Summary: A Mother's Day sermon looking at Hagar naming God, "the God who sees."
The God Who Sees
May 12, 2019
There’s a few things we all have in common. One of them is the fact that at one time we were all children. And one thing I’ve learned about kids is that they love to be watched. They love to be noticed. It comes in different shapes and sizes, but they want to be known.
I can remember watching my boys when they were younger, and sometimes it still happens when they say, “Hey mom, hey dad - - watch this! Look what I can do! Look at me!” Your heart may stop when you realize what they’re doing, but whatever it is, they want to be noticed and known.
In the end, I believe that’s true for all of us. We all want to be known. We want people to know we exist. Christian author and speaker, Nicole Johnson was talking about being a mom, she said this - -
One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”
“Nobody,” he shrugged.
Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only five, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, I’m nobody?”
As Nobody, I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family, like “Turn the TV down, please.” And nothing would happen. No one would get up or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing.
That’s when I started putting all the pieces together. I don’t think anyone can see me.
It all began to make sense! The blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’d think, “Can't you see I'm on the phone?”
Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner. No one can see me, because I’m the Invisible Mom.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more. Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?
Some days I’m merely a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I'm a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?”
Some days I’m a crystal ball: “Where's my other sock? Where's my phone? What’s for dinner?”
Hands, a clock, a crystal ball—but always invisible.”
I don't know if you’ve ever felt like that, but today as I do on Mother’s Day, we’re going to look at a woman from the Bible we need to know more about. This is a woman who we really don’t think about that often. But through her story, hopefully we will see a new truth in our lives.
The story comes from the book of Genesis, chapter 16. Let me set the back drop for this story.
God promised Abraham that he would have a child who will be his heir. But Abraham is in his late 90's and Sarah is in her late 80's. It seems impossible to them. Since Sarah hasn’t conceived, she tells Abraham to have a child with her servant, Hagar. Hagar becomes pregnant, and Sarah and Hagar begin to clash with one another. We pick up the story in Genesis 16:6 –
6 Then Sarah dealt harshly with Hagar, and Hagar fled from her. 7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar by a spring of water in the wilderness. 8 And God said, “Hagar, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarah.” 9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 “I will surely multiply your offspring so that their multitude cannot be numbered.” 11 “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael (God listens), 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.” – Genesis 16:6-13
Hagar was trapped in a system where she felt invisible. She has no rights, dignity, freedom, or choice, and she’s had enough. It’s hard to be a nobody with no name. She was there to serve a purpose.