Posted On August 14, 2015

EL ROI: “God of Seeing”

by | Aug 14, 2015 | Featured, The Character of God

Editor’s note: The purpose of this series is to help our readers think through what the character of God is and it’s importance to the Christian faith.

CharacterGod_website-960x350As I look back on my life, I notice that there have been times when I wondered if God saw my circumstances. Whether it was physical hardship, mental or emotional trauma, heartbreak for a family member, or financial difficulties, as I struggled for saneness and faith, I sometimes wondered if God saw my need. And if He did see my need, why wasn’t he fixing it? I could not see Him.

It is a lonely feeling to wonder if God sees and if He cares.

Genesis 16 records the pain and frustration of Hagar, Sarai’s slave who conceived a child with Abram, at Sarai’s suggestion. Sarai thought this would be the way to fulfill God’s promise of a child. But once she conceived, Hagar despised her mistress. Sarai, in her own frustration and pain, dealt harshly with Hagar, and the slave ran away into the wilderness.

Genesis 16:7-11, 13, “The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 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.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 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.  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.”

El Roi, the God who sees, not only saw her predicament, He cared that she was suffering. In His lovingkindness He instructed her to return to Sarai. He gave Hagar a much broader perspective of her life. He helped her to see what only He could see.

El Roi is specifically mentioned only in Genesis 16. Many other passages, however, confirm the seeing and caring nature of God. Stop for a moment and read Psalm 139.

Whether you see Him or not, God is lovingly watching over you. El Roi, the God who sees, does not miss a detail about your life. Not only does He see, He cares! Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Peter understood the caring nature of God when he wrote in 1 Peter 5:6-7, Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Humble yourself, casting on him all that concerns you or causes you stress, because it matters to Him.

Jesus himself calls for us to come to him with our burdens. Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Have you ever considered what God sees as He looks at you? He sees your need and He cares. But as He looks at you as a person, what does He see? Your sin? Yes. Your ugliness and weakness? Yes. But if you believe in the saving work of Jesus Christ, if you are His and He is yours, how does God see you? It is through Christ that you have been given a new identity. Through Christ you are a new creation. The following truths and corresponding passages are provided for your continued study of El Roi, the God who sees, and how He sees you through and because of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the Son.

Because of Jesus I am:

  1. free from the law of sin and death—Romans 8:2
  2. free from condemnation—Romans 8:1
  3. at peace with God—Romans 5:1
  4. saved from the wrath of God—Romans 5:9
  5. justified by faith—Romans 3:28
  6. made perfect—Hebrews 10:14
  7. reconciled to God—Romans 5:10-11
  8. holy, blameless and beyond reproach—Colossians 1:21-22
  9. near to God—Ephesians 2:13
  10. a child of God—Romans 8:15-16
  11. a fellow heir with Christ—Romans 8:17, Galatians 4:4-7
  12. sealed in him with the Holy Spirit—Ephesians 1:13
  13. made alive with Christ—Ephesians 2:4-5
  14. the dwelling place of Christ—Romans 8:10
  15. made complete—Colossians 2:9-10
  16. forgiven, the debt against me is cancelled—Colossians 2:12-14
  17. the righteousness of God in Christ—2 Corinthians 5:21
  18. a new creation—2 Corinthians 5:17
  19. accepted by Christ—Romans 15:7
  20. of God’s household—Ephesians 2:19
  21. chosen of God, holy and dearly loved—Colossians 3:12
  22. dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus—Romans 6:11
  23. free from sin’s power over me—Romans 6:7
  24. a recipient of the Spirit of God—1 Corinthians 2:12
  25. raised up and seated with Christ in heaven—Ephesians 2:6
  26. righteous and holy—Ephesians 4:24
  27. greatly loved by God—1 John 3:1
  28. a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation—1 Peter 2:9
  29. God’s own possession—1 Peter 2:9
  30. a partaker of the divine nature—2 Peter 1:4
  31. able to confidently come before the throne of God that I may receive mercy and grace to help in time of need—Hebrews 4:16

What difference will it make in your life to know that the God who sees and who cares for you personally, sees you in the truth as is listed above? What an amazing God, El Roi!

Related Posts

What Are You Building? (Black Friday Thoughts)

What Are You Building? (Black Friday Thoughts)

American lifestyles can be a little strange to those of us who live on other continents. I was born in the UK and have lived the last seven years in continental Europe in various parts of Romania. Growing up, we would occasionally hear about the American celebration...

Our Debt to the Jews

Our Debt to the Jews

Romans 15:25-27, “At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to...

The Significance of Jesus as God Incarnate

The Significance of Jesus as God Incarnate

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “How as Jesus God Incarnate?” What you’ll hear in this episode The Reason for the Incarnation. The Reason God Put on Flesh. The Centrality of the Cross. The doctrine of the Incarnation demonstrates that God...

En Route to Rome

En Route to Rome

Romans 15:22-24, “This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain,...

Dave Jenkins– The Purpose of Thankfulness in the Christian Life

Dave Jenkins– The Purpose of Thankfulness in the Christian Life

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Dave considers a life of gratitude to God and the inheritance Christians have in Christ, evidence of a Spirit-filled life, biblical ethics, thankfulness, and obedience, and what thankfulness and humility are to look like in our...



  1. Knowing God: His Name is YHWH | Servants of Grace - […] Dave wrote on El Roi, the God of Seeing. […]
  2. Character of God Series Recap | Servants of Grace - […] El Roi: God of Seeing by Dave […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.