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Thursday, June 29, 2017

רֹאִֽי׃אֵ֣ל: God Who Sees

I’m continuing to sit with Genesis 16 and the story of Hagar as I explore the God who experiences us in a very basic, sensory driven way.

Genesis 16:13 is incredibly beautiful in its reciprocity.

“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’” (NIV).

To be seen, in this sense, encompasses both vision and care.  Too often, we believe we have experienced something, simply because it happened in front of our faces.  This seeing, however, requires an action of sorts.  God sees Hagar, not simply as someone who is standing there.  God sees Hagar in all of her neediness, and this sight moves God to covenant.

Interestingly, Hagar requites.  This is not a requirement of God’s love, but it does, indeed, lead to a more favorable outcome (at least in this part of the story).  Hagar determines to work with this God who sees her as she, in turn, sees God.

It’s remarkable—the ebb and flow of relationship.

Before this moment, even if God was near; Hagar didn’t recognize it.  Now she sees what God sees.

I’ve had a little bit of trouble sourcing the following quote, because it’s all over the Internet, and perhaps it’s just something that people say, but it may have been adapted from the words of Robert Pierce, founder of World Vision:

Break my heart for what breaks yours… 

I want such a deep relationship with the God who sees that my eyes register the same sights, compelling me to care for the other like God does.  It also doesn’t hurt to know how intensely God sees me—my thoughts, my deeds, my hopes, my dreams, my frustrations, my brokenness, my faith, my doubt, my fear, my strength… just all of it.  It’s unusual to be seen like that and to still be immeasurably loved. 


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