Genesis 16:13
So Hagar gave this name to the LORD who had spoken to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "Here I have seen the One who sees me!"
OmniscienceCharles Haddon Spurgeon Genesis 16:13
Glimpses of the GodheadW. Roberts Genesis 16:7-13
A Particular ProvidenceJ. H. Newman, D. D.Genesis 16:13-14
Belief in the Divine Omniscience the Foundation of a True and Earliest LifeJ. R. Goulty, B. A.Genesis 16:13-14
God CountsChildren's Missionary Record.Genesis 16:13-14
God is Ever NearChristian AgeGenesis 16:13-14
God is PresentJ. H. Wilson, M. A.Genesis 16:13-14
God Sees Us Through ChristA. Maclaren, D. D.Genesis 16:13-14
God's All-Seeing EyeH. J. Gamble.Genesis 16:13-14
God's Continual PresenceArchbishop SeckerGenesis 16:13-14
God's EyeH. J. Wilmot Buxton, M. A.Genesis 16:13-14
God's OmniscienceGenesis 16:13-14
Hagar At the FountainSpurgeon, Charles HaddonGenesis 16:13-14
Hagar in the WildernessHomilistGenesis 16:13-14
OmniscienceSpurgeon, Charles HaddonGenesis 16:13-14
One of God's AmbassadorsGenesis 16:13-14
Perfection of OmniscienceBishop Hamline.Genesis 16:13-14
Power of the EyeThousand New IllustrationsGenesis 16:13-14
The All-Seeing EyeJ. H. Wilson, M. A.Genesis 16:13-14
The Angel in the WildernessR. A. Redford, M. A.Genesis 16:13-14
The Divine Inspection of ManA. McAuslane, D. D.Genesis 16:13-14
The Eye of GodW. Hay Aitken, M. A.Genesis 16:13-14
The Eye of God Always Upon UsW. Jay.Genesis 16:13-14
The Omnipresence of GodB. Kent, M. A.Genesis 16:13-14
The Omniscience of God IllustratedT. J. Judkin.Genesis 16:13-14
The Omniscience of the DeityJ. F. Denham.Genesis 16:13-14
The Punctuality of ProvidenceA. Maclaren, D. D.Genesis 16:13-14
The Retrospect of a Special ProvidenceT. H. Leale.Genesis 16:13-14
Thought of OmniscienceGenesis 16:13-14
Unconscious SurveillanceOld Testament AnecdotesGenesis 16:13-14
What Seeing God Does for UsThe Weekly PulpitGenesis 16:13-14
HagarR.A. Redford Genesis 16
"Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go?" She knew not, cared not. Undisciplined, smarting under effects of her own willfulness (Ver. 4), she thought only of escaping pain - a type of those weary, yet unconverted (cf. Jeremiah 51:13; Jeremiah 5:3). But God saw her. The Shepherd sought her (cf. Genesis 3:9; Luke 15:9). Though not of the chosen race, and having no claim upon his care, of his own mercy he calls her (cf. Psalm 145:9; Ephesians 2:4; Titus 3:5). The angel of the Lord; in Ver. 13 called the Lord; the messenger of the covenant (Malachi 3:1) - sent to carry out the Father's purpose (cf. John 3:17; Luke 4:18). The same who speaks in the voice of awakened conscience, that he may give peace (cf. Matthew 11:28). "Hagar, Sarai's maid," expresses God's full knowledge of her (cf. Exodus 33:12; John 10:3). The name distinguishes the individual. She a stranger, a slave, a fugitive; yet God's eye upon her; all her life before him (cf. Psalm 139:1-4). A word for those following their own ways, feeling as if hidden in the multitude. Nothing glaring in their lives; men see nothing to find fault with; will God? (cf. Psalm 94:7). He knows thee altogether; thy whole life, the selfishness underlying a fair profession, the unconfessed motives, the little duplicities, the love of worldly things; or it may be thy spiritual pride and self-trusting. He sees thee through. But wilt thou seek to escape the thought of him? For what does he search thee out? Is it not to bring thee to peace? A word of comfort to him who is cast down because of weakness in faith, little progress, want of spirituality. He sees all (cf. Luke 19:5). Not as man - men see the failures; God Sees the battle, the longing desire for better things, the prayers (Psalm 28:1; Psalm 130:1), the searching of heart, the sorrow because of failure. Even in the wilderness he is present to help (Galatians 6:9).

I. "WHENCE CAMEST THOU?" Is the wilderness better than the home thou hast left? (cf. Isaiah 5:4). Thou hast left safety and plenty (cf. Numbers 21:5), impatient of God's discipline. A goodly possession was thine - the place of a child (1 John 3:1), the right always to pray (Luke 18:1; John 15:7; Hebrews 4:16; James 4:2), the promise of guidance (Psalm 32:8; Isaiah 30:21). For what hast thou given up all this? Is thy present lot better? In deepest love these questions are asked. God pleads by providence (Psalm 119:67), by the entering of the word (Psalm 119:130; Hebrews 4:12), by the "still small voice" of the Holy Spirit.

II. "WHITHER WILT THOU GO?" How many have never really considered. Hast thou renounced thy heavenly portion? God forbid. Then is thy life heavenward? Are thy sins blotted out? Hast thou accepted the free gift of salvation? I am not sure of that. And why not? Is it not that thou hast not cared enough to entertain the question as a practical one? (cf. Ezekiel 20:49; Ezekiel 33:32). Meanwhile thou art not standing still. The day of grace is passing away (cf. Jeremiah 8:20). Still Christ pleads (Revelation 3:20). But day by day the ear becomes more dull, and the aims and habits of life more hard to change. "Return," was the Lord's word to Hagar. Take again thy place in God's family (cf. Luke 15:20). Fear not to bear thy cross. There is a welcome and joy in heaven over every returning wanderer. - M.

