El Roi- The God Who Sees Me-Genesis 16:13

Last week we focused on listening to the voice of God. I related an experience in hearing God say, “I see you.”  God has so many attributes, and this week I’d like to concentrate on “the God who sees me.”

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What is the Name for the God who Sees?

The Bible uses many names of God that describe His character. They give us marvelous insight into His power and character.

The Hebrew name describing the God who sees is “El Roi.” We find the use of El Roi only one time in the Bible, in the story of an Egyptian servant girl named Hagar.

The God Who Sees

God had promised Abram to make him into a great nation with descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. But years and years passed as this promised patriarch of the Jewish nation remained childless with his infertile wife Sarai. 

The Story of Hagar

Abram’s wife Sarai had an Egyptian slave girl, Hagar, and she offered her to Abram to begin their family. (This was outside of God’s plan, but common in their time.)

Abram agreed with the plan, and Hagar became pregnant. Hagar began to despise her mistress, and in turn, Sarai suffered from Hagar’s proud and arrogant attitude.

Even though the plan was all Sarai’s idea, she began to cruelly mistreat Hagar. So Hagar, in distress, ran away into the desert, eventually stopping near a spring of water.

I can’t imagine her state of mind. She was all alone, pregnant, and without any options. In the midst of her difficulties, an angel of God appeared to Sarai’s maid and asked her where she had come from and where she was going.

When Hagar admitted her plight, the angel told her:

“Go back to your mistress and submit to her… I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count. You will have a son. You shall give him the name Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery.” Genesis 16:9-11.

Hagar, a runaway and a lowly servant, received God’s promise in the moment of her greatest need. She could return to her situation with a right attitude and accept God’s offer of help for her and her unborn child.

Genesis 16:13-14 

So, she gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi, it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.”

El Roi Meaning

Many of the names of God in the Bible begin with “El.” El refers to God. “Roi”- (pronounced “ro-ee”) is the original Hebrew word for “see” or “look.”

Hagar learned a precious lesson and a beautiful truth that day as she rested at the desert spring. God was watching over her and had plans to bless her. 

When she was feeling the most dejected and invisible, El Roi came to her. He had seen her mistreatment by Sarai, but also saw Hagar’s pride and arrogance.

He saw it all and came to her; bringing blessings and guidance.

What a beautiful lesson! Have you ever felt abandoned or overlooked? Hurt or betrayed? This story wasn’t a “one and done.” God’s character never changes!  

What He did for Hagar continues for us today. How comforting to know that El Roi fully sees us, the struggles we are going through, and comes to us in our desert of despair.

There is hope and comfort in the name “El Roi.”

God Sees You Scripture

There are many aspects to God’s vision and how He uses it.

•“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” Proverbs 15:3.

God sees everything- and sees it clearly. I love the term “keeping watch”- He not only sees you but is observing with discernment and protection.

God Sees the Heart

•”Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b.

God understands our value does not lie in our appearance. Our true faith and character reside within our hearts and God can see all that is within them.

•“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a.

What a comforting verse! He sees us- nothing escapes His mighty vision. He comes to strengthen us in our times of need.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb… When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.” Psalm 139:13, 16a.

God saw you before you were born. He exquisitely formed you and saw you in your preborn state. Why would we think He stops seeing us now?

The God Who Sees Knows Your Name 

“I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b.

As we read through Hagar’s story, we see she is only referred to as “my maidservant” (16:2), “my servant” (v5), and “your servant.” (v6) To Abram and Sarai, it seems Hagar was a nameless possession.

When the Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar, however, His first word to her was “Hagar.” He called her by name. Not only did He see her in her distress, but knew her name.

Yor heavenly Father knows your name, sees you, and acts on your behalf; especially when you are hurting. There is never a time when He is not loving, guarding, and protecting you!

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How Does God See Me? 

When God’s eyes gaze upon you, He sees the unique and precious child He created. He is right beside you in every step you take. God knows you right down to the number of hairs on your head. 

He gave up His Son to die for you so that you could live with Him in heaven forever. God loves you as a perfect Father and desires a deep personal relationship with you.

When God sees you, He sees Jesus who died for your sin. When He sees you, His eyes are full of hope and love, knowing His plans for you are perfect. 

The love of God will guide you through your trials, just as He did for Hagar. He sees you in the hard places. 

We are never left alone! God is faithful and will comfort you and help you grow spiritually in those hard times.

If you have trouble seeing your true worth and value in Him, pray for Him to open your eyes! He will show you His love and purpose and your bright future.

This post may help you see yourself as He does: Embrace Your Identity in Christ

Seeing as God Sees 

Remember that where we see a problem, God sees transformation. When we see weakness, God sees His strength holding you up.

God has seen our entire life and knows how it will play out and how and when it will end. We can trust “the God that sees us” to guide and love us through our journey. 

He saw us before we were born and sees our future. Trust that He sees you in the here and now as well.

Our imperfect vision is clouded by our sinful human nature and our lack of full spiritual understanding. Paul describes what we see here on earth as if looking into a dim and distorted reflection of a mirror. (1 Cor 13:12 NKJV)

But one day we will see everything in God’s perspective, face to face with Him!

God Sees You 

Think back to times when God showed up in your storm or answered your fervent prayers. He has been moving in your life all along. His ways may not look like the answer we would choose or pray for, but His plans are always good.

For now, we can only strive to soak in the Word of God and gain as much wisdom and discernment as possible. We will have to wait until we get to Heaven to have our “aha!” moments of understanding.

Looking through the Eyes of God 

When the disciples questioned Jesus for speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well, He advised them to “open their eyes” and see the spiritual harvest in front of them. The disciples only saw a Samaritan, a hated and outcast mixed race.

Not much has changed over the years, has it? We travel through life and see others through our own lens and vision. But Jesus wants us to keep our eyes open, see others as He does, engage with them, start conversations, and see their needs.

Jesus looked beyond the surface of each person and urges us to do the same. He was gracious and encouraging, even when the Samaritan woman was skeptical and negative. He showed her pure compassion.

The Samaritan woman was the first person who Jesus tells He was the Messiah. She believed and went to tell everyone in town about her experience.

Isn’t that encouraging? There are so many broken and hurting people in the world that need to hear about Jesus. They may pass by us every day. May we have the eyes of Jesus to see and love them like Him.



All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.

Photo Credit: Pixabay, Canva

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