy

Disciple of Jesus, Husband, Father & pastor.