Thou God seest me.
Hagar had heard the voice of the Lord, and had distinct evidence of His providential care and regard.

I. THAT IT IS A REVELATION OF GOD. "She called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me." The doctrine of a general Providence affects us languidly; the impression of it is vague; but there are times in our history when the events are so remarkable that it is as if God had spoken. His finger is plainly seen. This revelation of God had three aspects.

1. It was severe. Hagar was reminded of her fault, and exhorted to instant duty.

2. It was soothing. It is because God "has heard out affliction" that He speaks to us.

3. It produces the impression that God knows us —(1) Intimately. Sight imparts most vivid and extensive knowledge. One glance conveys more to the mind than the most accurate and laboured description. God not only sees us, but sees through us, and knows us altogether.(2) Graciously. For good, and not for evil. The light of love is in God's countenance.


(T. H. Leale.)

1. Difficult to believe. We think of God in heaven, and forget that He is also on earth.

2. Sufficiently attested by examples in Holy Scripture.

3. Made clear and certain by the history of our Lord's work on earth.

4. Realized in the history of every believer.

(J. H. Newman, D. D.)

"Thou God seest me." Pause for a moment to contemplate the force of this impressive thought. Life is spent beneath the eye of God. In every part of His dominion, in all the worlds He has formed, His never-closing eye is present, His creative power is felt. The beams of His all-observant thought surround us. God, said the Greeks, is "All Eye." It is not the feeble and changing glance of fickle guilty man, but it is the pure and perfect scrutiny of the Eternal God, "in whose hand our breath is." "Thou God seest me." Then it is not a vague and general observation, but a particular and minute notice — the sinner in his guilt equally with the Christian in his devotions — the peasant in his cottage equally with the prince on his throne. Not the actions only, but the principles, "me" — all that constitutes our essence, all that forms our character, the interior recesses of the spirit, the hidden motives of the heart, the secret springs of the character. This thought may be one —

1. Of grandeur. With respect to God — His infinite dominion — His immense survey. With respect to man — his dignity — his responsibility — his destiny — he must, some day, come immediately before this Being.

2. Of terror. We are never safe. Sin cannot be even thought of without being known. Think of this when temptation invites. There is no darkness which can hide from God.

3. Of consolation in sorrow. He sees with a Father's eye which fills with compassion. He knows all the trouble of our spirit and our desires to be purer and better.

4. Of hope in danger. He sees, not to increase our misery, but to help and save. He sends His Covenant Angel to succour this desolate woman. None need despair, since God thus helps the outcast and the miserable.

(Archbishop Secker)

This text may be regarded as —


II. AN INCENTIVE TO A USEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL LIFE. Two things are essential to such a life —

1. Sincere love of the truth.

2. Earnest practice of the truth.

III. A RESTRAINT WON A SINFUL COURSE. Let these words, "Thou God seest me," preserve you from —

1. Unhallowed thoughts.

2. Selfish motives.

3. Formalism and hypocrisy.

4. Despondency and unbelief.

(J. R. Goulty, B. A.)

