I've caught myself saying the above phrase quite often lately. On our one week anniversary (yes, we count those), we attended our first “marrieds” Sunday School class at church. We were the first ones there because I had the time wrong, and a friendly man came over and introduced himself, and I proudly stuck out my hand, so happy to be in the “marrieds” class now, I heartily shook his hand and said, “Hi, I'm Faith Klein…oh, no! I mean Herrgesell, and this is my husband Carl!” Thankfully my sweet husband did not get his feelings hurt by my mistake. But this name change is definitely a weird transition…I don't really know who I am right now 🙂 My website, my bank account and all legal documents say I'm Faith Klein, but I clearly heard the pastor on October 18th introduce us as Mr. and Mrs. Herrgesell. My family calls me Mrs. Herrgesell, and one of my many email accounts has been changed to Herrgesell, but the government does not, yet, agree. What name you have might not matter to some, but when you are bordering a plane for your honeymoon you better know who you are. And your passport better match the plane ticket! Knowing your own name matters, but even more than knowing who I am God reminded me of the importance of knowing HIS name!
This week I was reading thru the story of Abram (Genesis 12-24), whose name was later changed to Abraham, and as I read, I began to notice other names besides Abram's in this story. Abram's wife Sarai also had her name changed. She is introduced as Sarai, and later God changes her name to Sarah. In the story we also meet characters with names like Lot, Terah and Ishamel. But in the middle of all these names I noticed that these men and women were also calling God out by name. In Genesis 14 God is introduced as “God Most High.” In chapter 15, Abram recognizes God's authority and cries out to the “Sovereign Lord.” And then in Genesis 16, a maid-servant in distress puts her trust in the Lord as she finds comfort in “the God who sees me.”
God Most High
The God who Sees Me
Which one of these names speaks loudest to you right now?
Take a few minutes and open your Bible to the very first book: Genesis, flip through until you come to Genesis 12. Take 5 or 10 minutes and read Genesis 12-16. As you read notice where these names of God are used and how these titles or names give us a glimpse into the character of God. As I read the story of Abraham and Sarah this week I was encouraged. At the beginning we see a couple stepping out in faith, God says “go” and they go. He doesn't tell them where to go, so they just start going. What faith!!! But then God promises them a family…a family so big God says ” ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.' Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.' ” (Genesis 15:5). But when the family doesn't happen in Abraham's time frame he & Sarah doubt God's means to fullfilling His promise. And they take matters into their own hands. Let's pause a moment here…is anyone relieved to find out that Abraham, THE father Abraham did not only have many sons, but he also had doubts? I know that I can relate to this story all to well. There are days I fully trust the Lord with every ounce of my being, and other days I don't necessarily doubt God's ability to do what He said He would do, but I often doubt His timeframe.
It is at this moment of doubt for Abraham and Sarah that we are introduced to Hagar. (Genesis 16) Hagar is Sarah's maid-servant and when Sarah realizes that she is getting a little too old to have a baby, she decides that Hagar should mother the sons of Abraham…the descendants who will outnumber the stars! She convinces Abraham of her plan, and Hagar conceives. Ishmael is born, and Sarah no longer likes her plan. (Have you ever been there?) So Sarah, in her regret, begins to treat Hagar so poorly that Hagar and Ishmael flee from Sarah. But an angel of the Lord finds Hagar and tells her to go back to Sarah. The angel reveals to Hagar the future for her son Ishmael. And when the angel is finished talking, Hagar “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.' ” (Genesis 16:13).
Isn't that a great name? The God who sees me. He sees you! I don't know where you are at today, but for me knowing that God sees me speaks to my heart. Last week I was walking through the crowded streets of New York City, and one of my dearest friends said, “Isn't it cool to think that God knows each of these people's names?” And at the same time we both said, “And how many hairs are on their heads!” In my head I was thinking about how amazing it is that He knows the details of each of their lives, and He can hear all of their prayers at the same time! I was overwhelmed. And then as I read this particular name this week, I was reminded that in all of mess of the world, God sees me! He doesn't just look at me from a distance, but He walks beside me through every moment of everyday! He sees me! Praise the Lord, I am not alone, but the Sovereign Lord, the God Most High sees me. And He not only sees me, but He also sees you!
What emotion does knowing God sees you bring to your life? Spend some time journalling today about these truths.
Praise Him for being the God Most High.
Praise Him for being the Sovereign Lord.
And praise Him for being the God who sees YOU!
*For more on the names of God, check out the Old Testament (OT) Home Study. Week 2 has a look at these and other names of God.