Names of God Series: El Roi (God Sees Me)

eye-of-godJob 28:23-24 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. [24] For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; Job 34:21-22 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. [22] There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. Psalms 33:13-14 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. [14] From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. Matthew 6:4 … thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly. 2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. …

When we study the names of God, it is not strange that many of His revealed Names come to us through the life of Abraham. It was:

YAHWEH who came to Abram with a promise in Genesis 12:6
EL ELYON who gave Abram power to defeat Cherdorlaomer in Genesis 14:14

God revealed Himself to Abram because Abram walked with God. God did not have to chase him nor plead with him. Abram loved the Lord. He moved when God said moved, and stopped waiting while God was silent. His life was surrendered to the Lord. Tonight we will see two more names of God.

Turn with me in your Bibles to Genesis 15.

Abram had been promised by God a child in Genesis 12. Abram was 75 when God made His promise (Genesis 12:4), and now in chapter 15 ten years has passed. Abram is now 85 and getting a little nervous. The Lord knows what Abram is thinking – just like He knows what YOU are thinking. He says:

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

God said “I am your Shield”. I am the One Who protects you – I watch over you – I SEE YOU. I am “your exceeding great Reward”. Time may have passed, but time is nothing to the Great I AM. God is the Eternal, All seeing God. And God is able. Abram replies to God:

Genesis 15:2-3 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? [3] And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

I want you to notice the Name by which Abram calls God. Lord GOD. This is the Name אֲדֹנָי (‘Adonay) יְהֹוָה (Yahweh), which is translated Lord GOD in the King James. He is the RULER of all, the Eternal I AM. God is able. Yet even as Abram makes this statement, that God is the Ruling I AM, in his next breath he offers to help God out. He says in effect

God you promised me a child, but here I am childless. Eliezer of Damascus was born in my house – how about we make Eliezer my heir (just trying to help, Lord)”

The Lord GOD then took Abram by the hand. The Bible says:

Genesis 15:4-6 And, behold, the word of the LORD (YAHWEH, the I AM) came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. [5] And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. [6] And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

God speaks to His Child. God didn’t tell a priest to tell Abram – He told Abram. And God brought Abram forth and said look now to Heaven and see the stars – number them if you can (and you can’t). So shall YOUR seed be. Abram believed God and God counted this belief to Abram for righteousness.

God is bigger than any problem we have. He is the Lord GOD, Adonai YAHWEH. He is able. He is in control. God made a covenant with Abram that very day, a promise that would be kept. But we humans are frail. There are times when we are less than faithful – but God is faithful.

1 God Is El Roi, The God Who Sees Me. The Adonai Yahweh has told Abram that he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. More time passes, so Sarai comes to Abram with a plan.

Genesis 16:2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

In ancient times it was not uncommon for barren women to use their slaves as surrogates. The husband went in to the slave and through that union a child was produced. When the baby was born it was turned over to the master. Sarai had seen this done many times and, though God certainly didn’t approve of the custom, Abram agreed.

Now Hagar the slave had nothing to say about this process. She had been robbed of her God given freedom, and was in a terrible place. She was a chattel slave, not a bond slave. In ancient times people were conquered or kidnapped and placed in forced slavery. The Bible recognized these human customs, but required that every person be treated with dignity – even if slaves.

Colossians 4:1 (ESV) Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

The Bible does not condone chattel slavery, though it recognizes the practice existed. Slaves were to be treated fairly, and were to be released during the Year of Jubilee (see Leviticus 25:10). Masters were to treat their servants:

Ephesians 6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

What Abram and Sarai did to Hagar was wrong. God loves all people, and wants all people to be treated as His image bearers for we are all made in the image of God. Abram went into Hagar because his faith wavered, and he heard the whisper of Satan and the encouragement of his wife.

Maybe God has forgotten about you
God said your child would come from you
God didn’t say you couldn’t use Hagar
Sarai is all right with this – go ahead and do it!