Does it not seem both strange and sad that these familiar words should suggest a feeling akin to terror in so many human hearts? How appalling does it seem to reflect that there is no possibility of escape from its relentless, inexorable vision! Yet there was a time when such a thought as this would have awakened only feelings of pleasure in the human mind and heart. When Adam came into the world fresh from the hand of God, nothing could have been further from his thoughts than to regard this consideration as suggestive of terror. On the contrary, he found true deep joy no doubt in just such a reflection as this. But the moment man sinned, and fell by sin, in nothing were the lamentable consequences of the fall so apparent as in this. The eye of God, that before seemed to cast rays of beneficent sunshine on his path, now seemed to shoot a hot and scorching thunderbolt into his soul. He felt that he must needs find a hiding place from that eye. Surely it would be simply impossible to do what many of us do if we really believed in our hearts, and were dwelling on the thought, "Thou God seest me." You never knew a thief that perpetrated a felony before the very eyes of the officer of justice, and knowing that he was being observed. And should we dare to break God's law, and defy His Majesty, if we really believed that God was looking at us? or would men indulge in the miserable hypocrisies with which they seem to succeed sometimes in stupefying their own consciences, if they really believed that God both saw them and saw through them? Men get into such a way of playing a part before their fellow man, that it would seem as if at last they grew to feel as if they could overreach and impose upon Almighty God. But they cannot! Always, and in all circumstances and conditions, in my best moments and in my worst, in public and in private, within, without, "Thou God seest me." What does He see? My brethren, let us in answer lay proper stress upon that little but, to each of us severally, important word me. It is the real "me," the actual self, that God sees. First there is the social self. The fine gentleman that moves in good society, with his company manners, endeavouring to make himself particularly agreeable to all around him. Well skilled is he to repress all that the world in which he moves — not less hypocritical than himself — would be disposed to frown on. He avoids what is coarse, abjures what is in bad taste, checks any display of the selfishness that may be natural to him, may even exhibit not a little self-control, should he be crossed by some petty annoyance. If he is proud, he has the sense not to show it; and strangers think him wondrously affable. This social paragon is so well veneered that you almost begin to think he is not veneered at all, and the superficial glance of society discerns only a charming exterior, and an amiable and estimable ornament for itself. But what does God see? Peradventure a whited sepulchre, a disguised savage, far less to be excused for the latent savagery of a selfish, passionate, licentious, and rapacious nature than the naked savage in the wild, who never wore any veneer except war-paint, is to be excused for his. And as for this conventional presentment of self God sees it not, or only sees it to see through it as the flimsiest of disguises. It is not this respectable sham that God sees, but the real actual self, whatever he may be. "Thou God seest me." Yet again there is the commercial self — not quite such a paragon of perfection as the social self. There is much less veneer about him, and much more exposure of some inner substance, which, whatever its true nature, is not always very smooth or very pretty. Yet it passes muster, because there are so many more all around it that are its moral counterparts. A little greedy, a little avaricious, a little selfish and unscrupulous the man may be; but then, you know, that sort of thing is to some extent expected in business; and against these little failings how much of sterling merit is there to be set! First, there is the great merit of solvency! You are a substantial man, and can always pay twenty shillings in the pound; and in these days of rascally bankruptcy there is no small virtue in the eye of the commercial world. Then again you have never condescended to any vulgar form of swindling. You would scorn the idea of doing anything that could by any means expose you to the action of law, or induce commercial ostracism. A respectable man of business, that is what the world sees. Is that the real self, or only the self that has to do duty at the office? Is that the thing that God sees when He looks at you? or is it only another and less attractive counterfeit presentation of self that He sees through and through? Don't let us attempt to blind Him, for we cannot. "Thou God seest me." The secret things of dishonesty, the idolatry of Mammon, the indifference to others, the selfish eagerness to make capital out of their ruin, the readiness to lie without a blush, if only there is no particular chance of the lie being detected — all this, and a great deal more, may be included in the "me," without interfering much with my commercial reputation, provided I can make it pay. With Mammon once on my side, there is not much to be feared from unfriendly criticisms in most commercial circles; but what does God see? But we must come nearer home. There is the domestic self, whose faults and failings are perhaps even more apparent than those of his commercial presentment. Your wife knows more of your real moral character, probably, than do those with whom you transact business. Your children too — for children are always sharp observers — may have noticed many a little failing about you that you would not like published in the drawing room or in the counting house; but then domestic affection is very apt to be blind. So even here we don't get at the real self. We see perhaps the respected father, the idolized husband; but what does God see? Perhaps a father who slapped his child's hands for stealing a lump of sugar, when he had that very day put a hundred pounds into his pocket by "operating" ingeniously upon the market, or by perpetrating some other act of skilfully disguised fraud; or thrashed his boy for telling a lie, when he himself had told at least a dozen that day in his own counting house. Alas! we don't get at the real man even when we find him at home. But God sees more than either wife or child, or servant or friend. "Thou God seest me." But we, must go further still. There is the ideal self, which, like a familiar spirit, we ever carry about with us — a presentation of self to self, in which we are careful to ignore or excuse all that is evil or faulty, and to magnify all that is good. How rare a thing is it for any man to entertain a really poor opinion of himself, whatever mock-modest expressions we may use? Or I might put it thus: How many of us would be able to stand behind a hedge, and hear with anything like a feeling of equanimity our faults and failings described with accuracy by a neighbour? Yes, I believe that most of us have an ideal self that we confuse with the real, and for which we have always a kindly feeling; but it is not this that God looks at. His eye is fixed, not on the phantom, but on him who creates it; not on the ideal, but on the actual. "Thou God seest me." He sees our thoughts, detecting the secret springs of motive from which our actions flow. He discerns at a glance what our life purpose is, and which way it flows. He sees our religion, and knows whether or not it is more than skin-deep. And He sees our actual irreligion; how, it may be, some of us in this church tonight have desecrated our nature by closing it against God. We have barred the door against the Divine Visitant, and He saw us doing it! The eye of God pierces through every barrier, and discerns it all. "Thou God seest me." What does He see? The past as well as the present; the series of years gone by, as well as the marks that they have left upon our character today. In the completeness of our history, as well as in the real character of our moral condition, it still remains true, "Thou God seest me." And yet, seeing all this as no one else can or does see it, the wonderful thing is He loves us still. Poor, wandering, desolate soul! What a sudden rush of joy must have possessed her as she thus learnt for the first time, not as a mere religious or theological theory, but as a blessed fact, that truth which lies behind all other truths — the Fatherhood of God! And He sees us too, and sees us, as He did her, with a Father's eye, and loves us, wanderers though we may be, with a Father's heart; and He who took an interest in Hagar, takes an interest in us. "Whence comest thou?" Ah! who shall answer that question, and trace the history of our being up to its hidden source? Yet do we know something of the answer to the question so far as regards the race. When comest thou, O fallen man, who hast lost all contact with God, and wanderest aimlessly on from day to day, having no hope, and without God in the world? Let us never forget it, however low thou mayest have fallen, however far thou mayest have wandered, thy first home was Eden, thy first experience the revealed love of thy Father — God. "Whence comest thou?" Let us turn from the race to the individual, let us apply the question to ourselves. Whence do we come? In early years we were baptized in the Triune Name, and were branded with the Cross of Christ in token of allegiance to Him; and can we doubt that He who called the little ones to Himself, and laid His hands upon them, and blessed them, met us with His blessing in those early days? Have we turned our back upon our birthright privileges? and are we, as it were, going away further and further from all that we had a right to enjoy? Do we come from the comparative innocence of childhood? from the purer associations, the holier aspirations, of our earlier days? from the better influences of Christian homes? from the favourable atmosphere of religious society? "Whence comest thou?" Have you left all that is best and purest in human life behind you? Has your progress been all in the wrong direction? And whither wilt thou go? Perhaps you have never paused to reflect where those wandering steps of yours are taking you. Like Hagar, you have wandered on without any definite idea as to where your wanderings were to end. Whither wilt thou go? The world, with all its fading pageants, its flimsy inanities, invites your steps. It offers pleasure, but not joy; excitement, but not happiness; intoxication and stupefaction that shall benumb your nobler faculties and check your aspirations, but no satisfaction; stagnation, but not peace. How little has it done for you in the past! and in the future it can do still less. Its capacities of gratification diminish with each passing year. Yes, whither? Is there no welcome for thee in thy Father's house? no greeting of love? no feast of joy? Is He thy foe, that thou shouldest fly from Him thus?

