by Brandy Webb
I am rereading the Bible. It is fascinating how many times I have read Genesis, yet I always notice something “new.” I am realizing that the Word of God is a living thing because of the fact that I can learn something no matter how many times I may have read the same scriptures. I am thinking that maybe I notice “new” things when I reread because they are then applicable to my life at that moment.
Today, I was rereading the story of Hagar. I always find her story a bit sad. I also can’t imagine what Sarai was thinking but different time means different customs. Hagar didn’t really follow the rules. She was supposed to have a baby that in turn would become Sarai’s. Kind of like a surrogate mother is today. However, something changed in her when she got pregnant. She began to “despise her mistress” (Genesis 16:4).
I know we all know the story, but it is interesting that Hagar kind of rebelled against the norm at the time. She realized that she just accomplished something that her mistress was unable at the time to accomplish, and maybe she became a little prideful. Abram, in turn, gives Sarai permission to do with her what she wants, and Sarai, according to the Bible, “mistreated Hagar” (Genesis 16:6). Sarai, or Sarah later on, wasn’t perfect. She was human just like you and me. She made some miscalls, and I am sure that, at this point, jealousy was very much clouding her actions and judgments.
The amazing thing is what happens to Hagar when she flees. God loved Hagar so much He sent His messenger, an angel of the Lord, to speak directly to her. She was nothing more than an Egyptian servant. God was going to bless Abram, Abraham. Sarai was supposed to carry the chosen son, not her. Yet, God still had a plan for her, and after He lets her know what will happen to her offspring, which is so fascinating because we can see His words playing out today, she makes a profound statement.
“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me”— Genesis 16:13, NIV.
Some versions just say “the God who sees,” but I like this version because the point is that the one true God saw her, which means He also sees you and me. He sees and knows our struggles, mistakes, fears, hopes, dreams, etc. He sees us. He loves us. And He wants us, in turn, to “see” the One who sees us.
We do this by getting to know Him through His Word. We can also do this by seeing Him through our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We can even “see” Him when we look at ourselves in the mirror because we were all created in His image. And in those moments that we feel alone, we can take comfort that He, in turn, sees us. His eyes are watching us always and have been ever since we were in our mothers’ womb (Psalm 139:16). So, take heart like Hagar did, because we serve a God who we can say, “You do see me.”