Keeping His Name Holy – El-roi

Keeping His Name Holy – El-roi

Keeping His Name Holy – El-roi.

“Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to Yahweh, who had spoken to her… El-roi. She said, ‘You are the God who sees me.'”  (Genesis 16:13).

Hagar was desperate as she ran away form Abram and Sarai. Hagar was their Egyptian servant who merely complied with Sarai’s orders to conceive a baby with Abram. Sarai and Abram know that Sarai was barren, and they would never have descendants unless they did something drastic. So Sarai gave Hagar to Abram in order to have the bloodline God promised to them earlier. Sarai thought this would be the only way to have a child. Sure enough, Hagar found herself pregnant and filled with contempt for Sarai. And Sarai found herself jealous and angry about the whole situation. Sarai in turn mistreated Hagar to the extent that Hagar ran away to escape Sarai’s abuse. Hagar ran all the way into the distant wilderness, desolate, alone, miserable, and far away from anyone’s care. At her lowest, an angel of Yahweh appeared and called Hagar by name. The angel promised that her boy would have many descendants. As it turned out, her son Ishmael had 12 sons. The angel also asked Hagar to return to Sarai and work out the problems between them. Hagar was overwhelmed with this unexpected divine attention. So she gave Yahweh a very personal name, El-roi, God who sees me.

If there’s one truth that Scripture makes clear about our God, it is that He is a personal God. He is not a distant Supreme Being who is indifferent, uninvolved, or blind to what is happening on His earth. We are not invisible to God. The Lord is a God who sees. Our God is the world’s eternal watchman. Like a compassionate shepherd, God tends His flock, the human race, and somehow gives all of us His personal, undivided attention. He not only sees but He responds. As David says in Psalm 68:19, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burdens.

“Then Yahweh told Moses, ‘I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them…” (Exodus 3:7-8).

“The eyes of Yahweh search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

“The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3).

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” (Hebrews 4:13).

“God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens.” (Job 28:23-24).

“For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.” (Proverbs 5:21).

“For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do. No darkness is thick enough to hide the wicked from his eyes.” (Job 34:21-22).

“The LORD looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.” (Psalm 33:13-15).

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.”  (Psalm 139:13-16).

“I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there? My help comes from Yahweh, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. Yahweh himself watches over you! Yahweh stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. Yahweh keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. Yahweh keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” (Psalm 121).

A Prayer to El-roi (el raw-EE’)

We exalt your name, El-roi, God-who-sees-me. For you are the deeply personal Lord who sees us, day in and day out. We thank you that you neither slumber nor sleep as you watch over all those you have made. We praise your name, that you see and respond, that you daily bear our burdens. We know that in your watchfulness you will keep us from all spiritual harm. We are grateful that you are a God of Vision, that nothing can be hidden from your just and merciful attention. We trust in your perfect character and judgment, Lord, as you observe the events of our lives and those of this world. You are a righteous eye-witness, Yahweh, El-roi. We lift our eyes to you and worship your holy Name. Amen.