THOU GOD SEEST ME, a Devotion for 24 January 2019 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“ Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, THOU GOD SEEST ME: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. (Genesis 16:1-14; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
There is a lonely Fountain in the Wilderness of Shur where the Angel of the Lord found the poor maiden, Hagar. She had been unfairly treated and had fled into that wilderness. The Angel of the Lord not only ‘found’ Hagar by that fountain, but had not taken His eyes off Hagar from the moment of her fleeing from Sarai’s harsh treatment. Often the innocent suffer for the sins of the guilty, and this was no exception in Hagar’s case. How often do we witness the cruel death of innocent children who have fallen victim to radical terrorists, or military actions over which they have no control? Famine and disease, as well, take many innocent lives; however, all these perish under the watchful eyes of the Lord. Even the beautiful creatures of God’s natural creation such as sparrows and the gazelle fall under that watchful eye of the Lord. So please do not feel that you are an exception.
Not only does God behold the innocent children and beautiful creatures, but also the prideful sinner, too. “With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury. And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.” (2 Samuel 22:27-28) But the eyes of the Lord are also particularly focused upon those who love Him and are called, in truth, by His Holy Name. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. . . .” (2 Chronicles 16:9) You may have been the last attendee by the grave of your mother or father. You look with bewilderment and forlorn hope on that abyss that was claiming the darlings of your lifetime; but you were not alone there. Just as surely as the Angel of the Lord found Hagar by that Fountain of Life at Beerlahairoi, so His eyes were upon you in your distress and sorrow. In our time, we have the Holy Ghost as our Comforter and Counselor to return to that place of life and duty to which He has assigned us (just as He had counseled Hagar to return).
The Lord stood at the Gates of Splendor and beheld the martyrdom of His elect servant, Stephen, did He not; and He will be with you and me at the moment of our passing from this life if we persevere to the end as did that Holy disciple.
Of what significance to the elect is this knowledge of God’s Eyes Upon Us?
1) To righteous men and women (in the eyes of God) there is great satisfaction in the knowledge that God sees us. No injustice toward us, or our loved ones, escapes His knowing. He reveals to our souls some continuing sin of which we may not even be aware ourselves that is hidden in the lower chambers of our heart.
2) We take inspiration from the knowledge that, no matter the failures of soul or spirit, the Lord has experienced every pain and misery that our souls and bodies can endure; and His soul was free of guilt even while suffering, unlike ours.
3) He knows the very needs of our heart, and differentiates justly between what we ask and what we need. We may not even know what to pray for, but He knows perfectly well what to give. “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)
4) When friends or neighbors falsely accuse us, the child of God knows there is a greater witness in Heaven who sees with absolute understanding our case at the bar.
5) When we suffer trials and tribulations, we have a sure knowledge that the Lord knows our ability to endure the trial and will see us through.
6) We know that the Lord has seen all that we have ever done – sin as well as works of righteousness; but we also know that, though He does not forget sin, He has promised that He will remember them no more. Forgetfulness is a failure of the mind; but electing not to remember is a measure of His grace to us. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
Of what importance to the sinner:
1) No sin goes without the witnessing eyes of God.
2) In the case of the profligate sinner, God will remember all.
3) His sins will be revealed for all at the Judgment Seat before our sentence of everlasting punishment is pronounced
In what way is this knowledge of the watchful Eye of the Lord useful to us? Do you remember how much more polite you were to your brothers and sister when under the penetrating eye of your dear mother? But what of that politeness when she was out of sight? The cause of our ill treatment toward others was not contrived, it simply came as a result of our not being mindful of our mother’s all-seeing eye upon us. We forgot to be nice, didn’t we? The same is true for the child of God. Knowing that our Father sees our every act, thought and deed, we are in constant reminder that we must act with kindness and discretion. Even those who are not faithful to God are mindful of their careless sins in the presence of a righteous person.
We would always dress respectfully if we were to meet the head of a nation. Why not dress with respect to others around us always since we are continually under the purview of the Sovereign of the Universe? Sloppy, or too casual a dress, is disrespectful toward those around us, too.
We may play the hypocrite before men, but we serve a Lord who not only sees our outward actions, but our inward thoughts and emotions as well. Knowing that, we are made more fervent in love and charity with all around us.
Just remember the biblical truths expressed in that old Gospel song:
HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW
By Miss Civilla Martin (1905)
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
If a poor Egyptian girl in the Wilderness of Shur understood these truths, perhaps we, too, can have a go at it as well.
“Prenez en Gré”
In Christ Alone during Epiphany
† Jerry L. Ogles , D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS: Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”