El-Ro’i, the God Who Sees Me

El-Ro’i: Genesis 16:13-14

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi (the well of the Living One who sees me); it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

The God Who Sees Me

Kilroy was an icon of the Second World War. He was everywhere. The implication was that you couldn’t go anywhere he hadn’t been, and see nothing he hadn’t seen. Personally, I think they spelled it wrong. Instead of Kilroy, it should have been “El-Ro’i was here (and sees you)”.

KilroyEl-Ro'i Was Here

While El-Ro’i is only found once in the Bible, the implications are widespread.

El-Ro’i doesn’t need my assistance

  • Abram and Sarai tried to solve their perceived need
    • Sarai’s idea
    • Abram’s agreement
    • The plan’s failure
  • Ishmael (God hears) would have a tough existence (Genesis 16:12)
  • Ishmael had a future (Genesis 21:18)
  • Ishmael was a part of God’s plan of redemption (Genesis 50:20)

El-Ro’i sees me where I am

  • The Angel of the Lord found Hagar by a spring after she ran away (Genesis 16:7)
    • The Angel of the Lord is not merely an angel, but a preincarnate manifestation of Jesus.
    • Hagar recognized Him for who He was (Genesis 16:13)
  • The Angel of the Lord found her by a spring after she was thrown out (Genesis 21:17, 19)
  • He opened her eyes (Genesis 21:19)

El-Ro’i knows my circumstances

  • He asked a question, but already knew the answer (Genesis 16:8, 11)
  • He made a condition (Genesis 16:9)
  • He had a plan (Genesis 16:10)

El Ro’i plans the consequences

Hagar learned that El Roi was watching over her and that he had a plan to bless her and her son. One of Abraham’s grandsons, Esau, married Ishmael’s daughter, and it was the Ishmaelite traders (also referred to as Midianite merchants in Genesis 37:26-28), themselves descended from an Egyptian slave, who transported his great-grandson Joseph into slavery in Egypt. (From Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler)

El Ro’i watches for a reason

  • To punish wickedness
    • Those who think God is blind (Jeremiah 16:17)
    • Those who think we can hide from God (Jeremiah 23:24)
    • Those who think we can hide our deeds from God (Hebrews 4:13)
    • Those who think they’re getting away with something (Luke 12:2-3)
  • To reward righteousness
    • Noah reveals what God sees in us (Genesis 6:5, 6:8, 7:1)
  • To encourage His own
    • He looks out for His own (Psalm 34:15)
      • To ensure our salvation (Psalm 33:18-19)
      • To instruct and counsel (Psalm 32:8)
      • To support in trouble (2 Chronicles 16:9)
      • To guide in life (Proverbs 5:21)

He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows if you’re awake, He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake! (Proverbs 15:3)

How does knowing God as El Ro’i, the “God Who Sees Me”, give you comfort today?

Praying to God by Name

From “Praying the Names of God” by Ann Spangler


Reflect On:    Genesis 16:1-14

Praise God:        For his eye is on the sparrow.

Offer Thanks:     For God’s watchful care.

Confess:             Any tendency to accuse God of abandoning you.

Ask God:           To increase your awareness of his presence.

Reflect On:    Genesis 21:1-21

Praise God:        For faithfully hearing your prayers.

Offer Thanks:     For God’s timely help.

Confess:             Your disbelief despite the evidence of God’s past faithfulness.

Ask God:           To hear your cries for help.

Reflect On:    Psalm 33:13-22

Praise God:        Because he loves to help the poor and the oppressed.

Offer Thanks:     For all the ways God has protected you.

Confess:             Any self-centeredness and lack of concern for the needy of this world.

Ask God:           To grieve your heart with the things that grieve his.

Next: El-Olam and El-Chay

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