Monday, June 23, 2008

Genesis 16 - Out of sight

The neon topic to discuss when it comes to Genesis 16 is what happens when we take things into our own hands. In the story of Sarai, Abram's wife, we see someone desperate set into motion a desperate series of events. In verse 2 she does the classic "Lord/I" scenario. She says "The Lord has kept me from having children." Then she follows it up with "Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her."

In the first sentence she lays out what God has done. In the second sentence she lays out what she was going to do to fix God's mistake. To succeed where He had failed. But that's not what I want to talk about today.

What I find really interesting is what Hagar says in verse 13. She says, "You are the God who sees me." We are told that "She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her."

What I think is cool about that is in essence, Hagar summarized what she believed about God with a name. At a time in her life when she must have been feeling invisible. After all, despite being with child, she was pushed out of the house and had run away alone. Was she hurt that Abram was acting like she didn't exist? When we read the story it's easy to brush aside the fact that the two of them had been doing something incredibly initimate. They had created a child together. Was she sad from the isolation Sarai certainly thrust on her with her anger? Did she know who she was or where she and her child could possibly go?

She had no identity. She was a maidservant who had temporarily been more but was now back to nothing. But in the midst of that, she is told, "You are now with child and you will have a son." God knew her condition. He was well aware of what was going on in her life. More than that, she is told, "for the Lord has heard of your misery."

Do you ever feel disconnected from God? Like the line has been cut? That your call has been dropped? That He is unaware of your life and your struggles and your joys and the things that matter most to you? That He doesn't see you?

He does. He has heard of your misery. He knows your dreams and your hopes, the ones still alive, the ones that seem to have been suffocated by the weight of time and inaction. He is watching with anticipation and with love. You are not invisible. I promise you, you are not hidden.

He is the God who sees you.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey, awesome post, but one question: in the third paragraph, u mention "chapter 13". um, that's verse 13, right? sorry, i'm weird that way, i am sort of the grammer/english queen around here.

jamie in rose cottage said...

Another beautiful post.

Stratecigally Imbalanced said...

This post goes along well with what I read today in Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life." Chapter 8 talks about feeling insignificant and how God chose to create each and every one of us. It's hard to remember that He is with us on our dark days. Thanks for the reminder.

UTaylor526 said...

Another great post; and thanks for doing it early so I could enjoy it while doing my morning quiet time. I think you may have meant verse 13, not chapter. Not a big deal, just letting you know.

What stuck out to me in this chapter was the end of verse 2. It simply says, "Abram agreed to what Sarai said." It reminds me of the garden and Eve giving Adam the apple. Both men were faced with a choice to either obey what God had promised or to continue the God/I relationship (I really like that title by the way.)

Jules said...

I am going to have to stop reading this blog at work. You keep making me cry.

Thank you for this reminder. I feel hugged. (And not just side-hugged either. For-real God hugged) :)

LeLe said...

Great post. I have felt "invisible" or like I told my Mom one time, "I think God forgot about me." But he didn't and I know that his ways are higher than our ways. I take comfort in that and the fact that I CAN'T know what he's up to. And it took me a long time to realize it's stupid to try to make things happen, like Sarai. Taking things into your own hands can leave you broken on the floor, crying out for help. I'm glad I finally realized that...

Anonymous said...

Good one I needed that. I'm kinda at the end of my rope so to say and it seems all my prayers are going no where. I guess they will go somwhere when the time is right.

Anonymous said...

Intereresting thoughts on this chapter. I also was doing a bit of digging into 'the angel of the Lord' who first spoke to her in v7. In v10, the angel speaks to her in the first person "I will so increase your descendants...", and then in verse 13 she gave a name to the Lord who spoke to her. To me it's fascinating that she recognizes the angel as her Lord, and then gives the Lord a name. Any thoughts on this?

Kim

Anonymous said...

what a salve this is to my soul today. thank you.

Anonymous said...

I needed that today.
Thank you.

Troy & Tara Livesay said...

Right On. And Amen.

jenn3 said...

It's weird - I JUST finished writing a post about how I didn't recongnize my old self, my hopes and dreams, etc... Thanks for the reminder that He knows my dreams, even the ones "that seem suffocated by the weight of time and inaction." Another beautiful post.

I've always loved the verse where Hagar says "You are the God who sees me." That says so much. Wow.

Christi B said...

I praise Him for this gift of words he has given you and thank you for expressing them so beautifully. Thank you

Flesheater said...

Another great insight on a subtle part of the chapter.
Something I hadn't picked up on once again.

That one line "You are the God who sees me." in context with the chapter , is just beautiful.

When She felt like nothing, invisible G-d spoke to her and she knew she was seen.