El Roi [el ro-ee’] :: A God of seeing; God who sees me
El Roi is found in only one place in the Old Testament. In Genesis 16, Hagar has run away from Sarai’s harsh treatment after she becomes pregnant by Abram. As Hagar runs through the wilderness, the angel of the LORD finds her beside a spring and begins to speak God’s promises for the child to Hagar.
‘The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction. So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” ‘ Genesis 16:10-11,13 ESV
Hagar’s response was to call God “El Roi”, the God who sees me, because she felt seen and heard (the name Ishmael means “ God hears”) in the midst of persecution and hard circumstances.
I imagine before this encounter, Hagar felt alone and desperate as she made her way through the wilderness in an attempt to seek safety and provision for herself and her baby.
She must have felt incredibly scared and wondered if God saw the pain and distress she felt deep within her. She must have cried out, like many of us often do, “God, don’t you see what I’m going through? Don’t you care?”
Friend, even in those desperate, desolate places, when your circumstances are bleak at best, you can take solace in knowing God is a God who sees.
He sees every tear, every offense committed, every harsh word you’ve endured, and heard your cries. He is a God who sees YOU.
If you feel like you’re in the wilderness asking “God don’t you see me?”, let me whisper to you today, “Yes, He sees you dear one. And He will meet you in the wilderness and begin speaking His promises over you.”
Are you facing hard times right now, where you wonder if God sees your suffering? If you’d like prayer, just raise your hand below. We’d love to pray for you.
If you aren’t currently going through a tough time, you can add a verse or two that has helped you through past situations.