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Seen by God

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 the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

My first pair of eyeglasses opened my eyes to a bold world. I’m nearsighted, meaning objects close up are sharp and defined. Without my glasses, however, items across a room or in the distance are a blur. At age twelve, with my first pair of eyeglasses, I was shocked to see clearer words on blackboards, tiny leaves on trees and, perhaps most important, big smiles on faces.

As friends smiled back when I greeted them, I learned that to be seen was as great a gift as the blessing of seeing.

The slave Hagar realized that as she fled from her mistress Sarai’s unkindness. Hagar was a “nobody” in her culture, pregnant and alone, fleeing to a desert without help or hope. Seen by God, however, she was empowered, in return, to see Him. No longer a vague concept, God became real to her, so real that she gave God a name, El Roi, which means “You are the God who sees me.” She said, “I have now seen the One who sees me” (Genesis 16:13).

Our seeing God sees each of us too. Feeling unseen, alone, or like a nobody? God sees you and your future. In return, may we see in Him our ever-present hope, encouragement, salvation, and joy—both for today and for our future. Praise Him today for this gift of amazing sight, to see the one true and Living God.

Lord, I’m just one person in a big world, but I thank You for looking from on high and seeing me—so that I may see You.

God knows my name and sees me.


The assurance given to Hagar by the angel of the Lord (that is, God Himself; Genesis 16:7, 9) echoes the assurance given by God to Abraham years earlier. The angel told Hagar, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count” (v. 10). The Lord had told Abraham (then known as Abram) that his descendants would be as uncountable as the stars (15:5). Hagar’s descendants too were children of Abraham (21:11–13), and God cared deeply about them. The apostle Paul explains that a true descendant of Abraham is one who has faith in Jesus the Messiah. “The promise (Romans 4:13) comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law [Jewish] but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16).

Tim Gustafson

By |2019-02-11T16:59:33-05:00February 12th, 2019|
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