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Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 178: Today, I am grateful for "a God who sees me"...in the good times, and in the messes.
Today, I studied in Genesis 16-19.
She gave this name to the who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” -Hagar, Genesis 16:1
This passage is not one I have spent much time studying. I was grateful for notes, commentaries and other study aides. Had Abram, Sarai and Hagar had Facebook relationship status..."It's complicated" would be the best choice. What a mess they made when they chose to hurry God.
Earworm is singing, "You Can't Hurry Love". Well, trust me..."You can't hurry God, you just have to wait."
Oh, how we twist the path when we take matters into our own hands. In some ways, my heart bleeds for Hagar. She did not ask to be a surrogate for Sarai. She was a servant doing as she was commanded, but when she conceived a child, she was unkind and disrespectful to Sarai, her Master's wife. It is a narrative..set in a culture with cultural rules... and some things are hard to wrap our head around. One thing is sure. Had Sarai and Abram obediently waited on the Lord, they would have spared themselves loads of trouble and heartbreak.
Abram (who would later be called Abraham) and Sarai (who would later be called Sarah) lost sight of "the God who sees". They failed to trust and believe God could... and would keep His promise to Abraham to have many offspring as time lapsed between the promise and God bringing it to fruition. . They, took matters into their own hands and did not "wait on the Lord". What a mess they made with that decision. Many would suffer...and the consequences would ripple through generations to come.
Sarai's impatience guided her down a path that could not be undone. Abram failed to lead Sarai spiritually on the matter. Hagar was caught in the middle. Hagar found herself
bound by duty, but human enough to gloat when she succeeded at child-bearing where Sarai had failed. Sarai brought trouble this trouble on her family and the house of Abraham with her impatience. Abram listened to Sarai when he should have led her to wait on the Lord. Hagar did as directed, resulting in her pregnancy with Ishmael. Complicated? This is the stuff of modern television dramas.
When the child was born, a jealous, still barren Sarai was harsh with her servant, Hagar. Hurt, angry and scared, Hagar fled with the Ishmael into the wilderness. Hagar ran with Ishmael until she was spent, literally dying of thirst and feeling overwhelmed. There, an Angel of the Lord confronted her. He knew who she was, her circumstances...and he had another plan. I think it interesting that he meets her at the spring - where her thirst can be quenched.
The Angel of the Lord instructed her to return to Sarai and Abram with Ishmael. Hagar was shocked that the Angel of the Lord knew her exact situation and her secrets. Ishmael was not the child promised by the Lord, but he, too, would bear twelve offspring, but his would not be a peaceful existence. Ishmael's descendants were not promised the land normally given as the birthright of the first born, but he was not cursed. No, indeed, he was promised many descendants, too. Yes, "it's complicated" speaks volumes.
I do love that God needs no explanation when we blow it. He is not oblivious to our sins. He sees us in the places we think are secret and hidden. He is omniscient. We can make excuses but he knows our hearts. We cannot hide from El Roi, the God who sees.
Today, I am grateful for "a God who sees me"...in the good times, and in the messes I create. I am grateful His mercies are new every day.