Abraham was 85 years old. He and Sarah were childless so Sarah gave Abraham her teenaged Egyptian slave girl in order to have a child to inherit their wealth. When Hagar conceived she was disrespectful to Sarah resulting in Sarah having to discipline her harshly. This caused Hagar to head towards her homeland through the dry, stony and barren wilderness.
How do you think Hagar would have been feeling? She was captured from Egypt when she was very young and made a slave in a foreign country. No family. No friends. New language. New culture. Purely because she was there she was used as an incubator for Abraham’s baby.
Life was rough enough but now Sarah was inconsiderate and severe to her. Despairing for herself and the baby she was carrying, she ran away into the desert. Did anyone at all care about her well-being?
Yes. God cared. God sent His angel to speak with her gently, calling her by name, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid”. Hagar, the Egyptian slave, was known of God and God had seen all her tears and afflictions.
Hagar was told that she was to return to the safety of Abraham’s house and to submit to her mistress’s authority. She was given the promise that she would have many descendants through her son and that her son would be free like a wild stallion, an onager – an animal that has never been domesticated. For a captured slave she would’ve been so delighted to hear how her son would roam untamed, unrestricted and uncontrolled.
God sees all your tears and afflictions, too. David wrote: “You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?” (Psa. 56:8). God cares about you. God calls you by name. The wilderness that you are travelling through is not your destination.
He has given you promises, too, “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isa. 43:19). God will make a way for you out of the wilderness in your life for the God who a runaway Egyptian slave called, ‘El Roi’, ‘The God Who Sees’, is the same God who sees you. He not only sees you, but He listens to you, too, as Abram acknowledged when he called his son, ‘Ishmael’, ‘God listens’.
God loves you, sees you and hears you, no matter who you are, where you have come from, what you have done, whatever your status. YOU are His precious child.