He said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” Genesis 16:8
Natalia went to a different nation with the promise of receiving an education. But soon the father in her new home began physically and sexually abusing her. He forced her to care for his home and children without pay. He refused to let her go outside or use the phone. She had become his slave.
Hagar was Abram and Sarai’s Egyptian slave. Neither one used her name. They called her “my slave” or “your slave” (Genesis 16:2, 5–6). They merely wanted to use her so they could have an heir.
How different is God! The angel of the Lord makes His first appearance in Scripture when He speaks to a pregnant Hagar in the desert. The angel is either God’s messenger or God Himself. Hagar believes He’s God, for she says, “I have now seen the One who sees me” (v. 13). If the angel is God, He could possibly be the Son—the One who reveals God to us—making an early, preincarnate appearance. He says her name, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” (v. 8).
God saw Natalia and brought caring people into her life who rescued her. She’s now studying to become a nurse. God saw Hagar and called her by name. And God sees you. You may be overlooked or worse, abused. Jesus calls you by name. Run to Him.
What does it mean to you that Jesus knows your name? How might you similarly encourage others?
Thank You, Jesus, for knowing my name. I rest in Your love for me.
For further study, read Reclaiming Hope: Why We All Need Mercy, Justice, and Hope.
Biblical names are significant because they give meaning to the events that accompany the naming. In Genesis 16, two names tell us more about who God is. In the naming of Hagar’s son, Ishmael (v. 11), God revealed Himself as the God who hears our prayers, for Ishmael means “God hears.” In response, Hagar named God “You are the God who sees me” (v. 13) or El-Roi. The Lexham English Bible translates it as: “She called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, ‘You are El-Roi,’ for she said, ‘Here I have seen after he who sees me.’ ” Yahweh is the all-hearing and all-seeing God.