Last week we focused on El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient God. This week, we’re learning about El Roi.
This name, when I hear it, brings back images of The Beverly Hillbillies or Green Acres. Surely there was an Elroy in that bunch somewhere. Though that picture in my head doesn’t come near to the attribute of God that this name inspires.
Oh what a beautiful name! But first, the story from Genesis 16:
Hagar was Sarai’s maid. Servant. Used to being snapped at and directed. Accustomed to hard work, little gratitude, and no esteem. That’s not to say that Sarai was ugly. But a servant’s job was to be the whip-ee for anything that the master didn’t feel like doing. That was certainly true for Hagar.
Sarai had a problem. She desperately wanted to give her husband a child. God had promised, but He obviously hadn’t counted on Sarai to go through menopause so quickly. Surely her sacrifice in allowing Hagar one night with Abram would give him the blessed son that the man deserved.
And Hagar got pregnant. Delighted the tar out of Abram. Sarai, too, I’m sure, though Hagar put on airs. As a second wife to Abram, she had higher status because she would bear his child. Sarai resented Hagar’s attitude and complained to Abram. He backed away, wisely I’d say, telling his wife to do as she pleased with her servant.
At this point, Sarai was pretty brutal. Scripture says harsh. And Hagar ran away into the desert, but the angel of the Lord found her there. He told her that she’d have a son who would be a great nation and that she should return to her mistress. She called Him El Roi, the God who sees me.
Do you ever feel distressed to the point of despair. Trapped with no hope. El Roi. He sees you. He hasn’t left you to be without comfort. No more than he left this Egyptian woman without hope.
We sang one of my favorite worship songs in church last Sunday. The message goes right along with El Roi. “He Knows My Name” shows how intimately God already knows us. Our names. Our thoughts. Our pain. What a poignant image of God’s presence and devotion to those He loves. To those who love Him.
What an encouragement.
Your Turn: How does the name El Roi inspire you?