Photo of Hagar By Day-by-day-with-Jesus
Genesis 16: 13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?(KJV)
It has been more than forty years since I discovered this verse in the Bible. I was a very young Christian in a very trying time in my life.
The story is from Genesis Chapter 16. It is the story of Hagar the Egyptian maid. In the previous Chapter Abram was promised a child. In their old age neither he nor his wife Sarai thought they would be blessed with children, yet, God said he would have a son. Sarah thinking herself barren, and reasonably so since she was way past child bearing age, decided to help God out. She figured one way to make the Word of God come true would be to use a surrogate womb. It was common practice in those days.
Genesis 16: 1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bore him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2 And Sarai said to Abram, Behold now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing: I pray you, go in to my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelled ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. 4 And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.(AKJV)
So, Abram had sex with Sarai’s maid Hagar and “voilà!” Baby Ishmael was on the way. Now in the culture the expectation was that once the baby was born the mistress (Sarai) would raise the child as her own. However, Hagar developed an attitude problem. Now that she was carrying the Boss’s baby, she loathed Sarai and felt she had an advantage over her mistress.
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Not so fast! Sarai couldn’t handle her attitude, she was certainly not going to be usurped in her own home, so she disciplined Hagar and put her in her place.
Genesis 16: 5 And Sarai said to Abram, My wrong be on you: I have given my maid into your bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and you. 6 But Abram said to Sarai, Behold, your maid is in your hand; do to her as it pleases you. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.(AKJV)
Now since Hagar was a slave girl she had no rights of her own in that day and age. Slaves were bought and sold, and she was an Egyptian slave most likely gifted to Abram in the exchange that took place in Genesis 12: 10-20. Therefore she was no longer in her home country.
She decided to make a run for freedom from Sarai. Unwise move, for she didn’t think ahead. Pregnant slave girl on the run.
Imagine a young woman today in a dangerous foreign country, alone, pregnant, without a passport, or ID and without any money or phone. The woman may look different, not be able to blend in, and perhaps have a different accent. What could go wrong? So imagine her staying away from crowds, and trying to move in the countryside. Well, this was Hagar! In her case she found herself in a barren and dry landscape. No food or water!
You get the picture.
Hagar did find a fountain of water finally! Perhaps it is better said that the Lord led her to it.
Here she has an encounter with the Angel of the Lord. In case you were not aware, when the Bible says that in the Old Testament, we believe it to be the Pre-Incarnate Jesus.
Genesis 16: 7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, from where came you? and where will you go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 9 And the angel of the LORD said to her, Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands. 10 And the angel of the LORD said to her, I will multiply your seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.(AKJV)
He speaks to her, and convinces her to return to her mistress, along with a promise that her child would survive. The Word He gives to her is sort of a mixed bag. The child’s name is given to her and she is told that he will not be a man of peace or at peace. The man Ishmael would be a contentious man, and contention would follow him.
Genesis 16: 11 And the angel of the LORD said to her, Behold, you are with child and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael; because the LORD has heard your affliction. 12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brothers.(AKJV)
She is nonetheless rightly awestruck by this encounter.
The KJV says:
Genesis 16: 13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
No matter the outcome, no matter the prophetic words, she went back to Sarai in a state of AWE. She was overwhelmed by the fact that she, a slave girl, a disobedient slave girl, a runaway slave girl, had actually been able to see the God who sees her. Hence her utterance: “THOU GOD SEEST ME,”
She went back, had the baby and the rest is history that we can speak of in the future. For now I want to tell you that these four words have been my “life verse” for decades.
I am fascinated that two women in the Bible had a special encounter with Jesus by a water source. Hagar was the first, and then the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4. In fact, Hagar had this privilege twice in her life. The second time was in Genesis Chapter 21. Both women were wounded in and by their own community, and both were transformed by the experience with Jesus.
Hagar’s and the Samaritan woman’s stories are their own, just as my story is my own! However, the encounter and the revelation Hagar had changed not only her life but mine as well.
Four words: “Thou God seest me!”
No matter the what, when, where, why, who or how of my life may have been . . . in every situation, I have remained mindful of “THOU GOD SEEST ME.”
In awe I can emphasize any one word in this four words sentence . . . and still remain awestruck!
When I am sad, dejected, depressed, forlorn or heartbroken; wounded with my heart in a thousand pieces I cry out to Him: “THOU God seest me!”
When I feel in danger, and I am betrayed by ones I loved, so that I feel no one can be trusted, no one understands, when fingers are pointed at me, and I am held guilty for things I did not do, when bullies bully, and people stand and jeer on the side, when they sneer, and smirk and make snide remarks; I break inside in anguish of soul. I weep bitterly and call to the One and say: “Thou God SEEST me??!!”
When I feel so insignificant in this humongous Universe, (and I am), I marvel that: “Thou GOD seest me??!!”
When I am happy and relieved that my enemies have fallen away, when I am rescued from the stormy sea, when my world finally seems to come together, when my little ones play safely and eat with joy at my table, when there is laughter in my home, when music plays and my family and friends celebrate and rejoice with me, I marvel and shout with joy: “Thou God seest ME!!!!!
You see, no matter the situation, good, bad, or ugly . . .
Whether the sun shines or the rains fall . . .
Come snow, sleet, or storm . . .
Come spring blossoms, summer sun, fall winds, or winter snow . . .
Come trials, or victories . . .
Come tears of joy or of sorrow . . .
Come sickness or health . . .
Come singing and dancing, or grief and loss . . .
Come hope in new life or the parting of death . . .
No matter the situation I find my comfort, my solace, my joy, my peace in knowing that “THOU GOD SEEST ME!!!!”
Seven billion souls on this round planet, seven billion noisemakers making lots of noise and creating an exorbitant amount of CHAOS, yet even when I am silent: “THOU GOD SEEST ME!!!!”
This verse has carried me through thick and thin.
I have spent many a time in tears in my prayer closet weeping: “THOU GOD SEEST ME!”
I have spent many a time in my house and my car not knowing what and how to pray, but just saying what I know: “THOU GOD SEEST ME!”
I have laid awake in bed heavy with care for my child and cried: “THOU GOD SEEST ME!”
I have said goodbye to some very near and dear to me as they have journeyed to heaven and cried : “THOU GOD SEEST ME”
I have danced and worshiped Him many, many times and rejoiced in that: “THOU GOD SEEST ME!”
I have hugged my husband, cradled my babies and now my grand-babies and cried tears of joy because: “THOU GOD SEEST ME!”
And I will go on doing so till I stand in His presence in heaven and see Him face to face. When I see the “One who see me” face to face, I will once again say as I fall on my knees to worship: “THOU GOD SEEST ME!”
Will you???!!! send me a comment!
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