El Roi - The God who sees
I've been reading Rachel's page proofs over the past week or so. I still have quite a bit to finish, but will take a break for the ACFW Conference this weekend. I'm taking a road trip with girlfriends to get there tomorrow night. Can't wait! (By the way, if you're going to be there, please find me and say hello!) In the meantime, between packing and editing, I wanted to take a moment to mention something that struck me as I was reading Leah's part in Rachel's story. The Bible clearly tells us that Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah. He wanted Rachel. Worked seven years for Rachel. But Leah ended up in his bed on his wedding night. He didn't notice the difference until morning. (Read the full account int Genesis 29 and beyond here.)
What jumped off the page at me was verse 31, which starts off: "When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive..."
When the Lord saw...
Hagar had a similar experience when she was on the run from Sarai, and called God by the name, El Roi, "the God who sees me."
God saw a slave girl (Hagar), who desperately needed comfort and love, who likely felt abused or mistreated and used. God saw, and He met her were she needed Him most.
God saw that Leah, whether she was privy to Laban's treachery or not, was an unloved wife, who just wanted someone to care for her. Longing for love is universal, its need rooted in our deep need for God. And yet, God gave Leah very human love by allowing her to conceive. She did not have the love she wanted, but she had some compensation for her longing.
In Noah's day, God saw how corrupt the earth had become. (Genesis 6)
In Jonah's day, God saw how the city of Ninevah repented, and He spared them from His just and holy wrath over their evil ways.
Psalm 138 says, "Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar." (Emphasis added)
Psalm 33 says, "From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—"
Some people don't think God concerns Himself with the details of our life. But over and over again in both Old and New Testaments, God shows His concern for men and women, especially for those who are weak, sick, in prison, lost, lonely, the widow, the orphan, the foreigner who has sought to live among a people not their own. He is not a God who allows His creation to spin helplessly out of control. If He did not care, He would not have sent a Savior to rescue us from our lives of quiet desperation.
I Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) says,
"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
Now we only see "through a glass darkly" (as the King James translates this verse). But we are fully known. El Roi, the God who sees me, knows the deepest longings of our hearts. As He did for Leah when He saw she was not loved. As He gives graciously to each of us, meeting us where we need Him most. If we but ask Him. If we seek Him with all of our hearts.