Why are there so many names for God? Why is it important that we know what they are and what they mean? Our finite, human brains cannot fully comprehend the majesty and glory of who God is. Yet through the various names of God, He chooses to reveal Himself to us so we can come to understand the many personal characteristics of God. His names reveal His power, authority, and holiness. The better we understand and know the names of God the more personal He becomes to us and as we pray, we can call on His name that corresponds with our need. Finally, because the Bible instructs us to honor, fear, and respect God and to not use His name in vain, we need to know exactly what His names are and what they mean. Today, we look at the name El-Roi.
Today’s Name: El-Roi
An encounter with El-Roi
The Bible tells us about Hagar encountering God. However, she didn’t encounter Him in the temple. Hagar didn’t encounter Him in her morning devotions. And she didn’t encounter Him in the mid-week prayer service. She encountered Him on the run trying to escape the way Sarah was treating her.
Hagar was the Egyptian slave to Sarah. God had promised Abraham and Sarah that He would give them a son. But they were past the age of being able to have children, so Sarah gets the bright idea that maybe God needs a little help so she tells Abraham to take Hagar, her slave, and have a child by her. In their society, the child Hagar bore would not have been considered as her child, but would be Sarah’s child. As we discover, though, Ishmael was not the son God promised and in God’s timing Sarah does indeed have a son – when she is 99 years old!
As expected, jealousy between the two women occur. The Bible tells us that Sara dealt harshly with Hagar, and so Hagar runs away. But the angel of the Lord finds her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. He says to her, “Where are you going, Hagar?” She explains her situation and the angel tells her she is pregnant and to return and submit herself to Sarah. He promises her that God will make a great nation out of her son. And in verse 13 of Genesis 16, we find that “she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?”
El-Roi – The God Who Sees
At times it is comforting to know that God is a God who sees our circumstances. There are also times when God seeing what we’re up to isn’t exactly what we want in that moment. And yet, God sees it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. El-Roi sees everything we do. He sees every situation we’re in. He sees our circumstances. The Bible even tells us that he sees the intent of our hearts. El-Roi sees every tear and heart ache. He sees when others mistreat you. He sees when you serve Him with all you got and when you think you have nothing left – you serve Him again. There is nothing we can hide from Him. There is no where we can go escape His presence. He never sleeps. He’s never so busy helping someone else that He misses out on an a moment of your life.
Perhaps you are right now at a place where you feel as the psalmist did in Psalm 69:3 as he penned, “I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.” When you fail for a time to find God’s help or to receive answers to your prayers, remember that El-Roi is the God who Sees and you can trust that He is at work on your situation and whatever it is, He will work it out for your good and His glory.
El-Roi, thank you that your are the God who Sees me and knows my circumstances right now. I surrender them to You and trust you to work this situation out for my good and your glory. Father, show us who You are. Reveal to us why You are worthy of being called the One True, Living God. Teach us to unabashedly love you, respect Your name, and serve only You. Make your character known to us so we can live and walk in your image. Amen.