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Summary: Names of God 5: El Roi. The God who sees. GOd sees the events of our lives. God knows what these events feel like. God is watching- to see if we will serve Him and live our lives ’for an audience of one’. Part of a series on ’The Names of God’. A sermon

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Names of God 5; El Roi: the audience of one.

Genesis 16:1-15, WBC 25/09/05am. Baptism of Kirsty Plant

Intro: Even when I wasn’t a Christian, many of the people I hung around with had Christian families. I remember being in the house of one and seeing a huge sign hanging on the door "thou, Lord, seeest me". I remember it felt a bit disconcerting! Not least as it was the loo!

It can be a bit disconcerted to know you are watched. Ever felt that with CCTV (I can’t resist DOING something!)

- I remember my mate Paul being stuck in the YMCA car park in Watford, trying to get out, and those watching him splitting their sides! Phoning. Watching as he ran to the phone. "hang up… NOW!"

You might feel a bit that way about God. Like some divine Santa

"You’d better watch out… he knows when you’ve been sleeping… awake… bad/good… so be good for goodness sake"

You may not feel like that at all

- you may actually feel nobody is watching. Nobody cares (not in a bad sense):- you’re on your own. "The world works by mechanistic means… so get on with it and make the most of it"

But what if that’s not the whole story?

- what if someone IS watching? The one who made the rules by which all this works. The ultimate cause. Reason

- what if you simply haven’t understood the WAY He acts… is involved… and so have taken this for non-existence

- what if you are hugely missing out… are hugely out of kilter with the universe’s order…. In doing so?

THE GOD WHO SEES

This is a lovely yet sad story. Nobody comes out of it the hero, really. It’s just one of those real life things.

Abram and Sarai can’t conceive. They do the normal thing in those days and try ’surrogacy’ through Sarai’s maidservant, Hagar… who conceives pronto…

… and then the trouble sets in.

Hagar ’despises’ Sarai. Sarai bullies Hagar. Abram goes weak. Sarai kicks Hagar out. Victim or violator, Hagar finds herself out on the desert road near a spring.

And there the ’angel of the Lord’ finds her. He seeks her out… and asks her a question

- now, when God asks someone a Qn, it’s not usually for His benefit!

"Where have you come from, and where are you going?" "I’m running away… from things,,. The past" "well go back. Face it…and I’m going to bless you"

And she gave the name El Roi to God and said ’I have now seen the One who sees me’

The God who sees. God saw her.

You might say: ’fat load of good that did! Why didn’t He stop this?’

- but that’s not the way He works! They made the choices. Free will and all that. Theirs were the consequences

o but God was not detached. He was watching.

I don’t know where you fit in in this story. Heavens knows we’ve all had things happen to us we wish hadn’t. Maybe we felt completely alone in it.

The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia, Ohio, reported in September 1985 a celebration of a New Orleans municipal pool.

The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans city pool. In honour of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards.

As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season.

SOURCE: Times-Reporter, September 1985. on www.sermoncentral.com

But God was watching. And He tells Hagar to ’go back and face her abuser’ and deal with it.

- and He doesn’t ’sanitise’ the story, or remove all the consequences (this lad’s gonna be a "rum ’un"!)

- but He shows her victory and huge blessing in it, and lifts her eyes to His cosmic perspective

o just imagine if He hadn’t stepped in, if she hadn’t dealt with it and gone back. Story would have ended pitifully

Maybe you or I fit in as the abusing boss. Well- El Roi. God sees. Watches.

- in fact He is the only one who sees… truly watches. Knows it all.

- Bible describes Him as the one who ’searches hearts and minds’

- Heb 4:13 The One from whom "Nothing in all creation is hidden Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

Well- you say. "That’s just my point. If He sees, He sees from a distance, dispassionately"

THE GOD WHO KNOWS

Oh… you’ve misunderstood, then.

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