Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC

Genesis 16:4-14

4 And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. 5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her .7 The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” 9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael because the Lord has listened to your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” 13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

The story of Abram, Sarai, and Hagar has always struck me as odd. Sarai and Abram desired desperately to have children but Sarai was barren. The Lord comes to Abram and promises many offspring. Good news, right? Well yeah, but the couple decided to take matters into their own hands. Instead of waiting on the Lord to fulfill His promise Sarai decides to give her servant Hagar to Abram in order that they might have a child. The plan works and Hagar becomes pregnant with a son, but Sarai, the mastermind behind the crazy plan, decides she doesn’t like the outcome. Jealousy creeps in and she takes it all out on Hagar. She is so mean that in Genesis 16:6 we see Hagar flee from the household and hide out by a spring of water in the wilderness. I can only imagine what Hagar is going through. Here she is in a situation she did not ask for and has no control over. Desperate and alone, sad and confused. I feel like the physical wilderness she was in is a perfect image of the desolate place she had found herself in emotionally. Have you ever felt utterly alone?

As Hagar is in this wilderness, scripture tells us the angel of the Lord found her. The angel of the Lord tells Hagar to go back to Sarai and Abram with a promise that she will be blessed and her offspring will be numerous. The angel of the Lord goes on to tell Hagar to name her son Ishmael, meaning heard by God, and assures he will be protected. Harar responds in verse 13, “You are a God of seeing,” “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” Hagar looks up in the wilderness to see the well she was sitting beside. Scripture tells us the name the well in the passage is Beer-lahai-roi meaning the well of the Living One who sees me. In the same way she looks up from her personal wilderness to see the One True God with her in her suffering. 

God didn’t remove Hagar from the wilderness, He joined her there in her suffering. In the same way, God didn’t remove the Israelites from their wilderness either, He joined them there in their wandering. God didn’t remove Job from his pain, The Lord joined him there in his grief. God didn’t remove Paul from prison, He joined him there in his suffering. Isaiah 7:14 refers to the coming Messiah as Immanuel; God with us. Scripture never made the promise that as a believer we would have no wilderness moments. In fact, John 16:33 warns the opposite is true when Jesus told His disciples they would face tribulation. But in the very same verse Jesus encourages them to take heart, for He has overcome the world and His peace is made available for all believers. Believer, you will face trials, tribulations, and wilderness moments. But take heart, the God who sees, the One that was with Hagar, the God that was with the Israelites, and Job, and Paul is with you too! He is the Well in the wilderness and His well does not run dry! 


Heavenly Father, thank you for your presence in my life! Lord, You are truly the God who sees! Your Word promises You will be with us in all things, good and bad and You are faithful to keep Your promise! When I find myself in those wilderness moments, open my eyes to see the Well! In Jesus name, amen!


Psalm 18:1 

I love you, O Lord, my strength.