Soul Food 4 U

It addresses itself to every day issues of life from a Christian perspective. You'll be challenged. You'll be rebuked. You'll be encouraged. You'll grow.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

THE LIVING ONE WHO SEES ME –BEER LAHAI ROI

June 23, 2006


REFLECTIONS:

· The safest place in the world is in the will of the Lord.

· You are most secure when following God’s will.

· Divine opportunities ride on the backs of relationship.

· If you focus on the sun you never struggle with shadows.

· When nature’s fury brings its worst, human beings bring out their best.

· Worry does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.

TEXT:

Gen 16: :7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?""I'm running away from my mistress Sarai," she answered.9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her." 10 The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count." 11 The angel of the LORD also said to her:"You are now with child and you will have a son.You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery.

12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him,and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."

13 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." 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.


Gen 24:62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. NIV

Gen 25:11 After Abraham's death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi. NIV

BEER-LAHAI-ROI (Some Greek/Hebrew)

BE'ER-LAHAI'-ROI (be'er-la-hi'roi; "the well of him that liveth and seeth me," or "the well of the vision of life"). The fountain between Kadesh and Bered, near which the Lord found Hagar (Gen 16:7,14). In 24:62; 25:11 the KJV has "the well Lahai-roi.

(From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

Don’t we all need to find that well of him that lives and sees me. To many of us there are times that come when we can no longer get satisfaction from the usual duties or when we have had to move from the familiar place or position only to find ourselves in some sort of wilderness where we have no sense of direction. The story of Hagar is for those who are shocked at the rate birthdays are coming sooner than expected and there is nothing to show for the passing time, just going through motions. Hagar found herself hungry, alone (except for the baby growing in her and so increasing her hunger), jobless, homeless in a wilderness. It may be noteworthy that she got inconvenienced while serving the servants of God. She must have been a diligent woman who did what she had to do until Sarah and Abraham decided to change her status. Her elevation led to loss of her old and the new status just like Jesus taught that new wine in old wineskin leads to loss of both, the wine and the container (Matt 9:17 Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.".

When people experience culture shock as a result of losing all the familiar signals and symbols they have several options that include going home. For Hagar she seems like she had not only lost familiar signs but also the compass that would give her sense of direction and so her ‘going home’ was the glaring imminent death. Do you know we have a father who does not sleep and knows where each one of us is at any time? That is what Hagar realised when a voice spoke to her. May I take this opportunity to remind you that you are not alone, there is an eye that is focused on you very specifically. Hagar’s testimony was that she had seen the one who sees her. May that be your testimony when the wilderness days come. Like Hagar may your eyes be opened to see that well that has been there all along but not visible to you. Hagar experienced the reality of Omni present God who says,’. . . "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

At Beer Lahai Roi we get;

  1. Individualised attention- The Living One who sees me. It is one thing to serve the Lord in the crowd and it is yet another thing to know that he not only knows us by name but also knows about our location and our direction. In Abraham’s house, Hagar must have been seeing God through the shadow as she eaves dropped the conversations of her bosses. It was Beer Lahai Roi that Hagar had the pleasant surprise of knowing that God knew her personally and her circumstances. Any time you find yourself lost and n longer sure of your status or direction remember Beer Lahai Roi. God knows you as an individual because he is ‘The Living one who sees me’. 2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

