A lot of people know the story of Sarai’s promise of having a child, but few point out the lack of character she exhibited while waiting. After she told her maid Hagar to sleep with Abram, she did what most jealous of women would have done and she began to project her own insecurity, frustration, doubt, and fears on Hagar.
In Genesis 16, we find that Sarai tells Abram that God has prevented her from having children, so he needs to sleep with Hagar to bear their children. When Hagar conceived a child, Sarai became filled with contempt. She began to humiliate her and treat her harshly. This behavior is what many of us would call verbal, emotional, and maybe even physical abuse. Hagar ran. She was greeted by an angel who told her to go back and gave her revelation of God’s promise towards her. He tells her that her child, Ishmael will be blessed. Her descendants would be multiplied. Verse 13 shows us that Hagar met God as the one who sees, El Roi.
This name of God hit home for me because I’ve often lived a life in the shadows. Persecuted, neglected, overlooked, and mistreated verbally, physically and mentally by those I would have hoped would love me. Hagar is a reminder that when we are in those dark times feeling as if no one sees the abuse and hardship we are enduring, we can rest assure that God sees it all.
The beauty of God being omniscient is that he has already prepared a blessing for the challenges faced. Hagar could have killed Sarai, but that wasn’t her nature. Even today, injustices take place and people often turn to reciprocating, but notice the angel told Hagar to go back and submit to Sarai. The reality is that those who persecute us don’t know that there is a blessing on the other side of their attempt to tear us down.
Today, read Genesis 16 and receive God as El Roi. Go to him with the burdens of your heart and allow him to give you revelation of why it’s not time to give up. Understand that no level or persecution is ever gone without vindication. God knows and handles those who have harmed him the way he sees fit. In the meantime, don’t miss your blessing hoping for the worse for those who have hurt you. Release the pain to God and trust that he sees everything and will honor your commitment to him. He will shift the situation in a way that involves both parties getting an opportunity to know him in a greater way.