Abram had been faithful to God, and loved the Lord. But now he steps outside of his place and tries to assist God. That’s not a good place to be. Why did he do it? We are told:

Genesis 16:3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

Another ten years have passed. Abram has waited patiently, but God has done nothing. Let’s help God out. Maybe I misunderstood God. Let’s do this. But there’s a problem. Mistreated people often strike back at those who mistreat them. As soon as Hagar got pregnant she despised Sarai her master. I heard Michelle Obama the other day make the remark at the Democratic National Convention:

I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves ..”

Though Michelle never experienced the lash of the whip, those who have been hurt often hurt back. Hagar – an Egyptian slave – was misused. So there is no surprise that she mocks her barren mistress. As a result Hagar is abused by Sarai – and Hagar runs away. Alone and frightened, the Lord comes to Hagar saying:

Genesis 16:8 …. Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go?

How does God identify Hagar? Hagar, Sarai’s maid. This is her place in life. Socialism and Humanism says “Let everyone be the same”. The truth is, we are not all the same. We are all made in the image of God and in His likeness, but we all have different position, potentials, and promise. I wish I could play like Kathy Oliver does, but after a year of lessons by my dear friend Robbie Rhodes we both agreed it would be easier to train a monkey. I wish I could do or be a lot of things. I have seen people born to power, born to money, born to talent. I will never drive a high end sports car. I’ll never live in a mansion in this life. I’ll never have millions in the bank. We’re all different.

Hagar is Sarai’s maid. But even so, God sees her just as He sees you. The Bible says:

Romans 2:9-11 (NASB) There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

God loves every person, regardless as to whether we are MENSA smart or “Special Needs”. God loves us all, and calls all to salvation in Him. The Lord speaks to Hagar saying “Where did you come from?” and “Where are you going?”. God doesn’t ask these questions because He is ignorant of her intentions. The Lord can see our hearts. He knows our very thoughts.

Jeremiah 17:10 (HCSB) I, the LORD, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.

God asked Hagar these questions not because He didn’t know what went on, but because God wanted Hagar to examine herself. Why are you doing this? Where are you going?

I am concerned about you, and I do not want you to perish. God seeks to save the lost. What a beautiful and familiar pattern.

  • God found Hagar by a fountain. “What are you doing here? Where are you going?”.

  • The Lord found the Samaritan woman drawing water at a well (John 4:9 ff). “If you knew Who you were speaking to, you would ask Me for My living water”.

  • The Lord looked for a tax collector called Zacchaeus and found him sitting in a tree (Luke 19:2). “Hurry up, Zacchaeus, get out of that tree. I plan on going to your house today!” and brought salvation to the household of a hated tax collector.

  • God found a man possessed of a thousand devils in a graveyard and, casting out Legion (Mark 5:9), said:

Mark 5:19 … Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

Before you met Me you lived for the devil. Now that I’ve found you, live for ME! Go and tell others about Me!” Jesus is the Great Shepherd Who watches over His sheep. Are you one of His? Can you say with David:

Psalms 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 God Is El Roi, The God Who Sees. He Wants Us To Repent, To Submit, To Follow Him.

Pastor John MacArthur wrote in The Gospel According to Jesus:

The Bible does not recognize ‘conversion’ that lacks {a} radical change of direction (Luke 3:7-8). A true believer cannot remain rebellious – or even indifferent. Genuine faith will inevitably provoke some degree of obedience …. salvation is a sovereign work of God … But true salvation wrought by God will not fail to produce the good works that are its fruit…” (Pg 48)

God told Abram “Go where I tell you and I will make of you many nations, and all the world will be blessed.” Abram could not stay where he was and be blessed. He had to follow God. The Lord now tells Hagar:

Genesis 16:9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

Don’t go back to Sarai bragging or boastful, but SUBMIT”. Now that’s a dirty word in our world today. The Bible says:

Wives are to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22)
Employees are to submit to their employers (Colossians 3:22)
Citizens are to submit to their leaders (1 Peter 2:13)
Each member in the Church is to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21)
and we ALL are to submit to God (James 4:7)

Submission is not a bad thing, but a good thing. Pride is a bad thing. The Bible says of pride:

Isaiah 2:12 The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),

James 4:6 … God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.

Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

I could go on and on with the Scripture, but you get the point. El Roi, the God Who Sees Us does not like pride and arrogance. The Lord told Hagar that when she submitted to Sarai that:

Genesis 16:10 (KJV) And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. {11} And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.

The Lord said “Return to thy mistress and submit yourself under her hands, and I will bless you”. Repent. Turn away from where you are and go where God says go and you will be blessed.

Quit living your life for Hagar, and start living your life for God. When your child is born don’t name him Don or Larry or Frank or David. Call him Ishmael (which means “God has heard”) because

Genesis 16:11 …. because the LORD hath heard thy affliction

We don’t hear much of repentance nowadays because this is a bit inconvenient. Our God sees. He looks at the heart. God will save, but He always saves from the inside out. Before He would save Hagar she must repent. Dear friends,

God will never save you in your sins. He can only save you from your sin.

Hagar must return to her mistress, and submit herself to the Lord. Obedience – REPENTANCE – is required before the blessing is given. RETURN and THEN I will multiply thy seed. Name the Child “The Lord has heard” because the Lord said so. OBEY!

When the Scribes and Pharisees murmured against Jesus, saying “this Person receives sinners and eats with them” our Lord Jesus responded:

Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? {5} And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. {6} And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. {7} I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over ONE SINNER THAT REPENTETH, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Jesus does not chase sheep. He does not beg His people to be His people. God seeks out the Hagars, the Abrams, the Lots. He seeks out the lost. And if they will submit to Him, will allow Him to carry them on His shoulders, then they will be blessed. Christ is building His Kingdom with the broken who will surrender to Him. Hagar must return to her mistress. Abram must leave Ur of the Chaldees. We must all surrender to the God Who Sees, El Roi, so that He can redeem us.

Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: RETURN UNTO ME; FOR I HAVE REDEEMED THEE.

3 To Submit To El Roi Is To Be Blessed. God watches His people. We read:

Genesis 16:13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

Hagar calls God El Roi אל ראי, ‘êl, (pronounced ale) rŏ’îy (pronounced ro-ee’) meaning Almighty God Who Watches Over Me (or Sees Me).

Hagar did not fear going back to Sarai because God was watching over her. No longer would abused by Sarai, and no longer would she mock her mistress. God’s children are under His all seeing eyes. We are to trust in God knowing that He watches over us. We are not to take vengeance against those who do us wrong,

Romans 12:19-21 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. {20} Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. {21} Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Do not stoop to the level of the unsaved when you are attacked. Live as if God is watching you – because He is! You are children of the Kingdom. Live knowing that God watches over you. When temptation and trials come your way know that God watches over you. He is faithful to His people:

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

We who belong to Jesus are to live our lives for Him. Having been justified (declared righteous) by faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). It is through our LORD Jesus Christ that we have received the atonement (Romans 5:11). We who are saved are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). We are not saved by our works, we are saved by God. But we are only saved when we repent, turning away from the evil and turning toward the Lord Who loves us.

Have you believed in Him? If so, then like Hagar you are called to live for Him. Do not believe for one moment that you can say “I’m a Christian” and live like the devil. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, {10} Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. {11} And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

If you’ve been born again then you are washed. You are one who has repented, and has turned from this evil world and toward God by faith. When you sin – and you will sin – you will not wallow in it. Children of the King belong in the Kingdom. Children of the King – like Hagar – obey their Heavenly Father. Children of the Kingdom are lights in this present world, living for Jesus. May God lead you all to seek His face as He seeks you in love.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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