God Sees Me and Hears Me: Why Am I Afraid?

Sunday Sermon Series God Acts: How Will I Respond?

Genesis 16:1-16; 21:8-21


Today’s story centers on Hagar, a young woman who is a slave of Sarai, Abram’s wife.


God had promised to Abram and Sarai that their descendants would be as numerous as the stars, but ten years have passed since then and now they are really getting up there in age. They begin to question God's promise and take things into their own hands. Sarai tells Abram to sleep with her slave, thinking that maybe that was what God meant in His promise. Hagar became pregnant and Sarai despised her for it. Abram allowed Sarai to do as she wanted to Hagar and she forced Hagar to run away. The angel of the LORD appears to her and speaks. Some scholars believe this isn't just any angel, but a manifestation of God Himself. He tells her the name of her son and that she should return to Abram and Sarai and that her son would also be a great nation. 


Hagar gave a new name to the LORD who spoke to her: He is El Roi, the God who sees me (16:13).... Here's a slave who had gotten pregnant and ran away, but God still saw her and cared for her. God spoke to this outcast woman 


Another name for God is implied in Genesis 21: God is El Ishmai, the God who hears me. The name Ishmael means God hears (21:17)..... It's a few years later and Abraham and Sarah have Isaac, a son of their own who has just been weaned. More turmoil arises and Hagar and Ishmael are sent away. They are refugees now. As they cry while anticipating death, God hears the boy cry and saved them from death in the wilderness. Ishmael would go on to father twelve sons and today's Muslims trace their heritage back to him. 


God sees us. God hears us. Knowing that God both sees and hears us, why should we fear anything?

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