Advent Art Devotional 2020 – El Roi

This is a collaborative Artwork. Designed and written by one and completed by four artists.

The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3

Let me take you back in time to Abraham’s household. Sarai, Abram’s wife remains barren for 10 years after receiving the promise of a child. In this context Sarai yields to a very common practice of concubinage. Hagar, their slave conceives Abram’s child. But Sarai feels defeated and tortures Hagar. Unable to bear this any longer Hagar flees.

At this juncture the Lord reveals that He sees Hagar’s affliction. Have you ever been in a situation where the hurt keeps piling up and you feel weighed down? Has life this past year been lonely and tiring? The Bible tells us that God sees us. Proverbs 15:3 says The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.

In this story, Hagar is mistreated by the chosen people of God, Sarah and Abraham. But God steps into this Egyptian slave girl’s story. He blesses her. He meets her at her point of need. In response to this very personal encounter Hagar names her God El Roi meaning “a God who sees (me)”. This is the same God Mary exalts in her song of praise in Luke 1: 48, 53-54′ He has looked on the humble estate of his servant…He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy’. Our God is a God who not only sees us but, interjects

into our lives to help us move to better and blessed things. Hagar is blessed with a son, blessed with a care-taker (according to the patriarchal society’s norms of that time). Mary is blessed to be the mother of the Lord! In both of these situations there isn’t a dramatic shift in their experiences. Hagar returns to her master’s household (a run away slave had almost no future in those days) only to be sent away when her son was young. But God appears to her again. Mary has her own ordeals to work through, traveling close to her due date, fleeing an angry ruler but eventually witnessing Jesus’ glorious ministry, death and resurrection. Indeed The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3

I believe with the knowledge that God watches over us and is present to us we can creatively engage with the situations we face and work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. As N. T. Wright says ‘think through things for yourself’.

God sees your affliction. God sees your humble estate. He knows you deeply and cherishes you. This season as we navigate through losses or forced changes mentally, emotionally and physically let us hold on to the truth that God sees us and has our interest at heart.

Sujatha Balasundaram


Dear Lord, It is so reassuring that you know us so deeply. Thank you for desiring to be with us. Please Holy Spirit will you help us reciprocate to this deep love in a worthy manner. Please would you give us the strength and courage to engage with the things you have given us so that we may know you are God Almighty and the world will know you are God. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Published by Sujatha

Wife to a highly creative man, Uday Balasundaram who is passionately in love with Jesus and a mother to 2 precious little ones, Nadira and Aradhya.

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