GENESIS 16: GOD SEES YOU AND WHAT THAT MEANS
13 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.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered. (Gen. 16:13-14 NIV)
Conflict erupts in Abram’s house between Sarai and Hagar. Sarai, still barren after ten years in Canaan waiting on God’s promise for a son, will wait no more. She demands her servant Hagar become a surrogate. But when Hagar conceives the son Sarai has long wanted, contempt brews between the two women. Pregnant Hagar runs away into the wilderness, finding relief at a spring.
There, God meets her, comforts her, reorients her, and promises to be with her. And Hagar names God. She calls God “El Roi”–the God who sees (me). The spring or well is called Beer Lahai Roi, “well of the Living One who sees me.”
There are many important names for God in Genesis:
- El Elyon (Gen 14:18, 19, 20, 22)
- El Shaddai (Gen 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 43:14; 48:3)
- El Bethel (Gen 31:13; 35:7)
- El Roi (Gen 16:13)
- El Elohe-Israel (Gen 33:20)
- El Olam (Gen 21:33).
El Roi, however, may be the most meaningful.
God sees you. Especially in times of hurt. Especially when it seems others do not see you. God sees you.
Know that today, without a doubt, God sees you. He sees your pain. He sees your despair. He sees your joy. He sees your wonder and your worry. He sees it all. And he cares more deeply for what he sees than you can ever imagine.
Thank you God, for being El Roi. Thank you for being the one who sees me. When no one else seems to see me or understand me, thank you for seeing me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Just as God sees us, we are called to see others. Do one thing today that communicates to one person, “I see you.” Additionally, try looking up names for God online or in your Bible with the text references provided above. Many Bibles will give you the translations of these names for God.
Chris is a spiritual director, the author of seven books, a father to Jordan and Jacob, a husband to Kendra, and has preached for the Highland Church of Christ since 1998.