El Roi – The God Who Sees

The names of God are so meaningful and can be applied to our lives in such a beautiful and practical way.  In Genesis 16, we see the story of Hagar, the maidservant of Abram and Sarai.  Sarai was becoming impatient waiting to get pregnant and decided to take matters into her own hands. She told Abram to have a child with Hagar to provide a way of Sarai having a child with Abram. But when Hagar conceived, Sarai became jealous and despised Hagar.  When Sarai dealt harshly with Hagar, Hagar fled into the wilderness.  Lonely and rejected, Hagar cried out to the Lord calling him “El Roi”  – meaning the God who sees.

I think this is my favorite name of God.  No matter how we feel – whether it be rejection, unappreciation, hurt, or loneliness, GOD SEES.

Think about the implications of this.  I am a pastor’s wife and  I am a mother of 5 children.  I know what it’s like to feel unappreciated.  BUT… GOD SEES!  I don’t have to tell anyone how I feel and certainly don’t need to be thanked and appreciated.  We don’t need approval from people if we have approval from the LORD.  Some of you battle with physical affliction, where you have pain all the time.  I have a dear friend who battles with a chronic disease.  I know she suffers with pain and fatigue every day, but she never complains.  Why?  She knows she serves a God who SEES and knows her pain.

There are so many situations in which we can remember this truth.  What a comfort!  No matter what we are going through, or how we feel, we have a God who is THERE, SEES everything, and UNDERSTANDS!! God is good!!

We can break it down into 3 categories where it helps us to know God sees us in every situation.


  •  He sees our hurts.  God knows exactly how we feel when someone mistreats us.  Sometimes people say mean things to us, sometimes we feel rejected, sometimes people will gossip about us.  We don’t have to run to our friend and tell them how we were treated wrongly and how hurt we are.  Under certain circumstances, counseling is helpful or necessary – like if you’re in a dangerous or abusive position.  But most of the time, we should just go to our heavenly Father who sees, understands and has compassion for how we’re feeling when we’ve been hurt.  He wants us to cry out to Him, ask Him for His grace to heal our hearts and to forgive our offenders.  A beautiful scripture that comes to mind is found in Psalm 56, verse 8.  It says, “You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle”  I love this picture.  Think about how many tears it would take to fill up a bottle. The meaning here is that our tears don’t go unnoticed; in fact, they are precious to the LORD!  Where else will we ever find someone that cares about us so much?

  • He sees our hearts.  We can’t hide anything from God.  He knows the very motives and intents of our hearts.  He knows when we are doing something for the wrong reason.  Maybe we’re doing a seemingly good deed but for the wrong reason.  At times, we might fall into the trap of being a people please rather than a God pleaser.  Sometimes we do things to be seen, we might do something with an ulterior motive, or we might want someone else to look bad (I’ve seen this even in prayer meetings where someone will be praying and they’re almost gossiping about someone while praying for a situation – be careful!)  On a positive note, God sees when our motives are pure, even if we are accused otherwise.  We should always pray that our motives are pleasing to the LORD and that God would show us otherwise.

  • He sees our service.  There are so many opportunities we can take to bless people that no one but God needs to know about.  Matthew 6:4 says, ‘Your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.”  We have to be careful about telling someone what good thing we did, for the purpose of getting the credit or looking good.  How much better it is to be blessed by God for doing something that only He knows about, rather than getting credit or appreciation from a person.

Think about a situation where you feel that no one understands.  Thank God for who He is – EL ROI – The God who sees!