(W. Hay Aitken, M. A.)

I. In the first place I would endeavour to lay before you the ARGUMENT FOR THE OMNISCIENCE AND OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD WHICH IS DERIVED FROM NATURAL RELIGION. We assert, then, that the doctrine of the omnipresence of God results from the truth universally acknowledged, that the world owes its existence to a Creator. Wherever we direct our view we perceive marks of intelligence and design. In every part of the universe accessible to our survey, we have therefore the most resplendent proofs that there the hand of God hath been; consequently, at that period, at least, the Divine Being was omnipresent. I make this limitation, because, to argue with correctness, it is required, that we should infer no more than the premises laid down will allow. But now it is possible, for it may be conceived, that the Divine Creator, having made all things, and, consequently, having then been present everywhere, afterward withdrew His immediate agency. Wherefore, even upon the principle of such persons themselves, when properly understood, the omniscience of God follows as a necessary consequence. For if, as must be acknowledged, everything in the universe is under the control of some one or more of these laws, it follows that in every point of the universe, the Deity is acting; and where He acts, there He is, and where He is, there He perceives.

II. Having adduced the testimony of natural religion to the omnipresence of God, we proceed to lay before you THE PROOF FURNISHED BY THE SCRIPTURES. The testimony of the text will be found clear and strong. How awful are the words of Elihu, "His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He seeth all his goings; there is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves" (Job 34:21). To the same effect the wise man speaks in the fifteenth chapter of Proverbs and eighth verse, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good." See the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Proverbs and eleventh verse, "Hell and destruction are before the Lord, how much more the hearts of men." Neither do the Scriptures represent Him as a mere spectator, but as a witness and judge who scrutinizes the thoughts and actions with all their circumstances, and makes a just and righteous estimation of them. I know and I am witness, saith the Lord. The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed. "All the actions of a man are right in his own eyes, but the Lord weigheth the spirits." The Scriptures declare that God is the Governor of the material and moral world; consequently, as it is necessary that the Creator and Governor of the universe should be in all places of His dominion at the same moment, in order that He may sustain and guide the whole, so it is absolutely necessary that He should have a perfect knowledge of everything, without which omnipotence and omnipresence were useless. The Scriptures declare that God is the moral governor but the judge of all men; they represent Him as having given laws of the most spiritual character — that is to say, relating to the spirits of men in the most comprehensive manner. They reach to every part of our conduct, and not only direct the outward life, but give also law to the most retired thought and inward affection. Thus we are told, Proverbs 24:9, "That the thought of foolishness is sin."


1. Let us take occasion from the subject, to adore, with humble gratitude, the long suffering, patience, and tender compassion of our God. Does He see the first dark thought of lust or rage, and does He look on still and spare us till it be fully formed and executed? How incomprehensible, then, must be His patience.

2. Let the subject of the Divine omniscience be a prevailing motive with us to honesty and sincerity. He who can thus realize the Divine presence, cannot, dare not be a hypocrite.

3. Again, from the subject of the Divine omnipresence, let every sinner remember that God is present at the commission of all his crimes.

4. Further, the doctrine of the Divine omniscience affords abundant cause of joy to the godly. His eyes are continually upon you for good. He is perfectly acquainted with your wants, and He knows all things that are required for their supply. This qualifies Him to be the object of your trust and confidence. On Him you may safely depend.

5. Lastly, let the doctrine of Divine omniscience restrain us from every sin, and excite us to every duty, "Thou God seest me."

(J. F. Denham.)


1. God sees us Himself.

2. God sees us completely.

3. God sees us perpetually.

4. God sees every rational being as He sees us. The Indian, the African: all can adopt language of text.

II. LOOK AT THE TEXT IN A PRACTICAL ASPECT. The thought of God's omnipresence, when received into the heart, is —

1. One of the most powerful restraints from the commission of sin.

2. One of the most powerful incentives to do His will.

3. A source of true delight.

4. A remedy for the dangers and sorrows of life.

(A. McAuslane, D. D.)

I. THE NAME OF THE LORD. "Thou God seest me," or, Thou God of vision; "for she said, Have I also here looked after Him that seeth me?" i.e., I have seen Him that He has seen me; I have seen Him and lived. Hagar's seeing God was God's seeing Hagar. The vision was not merely objective, but subjective. The state of Hagar's mind was doubtless preparation for some such interposition. Lamenting her sin, weary, desolate, praying for help. Man's extremity is God's opportunity.

II. CONNECT THE REVELATION WITH THE PERSONAL HISTORY. Hagar saw the Lord, received His word of grace into her heart, obeyed His commandment. The faith which initiates practical obedience is a progressive blessedness. When we know that God has appeared unto us, when we have looked into His countenance in the light of His reconciling love, when we feel assured that our life is under His eye, that it may be in His hand, then bondage is liberty, submission is delight, patience is growing expectation.

(R. A. Redford, M. A.)

This self-interrogation of Hagar is suggestive of three things.


1. The very nature of God implies this.

2. The Bible teaches this.

II. IT SUGGESTS A SAD TENDENCY IN HUMAN NATURE. Hagar's question implies a fear that she had not been sufficiently conscious of this fact.

1. The signs of this tendency.

(1)Deadness of soul.

(2)Profanity of life.

2. The causes of this tendency.

(1)Dislike of God.

(2)Dread of God.

