In The Beginning, Temptation and the Fall of God's Perfect Order

A daily devotion for June 11th

The God Who Sees

[Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: You are the God who sees me

Genesis 16:13a

It is the angel of the Lord who finds Hagar. This is the first appearance of the phrase angel of the Lord in Scripture, and as we compare it with other uses, we find that this refers to none other than the pre-incarnate Christ. He says several things to her. First, Where do you come from, and where are you going? These are arresting questions. Hagar answers the first, but she has nothing to say to the second. She does not know where she is going. Where can she go? The question draws her helplessness sharply to her attention.

Then the angel says, Return and submit. This is the only way to experience the grace and blessing of God. Had she gone on wandering into the wilderness, it would have been disastrous. Both she and the child in her womb would have died. When God finds us wandering, this is always what He says: Return and submit! Submit to the circumstances you dislike, and I will work it out. To do anything else is folly.

With the command to return comes the promise of blessing. Blessing always follows obedience. I will multiply your descendants so that they will be too numerous to count. And then follows the prophecy of Ishmael's nature. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every man and every man's hand against him. He will be a nonconformist, a Missouri mule—a man with whom no one can get along.

Hagar, glimpsing here something of God's omniscience and power, names Him The God Who Sees Me. This is the circumstance that gripped her. Here is a God who sees me and knows me just as I am as well as all that concerns me. So she named the well The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.

Have you found God to be the one who lives and sees, the one who knows all about your life and your circumstances? The one who knows the past and the future and says to you as He said to Hagar, Return and submit? That is the place of promised blessing.

We are also told that this well is located between Kadesh and Bered. Kadesh means holiness, and Bered means hail or judgment. Here is the well of grace, lying between holiness and judgment. When we begin to stray from the place of God's blessing toward the certainty of judgment, God meets us on the way at the well of grace, saying, Wait a minute. I don't want to have to make this known to others. I don't want to judge you openly. I don't want to bring trial or affliction or heartache into your life to make you listen. Listen now. Return and submit so I won't have to do this. That is the well of grace. So Hagar returns, and Ishmael is born.

Dear Father, teach me that You are the God Who Sees Me, and when I run, teach me to return and submit.

Life Application

Have we caught a vision of God as the One who sees us, knows us, and intimately cares for us? Are we running to Him or away from Him?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

It all Depends on Me

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