  1. Provisions, and healing - While serving in the kingdom you can suffer casualty and not from the enemy but from the very people whom you were looking up to for direction. A word imprudently uttered that pollutes the minds of others by negatively inclining their perception of you so that opportunities of service in your area of giftedness are with held from you as seeds of mistrust are sown by those you have trusted. So many faithful servants of God have continued to bleed from stabs not from the enemy but from their own brothers and sisters in the faith. Some well placed people in the household of God are either ignorant of their responsibilities or like Abraham have a moment of lapse of faith, or are just ferocious wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15) and so they use their position to pull down and tear others behind closed curtains while masquerading as great men/women of faith who are experiencing miracles and so on. The clash comes when realities of genuine, trusting and sincere people coming into close contact with the carnal, cultural, highly placed but refined actors who like Pharisees do not want to experience the power and guidance of God and they do not want others to do so. That experience can leave one who had meant to serve God with a pure heart wandering in the wilderness, disillusioned and lost of direction because of the dichotomy. People who are struggling in their own walk with God while placed in positions of influence can project their unbelief onto others making them lose confidence, self esteem, ability to trust self , others and even God and that can result into some kind of spiritual electrocution leading to some wilderness experience. To such people Jesus Christ says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). Do not give up and do not be discouraged, come to Beer Lahai Roi where you will find the Living one who sees you in particular.
  2. Identity, affirmation and guidance - Changes are inevitable. As we experience change, that feeling of being alone can engulf us and incapacitate us from seeing water that is just nearby. It is good to know that there is no wilderness that is so wild that our God cannot see us. Having completed college and not sure of your status anymore, moving from formal employment or having children outgrow your home, or changing jobs or congregation and so on all create a gap that can make one feel alone. It is at that point that the Holy Spirit whispers into the mind words that affirm and remove the mental veil so that one is able to see opportunities that were not visible. When our strength and resources run out, the ‘Living One who sees me’ comes through for us. We have a God who cannot be hidden by the corners and curves of this life and that should make us have that deep sense of security because we are significant and that is what makes us security. When we focus on the one who is the sun then the shadows which are expectations that are not based on God’s promise disappear. Ps 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. At Beer Lahai Roi Hagar not only got identity, but she also got instructions on what to do and promise about her unborn son.
  3. Clarity of theology – Our God is Omnipresent. One of the key assumptions that we need to clarify in our minds as messengers of the gospel is whether we can take God to people particularly those of cultures different from our culture or it is God who takes us to the people. Are there people without God? Did you find the Lord or he found you? It is humbling to realise that the Lord is able to do his work with or without us and it is an honour and priviledge when the Almighty one chooses to use us in any way. God did not have to pass through Abraham to minister to Hagar yet there are many times he chose to use him. Do not mistake priviledge for a right or stewardship for ownership. At Beer Lahai Roi we realise that we are who we are because of the grace of God not because of anything we do or did.
  4. Freedom in service- Knowledge of the security we have in belonging to the Most high God should loosen us to serve him wherever he leads for no place is far from him. What and where is home? Is it a geographical location or a relationship? Once you realise that your Father in heaven can see you from anywhere, and your brothers are all over, then home is where your father and your siblings are. The concept of some places being remote is reflection of being ethnocentric and therefore not very suitable for ‘going into the world to make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19). To know Beer Lahai Roi releases you for the noble service to the Living one who sees you anywhere and anytime.
  5. Well of the vision of life - At Beer Lahai Roi we find the well of the vision of life. No wonder Isaac knew the place while waiting for a wife that the Lord was to reveal. It is a good place to meditate while waiting for the realisation of the vision. It is good to live near that well where God makes you his focus.

No man made structures and hiding places can block the sight of God. Our God sees and hears as he told Moses regarding the children of Israel. The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering (Exodus 3:7). It is comforting to know that the cries of that person who is dying somewhere in the continent of Africa of treatable disease but lacks money and access to medical facilities is being heard by the one who cares. The Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all we have to do is follow.

Can you like Hagar say, I have now seen the One who sees me."

A chorus we sung in high school and still remains a gem

I will just keep trusting my Lord, as I walk along. I will just keep trusting my Lord for he gives me a song.

Though storms, clouds darken the sky on the heavenly trail, I will just keep trusting my Lord, he will never fail

He is a faithful friend /(guide), such a faithful friend / (guide), I can count on him to the very end.

Though storms clouds darken the sky on the heavenly trail, I will just trust my Lord he will never fail.

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