III. IT SUGGESTS AN URGENT OBLIGATION IN HUMAN LIFE. A sense of God's continual presence will —

1. Restrain from sin.

2. Stimulate to virtue.

3. Strengthen for trial.

4. Qualify for the full mission of life.



1. This may be easily proved, even from the nature of God. It were hard to suppose a God who could not see His own creatures; it were difficult in the extreme to imagine a divinity who could not behold the actions of the works of His hands. The word which the Greeks applied to God implied that He was a God who could see. They called Him θεος (Theos); and they derived that word, if I read rightly, from the root θεψσθαι (Theisthai), to see, because they regarded God as being the All-seeing One, whose eye took in the whole universe at a glance, and whose knowledge extended far beyond that of mortals. There were no god if that God had no eyes, for a blind God were no God at all.

2. Yet, further, we are sure that God must see us, for we are taught in the Scriptures that God is everywhere, and if God be everywhere, what doth hinder Him from seeing all that is done in every part of His universe?

3. But lest any should suppose that God may be in a place, and yet slumbering, let me remind him that in every spot to which he can travel there is not simply God but God's activity. Wherever I go I shall find, not a slumbering God, but a God busy about the affairs of this world.

4. I have one more proof to offer which I think to be conclusive. God, we may be sure, sees us, when we remember that He can see a thing before it happens. If He beholds an event before it transpires, surely reason dictates He must see a thing that is happening now. Read those ancient prophecies, read what God said should be the end of Babylon and of Nineveh; just turn to the chapter where you read of Edom's doom, or where you are told that Tyre shall be desolate; then walk through the lands of the East, and see Nineveh and Babylon cast to the ground, the cities ruined; and then reply to this question — "Is not God a God of foreknowledge?"

II. Now I come, in the second place, to the SPECIAL DOCTRINE: "Thou God seest me."

1. Mark, God sees you — selecting anyone out of this congregation — He sees you, He sees you as much as if there were nobody else in the world for Him to look at.

2. God sees you entirely.

3. God sees you constantly.

4. Supremely.

III. Now I come to DIFFERENT INFERENCES for different persons, to serve different purposes.

1. First, to the prayerful. Prayerful man, prayerful woman, here is a consolation — God sees you: and if He can see you, surely He can hear you.

2. I have given a word for the prayerful, now a word for the careful. Some here are very full of care, and doubts, and anxieties, and fears. Don't give up in despair. If your case be ever so bad, God can see your care, your troubles, and your anxieties.

3. And now a word to the slandered. There are some of us who come in for a very large share of slander. It is very seldom that the slander market is much below par; it usually runs up at a very mighty rate; and there are persons who will take shares to any amount. Well, what matters it? Suppose you are slandered; here is a comfort: "Thou God seest me." They say that such-and-such is your motive, but you need not answer them; you can say "God knows that matter."

4. Now a sentence or two to some of you who are ungodly and know not Christ.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. In speaking of Hagar I shall first dwell for a little upon HER REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE.

1. Observe that Hagar had outlawed herself. The untamable spirit which afterwards showed itself in her son Ishmael raged in her bosom. So, too, have we met with those who have deliberately left the ways of God and the people of God, and all semblance of goodness, because they have thought themselves badly used. They do not, indeed, care what becomes of them: they would flee from the presence of God Himself if they could.

2. While she was there, in the moment of her desperation, she was found by the angel. What was there about her that Jehovah should come out of His place to seek her? Yet He came in unexpected grace as He is wont to do. He remembered the low estate of His handmaiden, and because His mercy endureth forever, He found her by the fountain in the wilderness.

3. When the angel of the Lord found Hagar, He dealt graciously with her. Indeed this was the object of His finding her; He Game in pity, not in wrath. Blessed be God, it has happened to tens of thousands that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. When they have run away and outlawed themselves, grace has followed them, grace has convicted them, grace has admonished them, and grace has made large promises to them.

II. Now I want you to notice HER DEVOUT ACKNOWLEDGMENT. When that which we have described happened to her, she acknowledged the living God. My text says, "She called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me."

1. She spake to Him that spake to her: after this fashion do we all begin our communion with God. Oh, when God speaks to you, you will soon find a tongue to speak to Him. What did she say?

2. She acknowledged Him to be God. "She called the name of the Lord that spake to her, Thou God seest me." It is one thing to believe there is a God, but it is quite another thing to know it by coming into personal contact with Him.

3. Observe that she acknowledged His observant love. She could not help acknowledging it, for it flashed before her eyes.

4. In the presence of that God she felt overpowered and ready to yield. She was so overwhelmed that no rebellion remained within her. She girds her garments about her, and she makes the best of her way home to the tent of Sarai. Her mistress is hard; but sin is harder.

III. Let me now call to your notice THE MANIFEST AMAZEMENT of this woman; for in her glad surprise she uttered a sentence which runs as follows: "Have I also here looked after Him that seeth me?" Expositors will tell you that as many senses may be given to this sentence as there are words in it; and each one of these senses will bear a measure of decent defence. I shall not go into them all, but I think I see clearly that she was amazed that God should care for her. "Thou God seest me. Have I also here looked after Him that seeth me?" Does He see me? Do I see Him? Do you not say, "Why me, my Lord? Why me?" Sit still in holy wonder, and adore and bless the Lord.

5. I think her next amazement was that she should have been such a long time without ever thinking of Him who had thought so much of her. She says, "Have I also here looked unto Him that seeth me?" "What! Have I been these years with Abraham, and heard about the God who has been looking at me in love, and have I never glanced a thought to Him?" Her ungodliness astounds her.

6. But next, she is amazed still more to think that at last she does look unto God. In effect she cries, "What! Has it come to this? Have I also here looked after Him that seeth me? Is Hagar at last converted? What a surprise it must be to rebels to be thus seized in the arms of grace and transformed into friends of the King! I ask God that such a surprise may await some who are here today. May you also inquire in amazement, "Have I here also looked after Him that seeth me?"

