We have a Father – Part 1
The song, “I have a Father,” written by Tommy Walker captures the essence of the Fatherhood of God. We have a Father. Our Father is the Heavenly Father. What does our Father do? He cares, He provides, He protects, He supports us in our weaknesses. Our Father helps us when we cannot help ourselves. Our Father helps us in our sufferings and distress.
Hagar was a woman who enjoyed God’s favour at different times in her life when she faced crises. The two instances when she enjoyed God’s favour can be found in Genesis 16 and 21. Both instances illustrate God’s Fatherhood. In Genesis 16, while Hagar was in the wilderness at Shur, the Angel of the LORD came to her. In verse 8, the angel of God asked a question, “And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai” (Genesis 16:8 NKJV). The angel of God counselled her to return and submit herself to Sarai and promised that her son would become head of a great nation.
Recognising the Angel as God and ascribing a new name to Him arose from Hagar’s astonishment at having been the object of God’s gracious attention. The revelation led her to call Him, “The One Who Lives and Sees Me” (v. 14). El Roi is one of the names of God in the Hebrew Bible. Our Father is El Roi.
Few years after Hagar’s experience, Ishmael was born. Abram was 86 years old, when Ishmael was born to Hagar. The name Ishmael means, “God hears.” In this case, God heard Hagar’s misery.
Hagar In The Wilderness Of Beersheba
The second story in Genesis 21 happened after Ishmael and Isaac had been born. Sarah caught Ismael scoffing or mocking at Isaac. She felt offended and perhaps jealous. She did not want Ishmael to be an heir with Isaac. So, she prevailed on Abraham to ask Hagar and her son, Ishmael to depart from the home. Abraham was reluctant about Sarai’s request to send Hagar and her son, Ishmael away. Strangely enough, God said to Abraham, “Listen to her voice.” Abraham then sent Hagar away with bread and a skin of water.
Hagar departed into the wilderness of Beersheba feeling terribly disappointed and abandoned. When the bread and water got exhausted, she took her son Ishmael and kept him under a shrub and went and sat in the opposite direction, and “lifted her voice and wept.” She did not want to witness her son die of hunger. At that point, God heard the voice of her son and came to her. God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water from where she got water to give to her son to drink. Thereafter, God was with Ishmael all through in the wilderness.
On both occasions enumerated above, Hagar felt rejected, abandoned, neglected, and lonely. In her distress, God appeared to her, as the God Who sees and cares. In the first instance, God appeared to her as El Roi. In the second instance, God opened her eyes to see a well of water from which her need was met. God discovered Hagar in her misery, in her suffering, He discovered her in her greatest hour of need.
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has imposed on us very harsh realities of life. But we must not despair; we have a Heavenly Father Who cares for those in distress and in pain. God will not abandon us. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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