Pregnant and alone, Hagar wept at a fountain in the middle of a desolate wilderness. Where would she go and what would she do? There was not a soul on earth that could possibly understand what she was going through, and in her devastation she crouched down and waited for death. She had been the handmaiden of an older woman who was barren and never had any children of her own, who in desperation asked her to sleep with her husband. All she wanted was to be faithful to her mistress, but when she became pregnant it produced a rage of furious jealousy that seemed unquenchable. Instead of receiving support from the father of her growing child, he allowed his wife to continue in her abuse until she felt the need to flee for her life. Feeling both used and abused, she stared hopelessly at the gravel beneath her feat through blurred tears.
Even though there was no one on earth that could understand her, there was Someone who understood – and saw every tear as they fell to the ground. The angel of the LORD who was none other than the preincarnate Jesus appeared to her in that lonely place and spoke words of encouragement and direction. The angel assured her that she would have a son and that because He had heard her cries she would call his name Ishmael, meaning ‘the LORD hears me’. Filling her heart with hope and allaying her fears, He assured her that if she returned to her mistress everything would be alright. Hagar didn’t know the LORD before then, and she decided to call the name of the One who spoke to her, ‘The God Who Sees Me’. –Genesis 16:13
Even though we may not be searching for God, there is a God in Heaven who sees us and understands us like no other. David of ancient Israel wrote of Him, “O LORD, you have searched me, and known me. You know my downsitting and my uprising, and you understand my thoughts far off.” –Psalm 139:1-2 The same God who sees every sparrow that falls to the ground is also mindful of every tear that is shed, and David wrote, “You tell my wanderings: put my tears in a bottle, are they not in your book?” It is as if God has written a book of the story of each one of our lives, whose detail goes down to every last tear. Jesus Himself assured us, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” –Matthew 10:30
The heart of God is very different from what the world thinks of Him – He is drawn to the poor and the weak of this world, and builds His Kingdom with those whom the world has rejected. Psalms 147:2-3 reveals His character, “The LORD builds up Jerusalem: he gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. He tells the number of the stars, and calls them all by their names.” The prerequisite for entry into the Kingdom of God is not strength, or wisdom, or goodness – but a broken heart that is aware of its own need. When God saw Hagar broken and alone in the wilderness, he saw a perfect candidate for His Kingdom.
When God made Himself known to Israel, it was when they were at their very lowest point – having been enslaved with cruel bondage by Egypt for over 400 years. The Apostle Matthew was called by Jesus as a tax collector who was hated by his own people and the religious rulers. The woman caught in adultery, while condemned by the world was ripe for entry into the Kingdom of God. The Apostle Paul who himself was an aid to the murder of innocent believers, was called by Jesus out of the lowest darkness into light. Jesus told the religious elite who were filled with pride and self-righteousness, “I tell you the truth, that the tax collectors and prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.” –Matthew 21:31
Scripture tells us “The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward him.”-2 Chronicles 16:9 A perfect heart before God is one that is fully aware of its own need, and calls out to God in that need. Although God may seem distant at times, He desperately longs to be close to us and Comfort us with His Presence. Romans 10:11-13 declares, “…Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
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