7. One other surprise Hagar had, and that was the surprise to think that she was alive. It was the common conviction of that age that no man could see God and live. The awakened sinner, when he is met with by the God of grace, wonders that he has not been cut down as a cumberer of the ground.


1. She worshipped God heartily and intelligently, according to her knowledge.

2. She worshipped beyond her knowledge, according to her apprehension.

3. Her worship was wonderfully personal.

4. Her worship proved itself deeply true, for it was followed by immediate practical obedience to the command of the Lord.

V. We will conclude by glancing for an instant at the well which became THE SUGGESTIVE MEMORIAL of this special manifestation and singular experience. That well — we do not know what it had been called before — but that Beer, or well, was henceforth called Beer-lahai-roi, or the well of Him that liveth and seeth. Will we not all at this time drink of that well? It was a very happy thought to attach a holy name to a well, so that every traveller might learn of God as he refreshed himself. When a person comes to drink at certain fountains he reads, "Drink, gentle traveller, drink and pray." The inscription is most suitable. It is fit that men should pray when they receive so precious a refreshment as pure water. It was specially meet that travellers should henceforth and forever pray at a spot where the Lord Himself had been, and had called to Himself a wanderer who had felt compelled to cry, "God lives, and God sees."

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

The Weekly Pulpit.
(Sermon to children.) "Thou God seest me" — a name for God found by a woman who had run away from duty. She could not run away from God. It took her back to duty to feel that God saw her (Jonah, and Psalm 139).

I. GOD'S EYE ON US MAY MAKE US UNCOMFORTABLE. Illustration: Servant girl cutting out eyes of picture which seemed to watch her pilfering. Sentinels in Portland prison. Prison with hole in door, and the warder's eye ever there.

II. IT MAY MAKE US HAPPY. If we are in any trouble. Sad thing to feel alone. Widowed mother in trouble. Little children say, "Is God dead, mother?" If God sees, He must be there. If He is there, He must be there as Helper.

III. IT MAY MAKE US STRONG. "Can do all things through Him who strengthens us." Some, like Adam and Eve, hide from God. Some, like David, can say, "I flee unto Thee to hide me."

(The Weekly Pulpit.)


1. This is a pleasing reflection when I fear some hidden corruption which has hindered the answer of prayer, and often deprived me of comfort, but which I cannot, after the most faithful investigation, detect. He can discern it — "Show me wherefore Thou contendest with me."

2. This is a pleasing reflection when I feel those infirmities which make me groan. He sees grace, however small; He sees the disadvantages of my situation, the influence of the body over the mind, and of sensible things over the body; He sees that the "spirit indeed is willing when the flesh is weak."

3. This is a pleasing reflection with regard to prayer. I often know not what to pray for as I ought; but He always knows what to give. I cannot express myself properly in words; but words are not necessary to inform Him who "knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit — my desire is before Him, and my groaning is not hid from Him."

4. This is a pleasing reflection when I am suffering under the suspicions of friends or the reproaches of enemies. "Behold my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee."

5. This is a pleasing reflection when I am in trouble. He knows all my "walking through this great wilderness"; He knows where the burden presses; He knows how long to continue the trial, and by what means to remove it.


1. God sees everything you do.

2. He does not forget anything He has seen.

3. And to complete the terror of this consideration — all He has seen He will publish before the whole world: and He will also punish all that He has seen "with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power."

III. The reflection will be found very USEFUL TO ALL.

1. Useful as a check to sin. For can a person sin while he realizes this? Can he affront the Almighty to His very face? — Impossible.

2. Useful as a motive to virtue. The presence, the eye of One who is above us, and whom we highly esteem and reverence, elevates our minds and refines our behaviour; and we desire to act so as to gain His approbation. A servant feels this when he is before his master, and a subject when he is before the king. One of the heathen philosophers, therefore, recommended his pupils, as the best means to induce and enable them to behave worthily, to imagine that some very distinguished character was always looking upon them. But what was the eye of a Care compared with the eye of Jehovah!

3. Useful as a reason for simplicity and godly sincerity. Oh! let it banish all dissimulation from our religious exercises; and, whether we read, or hear, or pray, or surround the table of the Lord, let us remember that "God weigheth the spirits." If we had to do with men only, a fair appearance might be sufficient; "but the Lord looketh to the heart." And can we play the hypocrite under those eyes which are as a flame of fire?

(W. Jay.)

1. The first idea presented to us is one of wonder, admiration, and comfort. It does not so much express her awe as her surprise and delight, that the God of whom she had heard in Abraham's family should have appeared to her in her perplexity. "Have I also here looked after Him that seeth me?"

2. I go on to observe that the omnipresence of God is salutary only when it implies watchful and personal inspection of our conduct, and personal interest in our welfare. We are under a government; we live under an immutable system of law. We ignorantly think to evade it; but the Lawgiver is all eye and all ear. We have no adequate motive for a moral life, except it be the active oversight of a moral Ruler. Every transgressor hopes to escape observation. The great majority need a power out of ourselves, independent of our own strength, resolutions, or sense of duty; yet not superseding, but quickening and aiding these motives to high moral conduct. We do not want to set aside the social esteem which follows good conduct; but this being of most precarious quality, we want to aid it by the sense of Divine approval, manifested to the individual by a personal, all-seeing Judge and Ruler.

(B. Kent, M. A.)


1. God sees us by virtue of His omnipresence.

2. God sees us that we may be the objects of His providential care.

3. God sees us as preparatory to the final judgment.


1. In discharge of the common duties of life how often may we say, "Have I here looked after Him that seeth me?" When we come to the sanctuary we expect to meet with God, for we know that He has said, "In all places where I record My name I will come and bless them." But when the services of the sanctuary are ended, and the Sabbath is closed, and the morrow has come, and one man has gone to his farm, another to his merchandise, how prone are we to lose sight of the solemn truth, "Thou God seest me."

