One of the most beautiful, infuriating, comforting and challenging things about God is that he sees everything. Hebrews 4 very clearly paints a picture that everyone and everything is completely and totally bare before God. There are no secrets, intentions, unspoken thoughts that he doesn’t know about which, depending on your relationship with him, can feel amazing or awful, like good news or bad news.
Let’s start with the “bad”. God knowing all means that he knows everything you do, including the things you would never utter to another living soul. He knows every thought, including the horrible, mean things you would never say aloud. Every deed, word, opinion, inclination that you (or me, or anyone) could ever POSSIBLY conceive is known to God.
How could that possibly be a good thing?
To answer that, we can look at Hagar, the woman who is the first person to GIVE God a name. We meet Hagar in Genesis 16 where she is introduced as an Egyptian slave who is given to her mistress’s husband as a concubine to conceive a child for him. I should note that this mistress was Sarai (aka Sarah) and her husband was Abram (of “Father Abraham had many sons” fame). So here’s where it turns into a scandal, Abram sleeps with Hagar, gets her pregnant and this leads to a strained relationship between the two women (surprise, surprise). Sarai feels Hagar is looking down on her so she appeals to her husband who tells her to do what she wants and she decides to treat Hagar so horribly that she runs away.
What does this have to do with God seeing everything? Well we’re getting there.
In her running away, God makes himself known to Hagar. Verses 7-8 share that ” The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, ‘Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?'”
Those verses share a lot of information:
1) God found her, which indicates that he knew where she was.
2) Hagar was called by name, which indicates he knew who she was.
3) The angel notes that she is Sarai’s servant so he already knew the answer to his question, he just wanted to give her the room to share and speak about what was troubling her.
The two talk from verses 8 to 12 and in verse 13, Hagar does something no one ever thought to do – she gave God a name. She calls him El ROI which means the God who sees. She goes on to say “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me”.
Hagar’s story shows us just how clearly God sees and what that can mean for us. This slave who was pregnant with the illegitimate child of her master was sought out by God. The same God who knew what she had done also knew what had been done to her. And regardless of what anyone else thought about her, her position in life or where she came from God spoke with her and then blessed her, telling her a multitude would come from her bloodline.
My love, that is the good that comes from knowing a God who sees everything: there is nothing you can hide. Your sin is known to him, your circumstance is known to him, every problem you face or situation where someone mistreats you is known to him; He just wants to hear you speak to him about it.
I use Hagar as an example because she represents all of us. She is the person who feels forced to do something because of her circumstance. She is the person people feel that they can treat however they want because of her station in life. She is every man or woman who is spoken about and who others define by their decisions.
If God knew all about Hagar and blessed her, he can do the same for you. She spoke freely and had nothing to hide and I would encourage you to do the same. Talk to God and being honest and open share your frustrations, joys, failures, successes and whatever falls in between with him. You can speak plainly and honestly, with no pretense. He already knows what is going on, he’s just waiting for you to take the time to speak.