Today’s Scripture: Genesis 16:6-16
6 Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. 8 The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.
9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. 12 This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”
13 Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” 14 So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born.
Hagar gives God a new name in this text. Can you do that? Yeah, I think so. The text says that Hagar starts to refer to God as El-Roi, the God who sees me.
Hagar had an experience with God that reminded her that she is not alone in the wilderness. She experienced God seeing her even when no one else saw her. No wonder she called God by that name!
I wonder as we head into the weekend, what name would you give God based on the past week? Maybe it’s the same as Hagar – the God who sees me. Or maybe it’s the God who protects me, or the God who forgives me, or the God who teaches me new things, or even the God who is sticks with me no matter what.
The point is that we, like Hagar, experience all different aspects of God depending upon our situation – even if we are running away and lost in the wilderness. Think about how you and God have interacted this week – maybe it’s time for a new name.
Oh God you are the one who comes to us no matter where we are, no matter what we have done, no matter how messed up life has become. Thank you for brining yourself to us and help us to let you in to all areas of our lives. Amen