Names of God: El Roi (God Who Sees)

, by Christopher D. Hudson

 “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’”

The encouraging story of Hagar is for everyone who’s ever felt invisible. Everything changed for this Egyptian servant when she was given by her barren mistress, Sarai, to Abram in order to conceive an heir for him. Hagar’s affection for Sarai quickly morphed into hatred once Hagar became pregnant with Abram’s child. This led to abusive behavior at the hands of Sarai. When the harassment became intolerable, Hagar abruptly fled into the wilderness without money, food, water, or a plan. 

Trudging all alone through a desert wasteland, no doubt feeling forgotten, Hagar stumbled upon a desert spring. When she stopped to drink, she found more than refreshing water. She found supernatural help! In angelic form, the Lord met her. He reassured her with lavish promises, then sent her back home filled and strengthened with new hope. Is it any wonder Hagar gave the Lord the name “The God who sees me”? 

Implicit in this name is God’s overriding compassion. When Hagar had no idea where to go or what to do next, she was reminded that God is real, that He sees the needs of His creatures, and that He draws near to help. God doesn’t just glance our way; long and hard, He studies the difficulties we face. And then He acts.

Do you feel like you’re alone, that nobody really sees (much less understands) the troubles you face? Maybe you feel like injustice is rampant in your life. Even in such dark times, trust that God is El Roi. He sees—and He sees you. He looks intently. He notices. He studies everything and misses nothing. Others may overlook you or forget you, but God never will. And because He sees you, He knows what you need and gladly provides the comfort you are looking for.


You are the God who sees me. Thank You for keeping Your eye on me, for knowing my situation, and for caring about what happens to me. Amen.

This blog post is adapted from my book, 100 Names of God Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here.


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