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Today's Program

  • Opening Song
  • Scripture Reading & Opening Prayer
  • Announcements
  • Worship
  • Message
  • Offertory
  • Closing Prayer

Today's Message

THE GOD WHO SEES | Genesis 21:1-21

Today’s story focuses on Hagar and her son Ishmael. The Bible says that Hagar was the one who called God by a new name: El Roi (The God who sees me).

If you went to the church in the eighties and sang the worship song El Shaddai, you remember the line: “To the outcast on her knees, you were the God who really sees.” The song was referring to Hagar in the desert. It tells us something about our Heavenly Father. Hagar was a mere maidservant, not important at all in the world’s way of measuring the value of people. But her distress did not go unnoticed in heaven. God saw her.

The story today deals with Hagar and her son Ishmael being banished and soon were facing death in the desert in the middle of nowhere. She cried unto the Lord. The boy cried, too. And the angel of the Lord came, ministered, and blessed them.

What does this story say to us today? There are three principles that are at work in the events surrounding Hagar and Ishmael. If you feel at times that you have been fallen out of favor with the rest of the world and you have been banished to life’s desert, these principles will help you get through a difficult season, and will bring you into a closer relationship with God.

  • The promises do not eliminate problems. (See Matthew 5:45 KJV)
  • Your tears matter in Heaven. (v. 17; See Exodus 3:7; Matthew 10:29, NLT)
  • Only God can open your eyes. (Genesis 21:19, 20)

In the overall narrative of Genesis, Hagar and Ishmael were minor characters. But to God, they were never minor, because there’s no such thing as a minor character in God’s kingdom.

And it doesn’t matter how minor you think you are in grand scheme of things, or how insignificant you feel around others, or how dysfunctional your situation might be, or how many times you’ve made a mess of things. You matter to God.

When you’re all alone in the desert, he’s the God who really sees. And, if you let him, he will open your eyes, so that you can see the life he has prepared for you.

God sees you where you are. And he gives you the ability to see yourself where you are, and where you need to be, and what you need to do next. This is how his promises come to be fulfilled.