When Hagar is introduced to us in the BIble, she had already been a servant of Sarai (her name was not yet changed to Sarah). Hagar was most likely bought when Sarai and Abram were living in Egypt for a time. In Genesis 21, it states that she was in fact an Egyptian slave woman.
Hagar was made into a concubine for Abram. Did she want to be one? Probably not. She was far younger than Abram (who was 86). Even though God had promised Abram and Sarai a child, they were impatient and did not learn to trust fully in God to guide their lives. Therefore, Sarai thought she could have children through her servant by having Abram sleep with her servant Hagar. Could you imagine the pain and hurt this young woman endured?
Hagar was angry. She hated the way she was treated. Abram got scolded by Sarai for sleeping with the slave even though it was because of her own nagging that he did it to begin with. He wanted to stay out of the drama so he just told her to deal with Hagar however she wanted to. She treated her so unkindly that Hagar fled for her life. She wanted to escape her misery. She was so upset and so alone.
An angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar. He showed her comfort and asked her questions. She listened intently as the angel informed her of the multitude of offspring that would come from her. God understood her heartache, but asked that she return to her mistress. Can you believe her pain getting deeper here? Why would God want her to return to that horror? Regardless, she decided to obey Him.
“So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,‘ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.’” -Genesis 16:13
Even though she did return to her mistress, Hagar knew that God was there watching. She decided to put her trust in God to lead her life. To the millions of enslaved today, God sees their pain. He sees their tears. He longs to help them. He wants them to trust in Him.
It is a time later that Isaac was born to Sarah and Abraham. Sarah did not want to see Hagar or her son Ishmael any longer and told Abraham to send them off. He was really truly troubled, but to keep peace within his household, he sent them off with some food and water after God informed him that he would care for them.
“When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, ‘Let me not look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’ Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.” -Genesis 21:15-21
God never stopped watching over Hagar, and she never stopped crying out or trusting in God. Let us cry out in the same way for the slave everywhere, for freedom will come and God will help and provide for them. Your prayers are extremely important and vital, for we have a God of Seeing.