El Roi is the Hebrew name for God meaning the God who sees me. Just like God saw Hagar, He sees you and me too!
People call the Lord many names in the Bible. Some of the most famous are Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Rapha, Elohim, and Jehovah Nissi. These names are a great reminder of the character of God and how He relates to His people.
Another name of God that you can remember during your darkest and loneliest moments is El Roi. This article will tell you the meaning and great blessing of God as El Roi.
What Does El Roi Mean?
Translation of El Roi
Many names of God start with ‘El,’ such as Elohim and Elah. In typical translation, El means God. In the original Hebrew language, Ro’iy means “shepherd.” It also means “looking,” “gazing”, or “seeing.”
Therefore, El Roi means “the God who sees me.” Many people are comforted knowing that God sees them daily and every moment.
Scriptural background of El Roi
We can see God as El Roi in Genesis 16, in the story of Hagar. The story of Hagar is connected with the story of Abraham and Sarai. God had promised Abraham an offspring but Abraham was about 100 years old and Sarai, his wife, seemed barren as she was about 90 years and still childless. At that point, God’s promise seemed imperceptible. Thus, Abraham and Sarai grew impatient. Sarai then suggested that Abraham go to Hagar, their servant, to bear a child.
Hagar and Sarai seemed to have contempt for each other. So Sarai mistreated Hagar, and Hagar left. One can imagine how Hagar felt – ill-treated, abandoned, and lonely. An angel of the Lord found Hagar and spoke to her blessings and commands from the Lord. It was then that Hagar called the name of the Lord, saying, “You are a God of seeing!” and added, “Truly, I have seen Him who looks after me.” (Genesis 16:13)
Bible Verses Showing God as El Roi
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
But you, O Lord, know me; you see me and test my heart toward you.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Can a woman forget her nursing child that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
Significance of El Roi Today
God sees you
You may feel alone many times in your life. Especially in this time where connections are mostly done and maintained online, it is easy to feel isolated and lonely. You may be seeking companionship or people who will support and be there for you. When you struggle with no one to help you out, depression and discouragement may creep in.
But, as El Roi, God reminds you that you are not alone in any time and way. He is with you always. He knows when you rise in the morning and watches over you as you sleep at night (Psalm 4:8). He even knows the number of strands on your head! (Luke 12:7). There is never a moment in your life where God blinks or forgets you.
God calls you by name
Have you interacted with someone only to have them ask you, “What’s your name again?” When other people know and remember our name, it gives us a feeling of affirmation. We are known and seen. It is this way in God’s heart. You are not a stranger in His family. Because of Christ, you are a child of God and co-heir of His kingdom. He calls you by your name (Isaiah 43:1) with a compassionate voice you will not hear elsewhere.
God knows your every need
In a fast-paced world, we will never run out of needs, from material ones like food, money, clothing, and shelter to the needs of our hearts like care, support, and love. We grapple to save and hoard, thinking that we will run out. But God does not come from a place and heart of scarcity. After all, He is the maker of everything (Colossians 1:16). He is fully aware of our needs from day to day, moment by moment.
In times when there is a dire lack of necessities, remember that God provides even for the birds. He will surely provide your needs and answer you (Matthew 6:26). Sometimes, though, His provisions come differently than we expect. But we need to trust that He is good and He will deliver.
God is faithful as you remember in retrospect
As things and circumstances constantly change, we often forget that God remains the same. The God who breathed life unto Adam is the same God who raised Jesus from the dead. He is also the same God we call on to in times of joy and trouble. He is gracious and does not falter in any way (James 1:17).
Exercising our faith is not a walk in the park. Therefore, we must never forget the many times and ways God has come through for us. Maybe doing this will entail you keeping a faith journal, chronicling every answered prayer. It may also be beneficial to have a devotional notebook to write down how God speaks to you through Scripture. For others, engaging in fellowship surrounded by Christ’s followers remind them about the holiness, power, and grace of God.
God cares about the marginalized
It is rare to see people care for the poor and marginalized. Perhaps this is why stories of charity and compassion are big news to us. We often overlook and ignore the homeless and needy. But God is not like that. He has compassion for the outcast and marginalized.
The world can shut its eyes, but God does not. Jesus had shown this compassion during His earthly ministry. He healed the lepers, valued women at a time when it was taboo to interact with them, and accepted Samaritans. Ultimately, Jesus died on the Cross to pay the penalty for the world’s sins.
Prayer to God as El Roi
I know that nothing escapes your eyes. O, how marvelous and wonderful that your sight is upon me. You, who created the entire universe, look at me and guide my life. You do not just see me but care for and love me.
But I admit, Lord, that when I am gripped with troubles and sufferings, it is easy to forget that you surround me and are in me. When I feel you are far away, remind me that you are closer than I think. Before I can even enumerate all the things my heart aches for, you already know them. I praise and thank you for not forgetting or forsaking me.
Thank you that I can go to you without hesitation because your compassion is upon me. My confidence to tread this fallen world comes from your faithfulness in me. I pray this in the beautiful and mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
God, as El Roi, gives a firm declaration: God sees you. Like Hannah in the Bible, God has compassion for you. There is no moment in your life where God’s sovereignty, power, and love are not upon you. You are assured that because of the blood of Jesus, you can come to the God whose eyes and heart see and care for you. You do not go through life alone; God sees your pains and struggles. God notices and cares even when other people do not notice or are too caught up in their lives to care for you. Today, may you find comfort and encouragement in the truth that nothing escapes God’s eyes. He sees you.
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