2. Under the pressure of severe temptation how often may we propose this question.

3. So, too, in reference to some of the sorrowful events of human life the inquiry of nay text will apply. If you have ever been sorrowful and have not been comforted — if you have been weak, and have not been strengthened — if you have been despairing, and hope has not revived, it has not been because God has forsaken you, but because you have not "looked" or sought for Him; and oh, if God had only come to us when we "looked" for Him — if He had not surprised us with many a visit, and succoured us with unexpected help, how seldom would He have come to us at all.

(H. J. Gamble.)

a sermon to children: —


1. A Being, great in power, wisdom, knowledge, love.

2. A Judge.

3. Your Father. His eye is upon you, to protect, preserve, supply wants.

4. Your Saviour.


1. Because He is full of goodness and mercy.

2. Because He loves you, and would make you happy, by making you like Himself.

III. WHEN DOES GOD SEE ME? At all times. He sees you when you entice others to join you in some foolish act, add while you are making the lie to hide the fault; He sees you making that lie. He sees you when Satan is busy about you, to do you some mischief, and keeps Satan away that he may not hurt you.

IV. WHERE DOES GOD SEE ME? In all places. Adam among trees. Hagar in wilderness. Jonah inside monster of deep. Daniel in lions' den.

V. WHAT DOES GOD SEE IN ME? He sees in you, my child, a sinful heart; He sees you a child of fallen Adam, ready to follow the temptations of Satan, and to do all manner of evil. Again: God sees in you children a backwardness and reluctancy to do what He commands: and you don't like reading your Bibles, and you don't like coming to church.

VI. WHAT DOES GOD WISH TO SEE IN ME? He wishes to see in you repentance, that you may ask for forgiveness for the past, and help for the time to come. He wishes to see in you a prayerful heart; not a mere saying, but a thinking of the words you say.

(T. J. Judkin.)

1. God sees your heart — what you are. Others do not see your heart; they cannot. They can only see what is outward. You cannot see the heart of so small a thing as a watch. It has a gold or silver case, and a beautiful dial, and hands such as good watches have, and you may pay a large sum of money for it; and yet its inside, which is the real watch, may be all defective and wrong. Now your heart determines what you are. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." It is what you think and feel, and wish, and purpose, that marks out what you really are. And I daresay you are sometimes thankful enough that nobody can see that; things are often outwardly so good, and yet so bad within. But God sees it all — all that we are within — all that is going on in our inmost heart. The heart is transparent to Him. It is as if it were made of glass.

2. God sees your life — what you do. Much of what is outward, as well as all that is within, is unseen and unknown by others. Many things are done secretly. I have been in institutions in which a large number of young people are being educated. Looking from the governor's room into the common hall where they work and play and get their meals, is a window that commands the whole. He had scarcely to rise from his chair in order to see all that was going on. And they knew it. Every now and then you might see an eye turned to the window, especially if there was anything questionable or wrong going on. And sure enough there was the face at the window — all was seen by the governor! And yet, even in such a case, where there is the sharpest lookout, it is possible to elude observation; things are done which no one sees, which everybody denies, and sometimes it is impossible to find out who has been the wrong-doer. But God sees all. Nothing escapes His observation. He slumbers not nor sleeps. The most secret thing that anyone can do, lies open to Him. Every word, though spoken in a whisper, He hears. Every act, however hidden, His eye looks right down upon.

3. God sees you in the dark. It is wonderful what an idea most people have of darkness, as covering and hiding things, Now, we need to be reminded that however it may be with men, darkness makes no difference to God. He sees in the dark just as in the light; so that, so far as He is concerned — and it is mainly with Him we have to do — it is of no use waiting till night, till it is dark.

4. God sees you in the crowd. When one wishes not to be seen, he likes to get into a crowd. We speak of being "lost in the crowd." Hence it is so easy to do many things in a crowd, which one would not do alone. Hence evil becomes so bold in a crowd. I recollect seeing a number of youths standing at a corner, in a seafaring town, going great lengths in the way of scoffing and reviling and ridiculing all that was good. A friend challenged any one of them to go out with him along a country road and say the same things there. He dared them to do, one by one, what they did boldly in the mass. I need not say the challenge was not accepted — all shrunk from it. But here, too, it is otherwise with God than it is with men. Just as darkness makes no difference, so numbers make none. Each individual out of ten thousand stands out as distinctly as if there were but the one.

5. God sees you when alone. A strange feeling of being unobserved, so as to be at liberty to do anything, comes over one when he is alone. There is such a sense of solitude that, so far as anyone else is concerned, it seems to matter little what one does. To be left alone with oneself is far more dangerous for some than to be surrounded by the most skilful of tempters. Many have found their way to prison and to ruin just through being left alone. But when one is most alone, in the most out-of-the-way place, in the remotest corner of the earth — God sees. Gehazi, the prophet's servant, thought he was all unobserved when he hurried after Naaman, the Syrian, after he was healed, and by a lying device got money from him, which he stowed away securely, and then presented himself before his master. How he must have been startled when Elisha said, "Went not my heart with thee?" And so God says, "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?"

6. God sees you everywhere. "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3). "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro, throughout the whole earth" (2 Chronicles 16:9). "Do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 23:24).

7. God sees you always. There is no moment when He does not see you — night or day — waking or sleeping — alone or in company. It is told of Linnaeus, the famous naturalist, that he was greatly impressed with this thought, and that it told on his conversation, his writings, and his conduct. He felt the importance of this so much that he wrote over the door of his study the Latin words: "Innocui vivite; Numen adest; Live innocently; God is here." We might well have these words before us everywhere.

