“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:7-14)
Hagar, whose name means ‘stranger’, has been exploited. She has been used and abused by people in power. She is an ‘alien’ in a sense, without legal recourse.
In Hagar we find a woman in the middle of tragedy, outcast and alone.
When Sarah could not conceive she gave Hagar to her husband as a surrogate. Hagar was fertile, became pregnant and bore Abraham’s son Ishmael. She was never fully accepted into the tribe despite the fact she was the mother of Abraham’s child, and in the end she was rejected completely and expelled into the desert.
In the middle of her pain she saw Him. The one who sees her.
And God protected her twice from Sarah’s hatred by sending an angel, and eventually Hagar lived as a free woman, not a slave.
God looked after her.
Thank you that we can see you – the one who sees us. Others might not understand us the way we want them to. People might abuse or reject us, or give us labels. But when our eyes rest on you, we are given a new label. When we are seen by you, we take on a dignity and status the world could never offer us. We become sons and daughters of the King – seen, loved and treasured. Thank you for giving me a purpose grander and more delightful than any I could imagine for myself. Thank you that I don’t have to worry about what others think of me because I have seen the one who sees me.
In Jesus’ name,