Hagar was the Egyptian maid of Sarai, Abraham’s wife. She was treated like property. Sarai desperately wanted a child and would use whatever means she could to have one. She saw Hagar as a means to an end. Hagar became pregnant and was enjoying the status. Sarai got what she wanted, but as often happens when we get what we want, she was miserable. Suddenly the new uncomfortable situation was all Abraham’s fault. Abraham, being the “strong” leader that he was, told Sarai to do what she wanted with Hagar. All scripture says is “So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.”
Hagar’s instinct was to get back home. She was running back to Egypt. She wasn’t looking for God, but God found her. Hagar was fleeing from the trouble, but God was working in the midst of it. What Hagar found unbearable was bearable because of God. God promised to “multiply (her) descendants so that they shall be too many to count.” (v. 10) God had taken heed of Hagar’s affliction. Life would be difficult, but God was working.
Then an amazing thing happens. Hagar gives God a name. Elroi – “Thou art a God who sees.” (v. 13) We have confidence that in the midst of our trouble God sees us.
Hagar’s trouble wasn’t over. She would go back to her mistress. Sarai would eventually send Hagar away again, but God would be with her throughout the difficult journey.
When God sent his son as a baby in Bethlehem his name was called “Immanuel, God with us.” (Matt. 1:23) Amazing! Whatever your difficulty know that God sees. He won’t always remove us from the trouble but He will be with us. What better place than in His presence?