Genesis 16:6-16 NIV

[6] Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. [7] The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. [8] And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I'm running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. [9] Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” [10] The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” [11] The angel of the Lord also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. [12] He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers. ” [13] 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.” [14] That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi ; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered. [15] So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. [16] Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.



Sarai might have rejected Hagar but God hadn't.  Many scholars believe "the angel of the LORD" in verse 7 to be an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ.  Either way, the text makes it very clear that God was intensely interested in Hagar.  She's on her way back to Egypt when the angel intercepts her and calls her by name.  Sadly, the angel predicts perpetual strife for Hagar’s son. In this way, Ishmael’s life would reflect his origins: an aggressive man born in a hostile home.  However, God also makes a promise about multiplying her descendants, in a covenant similar to that given to Abram.  But what really stands out for me in this scene is how overwhelmed Hagar is that God would even care about her.  Look at verses 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 NIV footnote explains that 'Beer Lahai Roi means well of the Living One who sees me.'

It's almost like Hagar can't get over the fact that God would actually go looking for her, that He cares enough to notice her pain, that she is somehow significant in His eyes.  She can understand that God would seek out and speak to Abram and Sarai, they're wealthy and important after all.  But, in her eyes, she's a nobody, a foreign slave. 

As if that's not enough, she calls her son 'Ishmael', which means “God hears”.  Hagar the servant could not ever forget how God had heard her cry of affliction when no one else was listening.

Apart from maybe a few very confident people, most of us feel inferior and unimportant in the overall scheme of things.  It's easy for us to believe that God sees and hears particular people who we think are significant and worthy of His attention - people who are maybe famous, powerful, wealthy, spiritual leaders, influential.  Of course God notices them.  But me?  Really?  I'm a nobody. Other people, even my own family, barely notice me, so why would God even give me a second glance?  No one listens to me so why would God care what I have to say?

Could it be that you are more significant to God than you realise?  That right now he sees you? He is listening to you? He knows what you're going through? He cares about what has happened to you?  He has plans and promises to fulfill and you are an important part of them?

Hagar was doing a good job of running from Sarai, but she could never get beyond the reach of God.  Perhaps today you're trying to escape from something painful from your past.  Maybe you feel like a nobody in others' eyes. I want you to know that God sees you, He has heard you, He knows you and He still has plans to fulfill in you and through you.