Generations after God saw Hagar and showed up in her life, he saw a whole nation of people and showed up in theirs.
At Mount Horeb, God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush:
The Lord said, “I have 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. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…” – Exodus 3:7-8
God saw. He heard. He was concerned. So he came down, he rescued, and he brought his people somewhere good.
This is the gospel.
God saw us, not just in our sin but in our slavery to sin: the thing we can’t ever stop thinking about, the goal we build our whole lives around, the job we can’t take a break from, the attention we seek and crave and do anything we can to get. He saw it all. He sees it all. But not just as a big mass, instead, he sees each person, individually. He sees me, he sees you. And he hears our cries, toward him or toward anyone or anything that might help. He hears us, one by one by one. And it concerns him. He cares so much that he came down. Jesus. Fully human, fully God, out of heaven and into the world he created. And he took our place. Not just broadly, but individually, for each one of us. He became the sin that enslaves us, that we might walk free. He endured our death, that we might live. That any person who would just believe that His death counted for them, they would be brought in. They would be redeemed. They would be rescued. And because the One who died did not stay in the grave, he promises to escort each and every one of his children who confess his name to somewhere good. Somewhere beautiful. To a kingdom that will never perish, spoil or fade.
A whole lot of years after the Exodus there was a young college girl. And God saw her. He saw her misery and heard her crying out because of her slavery to sin, to fear, to emotions.
Where are you, Lord? When will you fix this?
The response was so clear, it was almost audible, “I already have.”
He saw me. He spoke to me. I didn’t get it all right after that, and I don’t even get it all right now. But there was an anchor that dropped that has stood steady and firm no matter what my pull. Because it is finished. The payment has been made in full.
It counted for me.
And it counts, individually, for each person who chooses to receive it.
Get to know this God.
He is El Roi, and he is the God who sees you. He hears you. He cares about you. And he came down to take your place, that you might be rescued. Let him bring you somewhere good.
Read: Exodus 3
Stepping in: What stands out to you from this passage? What do you learn about God? Is there anything in your life that God saw but didn’t step in the way you wish he had? Talk to him about it.
Watch: This video is a touching visual of what it cost to bring us in, Story of Love