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Ruthe's Secret Roses - by Ruth Marlene Friesen
Ruthe's Secret Roses
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The Angel of the Lord - Who Sees Us

Hagar, the Egyptian handmaid of Sarah, wife of Abraham, was running away in the dessert because she wasn't getting along with her mistress.

It had been Sarah's idea to conceive a son by her husband through Hagar, but now that Hagar was pregnant, she thought less of Sarah. She despised her, the Bible says. Sarah in turn, was complaining to Abraham and mistreated Hagar.

The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert. He asked her what she was up to, and when Hagar answered that she was running away from her mistress, this angel told her to go back and submit to Sarah, and gave her some promises about the son she was carrying.

This is the second mention of an angel in the Bible, and the first of the Angel of the Lord. Many scholars and reference books indicate that this term applies to appearances of Christ before He was born as a baby in Bethlehem in human form. These are called theophanies. There are other references to visits from the Angel of the Lord, and a careful study of them reveals details that can only be attributed to God or His Son.

Here the angel is not just acting as a messenger but speaking to Hagar as the Lord God. He speaks kindly but firmly to her, and promises a future for her unborn son, all in the first person, not in the third voice as one delivering a message on behalf of another.

Hagar herself recognizes that she has been talking to the Lord personally, and in Genesis 16:13 names Him, Beer Lahai Roi, meaning the God who sees me. The well there is still known by that name today.

Does any of this apply to us?

Of course. The principles of God are consistent and eternal. I see several in this story that hearten and encourage me.

1. Christ, the Son of God has been active in the affairs of this world as an intelligent member of the Godhead long before He came to earth as a baby. He came as an angel before.

2. He cares enough to follow us when we've been picked on and hurt, and are running away. He knows how to find us.

3. He may give us directions we don't want to hear, but He will speak lovingly to us and give us a glimpse of our future and something to live for, so we can get up and go again.

4. God really sees us and knows exactly what we're going through. What a comfort!

Haggar crying out to the LORD for her son, Ishmael.


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