7 Now the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9 Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” 10 Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.”
Hagar was Sarai’s maid. She was mistreated by her mistress after getting pregnant by her master to bear a son in their name. So Hagar ran away from Sarai. (16:1-6)
God found Hagar. V.7 Wherever we are in life, God finds us. In the middle of nowhere… in the wilderness… That God found Hagar implies that He looked for her. Even when we are not looking for him, God looks for us. He does not let us get lost in the maze of life.
God called Hagar. He said: Hagar, Sarai’s maid. V.8a Whoever we are in life, God knows us. He knows my name. More than my name, God knows my identity, my status, and my occupation. God called Hagar. Even when we are not calling on him, God calls for us. He initiates the conversation. He’s paying attention.
God asked Hagar: Where have you come from and where are you going? V.8b Whatever we have been through, God is concerned for us. He wants us to tell him what’s going on. What happened… what’s next? His questions invited Hagar to tell Him all about it. “I am running away from my mistress.” Hagar did not tell God where she was going. Perhaps she did not know where to go. She just knew she had to escape from suffering.
God’s questions invite us to air our grievances. He asks us so we can ponder on our situation. God listens to what we have to say. He listens first before He shows the way.
God showed Hagar where to go. Back to Sarai. To do what? To submit to her authority. To be Sarai’s maid again. God called Hagar to return to where she came from… to do what she initially was doing. God shows us what’s next. His way is not like man’s way. God often calls us back to where we came from. Our way is to run away. God’s way is to show us greater things to come even as we return to where we want to run away from.
God promised Hagar: I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count. God’s call comes with encouragement. Even as God told Hagar to go back and submit to her mistress, God assured Hagar of His blessings. His promise of blessings came with His knowledge. God knew Hagar was pregnant. He knew she would bear a son. God even named her son, Ishmael. God knew all about Ishmael, his character, and where he would live. God’s assurance v.11-12 came “because the Lord has given heed to your affliction.”
Hagar’s conclusion: You are a God who sees.
Who am I? What did I do? What am I doing? Where have I come from? Where am I going? Do I know? Do I know that God knows?
Am I lost? God finds me. Do I not know where to go? God shows me. Is it too difficult to go back? God assures me. He will do greater things because He has given heed to my afflictions. My God is the God who sees.