Genesis 16 tells of Hagar, Sarai, and Abram. The decisions they made produced a tense situation: Hagar was with child by Abram, while Sarai was, at this time, unable to bear children. Hagar feels superior to Sarai because she can bear children, and in return Sarai uses her authority to humiliate and oppress Hagar. Hagar runs from her, and comes to a spring of water in the wilderness where she meets the angel of the Lord.
He directs her to return to Sarai and remain in submission to her, and promises Hagar many descendants as repayment for her difficult life under Sarai’s authority (Gen. 16:11). Her son’s name would be Ishmael, translated, “God hears”. Hagar responds, “You are a God who sees” (Gen. 16:13).
We serve the God who sees. In Hagar’s case, God saw the harsh treatment she had received which caused her to run from Sarai (Gen. 16:6). He understood the difficult situation she had to endure, and rewarded her for returning in submission to her mistress (Gen. 16:9). Even though Hagar felt superior, she was still the maid and was to submit herself to her mistress’ authority. He saw the truth of every piece of that very complicated situation, and addressed it righteously.
We serve the God who hears. God listened as Hagar expressed her reasons for leaving (Gen. 16:8). Surely He had heard when Sarai had advised Abram to go to Hagar (Gen. 16:2), and had also heard Hagar’s cries from Sarai’s harsh treatment.
It often seems like certain people can hide their actions and disguise their character so they seem to be what they are not. We wonder if justice will be served, if the righteous will be rewarded and if the evildoers will be punished. May it be extremely clear: we serve the God who sees and hears everything. Nothing escapes His notice, not even the smallest detail that has gone unnoted by human eyes and ears.
In the end, the God who sees and hears will bring relief to His servants (2 Thess. 1:7), while those who rebel against Him will have brought terror on themselves (2 Thess. 1:9). How do you feel when you realize that God sees and hears everything about you? Perhaps your conscience can tell you something about where you stand, and if correction is needed. Praise the God who sees and hears, and give Him all the glory in your life. Pray to Him, sing to Him, confess to Him, listen to Him, return to obey Him, and you will be blessed by Him.
Eli Schnell is the Youth and Family Minister at the Northwest Church of Christ
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135