The Many Names of God

names of godRecently I began a Bible study on the Patriarchs of the Old Testament.

In this study, I have had the chance to look into the many names of God.

Such as El Elyon, (God Most High), El Roi (the God who see’s), El Olam (the Eternal God), and El Shaddai (God Almighty).

All of these names teach us great theological truths about our great God.

But the one that speaks to my heart the most is El Roi, the God who see’s.

We all know the story, Abram and Sarai have been promised a child, but so far it just hasn’t happened. So Sarai takes matters into her own hands, and gives Hagar to Abram. Believing she will have her child through Hagar.

But as with us women, she didn’t think how this would all eventually make her feel. Later once Hagar is with child, she wants her gone. So she treats her badly and Hagar flees.

It is here that we are introduced to the God who see’s. For though an Egyptian, though a nobody of that day, the angel of the Lord comes to her and says, “Return to your mistress and submit to her authority.” (No doubt the last thing she wants to hear). But He goes on to say, “You are with child, and you will bear a son; and you shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has given heed to your affliction.” Gen. 16:9; 11

And the Bible says, Hagar called upon the name of the Lord and said, “You are a God who see’s.”

Hagar returns to Abram and Sarai and stays with them through both the birth of Ishmael and eventually the birth of Issac.

Then when Issac is a young boy, the older Ishmael begins to taunt and make fun of Issac. By now, Sarah has had it and she insist that Abraham send them away.

Abraham is heartbroken, but the Lord speaks to him and says, not to fear, that He will care for him and make him into a great nation.

Hagar and Ishmael leave, while on their journey, they run out of water. And Hagar is heartbroken. She can not bear to watch her beloved son die. So she goes and sits away from him and cries out to the Lord.

Weeping, the angel of the Lord appears once more and says, “What is the matter with you Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the lad crying from where he is. Arise, lift up the land, and hold him by the hand, for I will make a great nation of him. (Gen. 21:17)”

“Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water, and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad a drink. (Gen. 21:19).”

Hagar’s first encounter with God show’s her that He is the God who see’s.

Now She finds that He is also the God who hears and the One who opens her eyes as well.

The lessons we can learn from this passage are numerous.

But one that sticks out to me is this.

Hagar could see nothing but the problem. She had forgotten that God see’s and knows. She had given into fear, and given up. Believing a lie that she and Ishmael had no hope.

In the midst of trials and hardship, our vision becomes clouded. If not careful, we too loose hope and forget the God we serve, the God who see’s and hears. The God who knows and is all-powerful!

After Hagar cried out to the Lord, the Lord spoke to her and opened her eyes to see the truth.

Like Hagar, when trials come, we must lift up our eyes to the Lord, to the maker of Heave and Earth. We must cry out to Him, asking Him to open our eyes to the Truth, and then stand upon this.

When God opened her eyes, only then did she see the well.

Though it had been there all along.

What trials are you in the midst of? What difficulties loom about you? Is your vision clouded? Can you see only the problems?

If so, I encourage you to lift your eyes up to the Lord.

Cry out to Him. And as you do, the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

He will show you the way, He will provide. Yet, we must look solely to Him.

 

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