An old proverb tells us that the eyes are the window to the soul. Our humanity prevents us from knowing all that is in another person’s heart. Physical cues are a part of how we can non-verbally communicate, intentionally or not.
But not so with God. God is not bound by humanity. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent ( I just studied these divine attributes:). He can see straight into the heart and soul of every person ever created completely bypassing our eyes. He is El Roi.
El Roi-The God Who sees me. This name was given to God by Hagar in Genesis 16.I am sure you are all familiar with the story, but I will give a brief recap for the sake of context. Sarai was convinced that God had kept her from having children, so Abram went along with her crazy plan ( I mean what man would resist?) to have a child through her servant Hagar. Sure enough, Hagar conceived but she began to despise Sarai, her mistress. Sarai went to Abram and blamed him for her troubles and Abram gave Sarai permission to treat Hagar however she wanted. Eventually Hagar could put up with the abuse no longer and hit the road .
Alone, abused and pregnant Hagar ended up near a spring in the desert. And that is where she encountered El Roi. An angel of the Lord asked her “Where have you come from and where are you going?” Hagar explained she was running away. The angel told her to return and submit to her mistress and then he spoke a promise over her and her son. Hagar returned to Sarai, no doubt encouraged and amazed that she was seen by the One who saw her.
There is one element I love to this story. God saw Hagar and knew her circumstances and met her at a point of desperation, but He did not change her situation, instead he gave her a promise for the future. That promise is what gave Hagar the courage to go home. Surely Hagar would have prefered to be Sarai’s mistress but that was not a part of God’s plan. Looking past her circumstances, Hagar trusted in the God who saw past her eyes and into her heart, and believed the promise he gave her.
How different would my life be if in every desperate situation I was able to take my eyes off of the circumstances and focus them on the One who sees me. Instead of being blown and blinded by this life and all that it throws at me what if I steadied my gaze on the One who promises to give me a “future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11)? The truth is I often react like a frightened animal and run and hide hoping and praying for God to change my circumstances. In reality, God can and often does change our circumstances but He sees past our present situations and into our hearts. His plans will be accomplished even at the expense of our momentary comfort. But He desires for us to trust and believe and walk confidently with Him in all situations, depending only on Him and His promises. And when we do our eyes no longer become a window into our soul, but a reflection of His glory.
“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me ( El Roi), ” for she said , “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13
Thanks y’all, for meeting me at the Beer Lahai Roi – the well of the Living One who sees me.