She was pregnant and scared. If only she could get back to the place of her birth, she would be safe. Far from the abuse. From conflict’s slippery slope. So she ran away.
She never wanted to become a surrogate mother. But whatever happened to her had been and always would be at the whim of that bitter battleax. She owned her–body and soul. It was her idea that she become the secondary wife to that old husband of hers. Her way of getting what she wanted most in all the world. Mr. Abram didn’t have to go along with it, but he didn’t have the courage to tell his wife no.
Yes, she would be honest and admit she had brought some of this on herself. As soon as she had found out she was pregnant, she gloated. A smirk, a dropped insult, a curled lip–all intended to send her mistress the message. She, a slave, could have something that the high-and-mighty Sarai could not. A baby.
How foolish was she to think she could get away with rubbing it in her face! Oh, Sarai knew how to make a life unbearable! So she was hightailing it back to Egypt. But now she would stop and rest at this spring for a while and put it all behind her.
That, however, was not to be. For Hagar had an encounter there that changed her plan. Someone met up with her in her distress.
But the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, on the road to [Egypt by way of] Shur. And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where did you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am running away from my mistress Sarai.” The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Go back to your mistress, and submit humbly to her authority.”
(Genesis 16:7-9 AMP)
Why would she do that? Because the One speaking to her saw her past, her present, and her future:
The Angel of the Lord continued,
“Behold, you are with child,
And you will bear a son;
And you shall name him Ishmael (God hears),
Because the Lord has heard and paid attention to your persecution (suffering).”
(Genesis 16:11 AMP)
When the encounter ended, Hagar spoke of this messenger as “El Roi.” El Roi is the name for God that means “God who sees.” The all-seeing God was looking after Hagar, watching out for her in her suffering.
The One who sees us is El Roi. He meets us in our place of desperation in order to reach out and help us. El Roi always sees, always knows, and always understands.