“Then she [Hagar] called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God who sees;’ for she said, ‘Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?’” Genesis 16:13
When we hear that God sees everything, it’s often in the context of Him catching us in sin. Yet, when we search Scripture we find that He’s watching with eyes of compassion more than with eyes of condemnation. In Genesis 16 we see God as El-Roi, which means, “God who sees.” The origin of this particular name of God is not a story of condemnation. It comes from the life of Hagar, who learned firsthand that the name of God extends compassion.
Hagar was in a difficult situation because Abraham and Sarah didn’t wait on the Lord. When the child promised by God seemed delayed, Sarah arranged for Hagar to be her surrogate. But matters between the two women quickly deteriorated after Hagar conceived. So Hagar ran away, and the angel of the Lord went to comfort her. Not only was God completely aware of everything happening in her present, He saw and cared for her future.
There’s a huge lesson here. We see the Lord more clearly when we understand that He sees us completely. God sees everything—every detail of the troubles we face. He knows when others put us in a difficult spot and when we put ourselves there. He looks on us with compassion, waiting for us to look to Him.
Do you feel hopeless and alone? Then call on the name of El Roi, the God who sees your present and cares about your future. Because He’s your Creator and Deliverer, He’s invested in your life. He will not abandon you. So, look to Him alone and find comfort in His presence. As you do, a clearer, more accurate picture of God will come into view.
If you’re not a Christian, then consider this—the very fact that Jesus came reveals God’s compassion. He saw that we were without hope, condemned in our sin. So, He sent His only Son to die in our place so that anyone who believes on Jesus will be saved.
Matthew 9:36 tells us, “Seeing the people, He [Jesus] felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” The nature of God never changes, which means the name of God extends compassion to you today. The Good Shepherd sees your pain and knows your circumstances. Why not place your trust in Him right now?
Read this devotional series from the beginning: Learning to Trust God in Every Situation