(J. H. Wilson, M. A.)

We wonder at the smooth working of the machinery for feeding a great city; and how, day by day, the provisions come at the right time, and are parted out among hundreds of thousands of homes. But we seldom think of the punctual love, the perfect knowledge, the profound wisdom which cares for us all, and is always in time with its gifts.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

We think much of being seen of men; some of us would do anything for the sake of keeping up appearances. We should not give a penny to the offertory instead of a shilling if our neighbour could see us; we should not sell an adulterated article over the counter if a friend were looking over our shoulder. There are certain things which we do in private which we would not let our acquaintances know, and yet God knows all. We may lock our door, we may draw down the blind before we commit a sin, but God sees us: no lock shuts Him out.

(H. J. Wilmot Buxton, M. A.)

Nomus, one of the heathen gods, is said to have complained of Vulcan, that he had not set a grate at every man's breast. God hath a glazed window in the darkest houses of clay; He sees what is done in them when none other can. To God's omnipotence there is nothing impossible; and to God's omniscience there is nothing invisible.

Here is a young banker. When he was a boy in a country home, his mother bought for him an illuminated card with this text on it. It was framed and hung at the foot of his bed, so that every morning it was the first thing that met his eye when he awoke. By and by he went to a large city and entered a banking establishment. His father's last words to him, as he bade him good-bye, were, "Remember your motto, Thou God seest me." He soon rose to position, securing the unlimited confidence of his employers. Then came the hour of temptation — to enrich himself by taking a large sum of money and running off. It grew upon him and mastered him. All was ready. He stayed behind when the other clerks left the office, He turned the key of the safe and the heavy door swung open. The money was counted. It was in his hands. The deed was all but done, when the old text — the text of his boyhood — flashed out. Conscience awoke. The money fell from his hands. It seemed as if it had a voice — as if it said, "Thou God seest me," and the agonized youth cried out, "O God of my mother, save me from this awful crime." The money was replaced, and the young man was saved.

(J. H. Wilson, M. A.)

Old Testament Anecdotes.
Some years since a trio of gentlemen, members of a large mercantile firm, came into the office of the writer, and, under injunctions of profound secrecy, desired the favour of using the window for a few days. The privilege was readily granted, and one of their number was at once installed behind a curtain, where, with a powerful glass, he could rigidly scrutinize every movement of a certain clerk in a large building across the way. The young man, all unconscious of the vigilant, eye constantly upon him, was absorbed in his duties, making entries and receiving money; and, whatever consciousness of innocence or guilt was carried about with him, the suspicion of a rigid watch upon his actions — every movement closely scanned and weighed by his employers — doubtless had never entered his mind. The surveillance was continued nearly a week when it was abruptly terminated, and the result, whether in discovery of wrong or establishing innocence, I never learned. The incident made a profound impression upon me, suggesting, with thrilling distinctness, the solemn truth which men are so prone to forget, "Thou God seest me," and enabling me as never before to realize how open before Him are the hearts and ways of men, their desires, volitions, actions; and that at last He shall bring every work into judgment whether it be good or whether it be evil.

(Old Testament Anecdotes.)

A man went to steal corn from his neighbour's field. He took his little boy with him to keep a lookout, so as to give warning in case anyone should come along. Before commencing he looked all around, first one way and then the other; and not seeing any person he was just about to fill his bag when the son cried out, "Father, there is one way you haven't looked yet!" The father supposed that someone was coming, and asked his son which way he meant. He answered, "You forgot to look up!" The father, conscience-stricken, took his boy by the hand, and hurried home without the corn which he had designed to take.

Thousand New Illustrations.
Mazzini's soul was an inner lamp, shining through him always. Here was the strength of his personal influence. You could not doubt his glance.

(Thousand New Illustrations.)

Is this universe an unsurveyed and solitary waste? Do you fancy there is no presence to cheer it, nor eye to look upon it forever? There is an eye whose vision is spread all over this amazing scene. There is a mind present unto it in all its illimitable extent. The Eternal One at the same moment converses with its immeasurably remote extremes. There is a mind to whose intelligence all this amazing vast of worlds on worlds, and suns on suns, and systems on systems, is distinctly apparent. Every atom in this magnificent immensity, whether sinking in its depths or aspiring in its heights, whether resting on its axis or whirling on its verge, is watched by the intense and eternal scrutiny of the omnipresent and omniscient God.

(Bishop Hamline.)

Christian Age.
The people of God, if they read nature aright, might learn much from even her humblest page; for the bending grass has a voice as distinct, if not as loud, as the sturdy oak. Myriad voices ever testify that God is near. This truth was found beautifully realized a little while ago by one of the agents of the London City Mission, who was visiting in one of those courts where the houses are crowded with inhabitants, and where every room is the dwelling of a family. In a lone room at the top of one of these houses the agent met with an aged woman, whose scanty pittance of half-a-crown a week was scarcely sufficient for her bare subsistence. He observed, in a broken teapot that stood in the window, a strawberry plant, growing and flourishing. He remarked, from time to time, how it continued to grow, and with what jealous care it was watched and tended. "Your plant flourishes nicely; you will soon have strawberries upon it." "Oh, sir," replied the woman, "it is not for the sake of the fruit that I grow it." "Then why do you take so much care of it?" he inquired. "Well, sir," was the answer, "I am very poor, too poor to keep any living creature; but it is a great comfort to me to have that living plant; for I know it can only live by the power of God; and as I see it live and grow from day to day, it tells me that God is near." "Thou God seest me. A young Christian lady was laid on a sick bed. She was often unprotected and alone. One night very late, as she was lying awake on her bed, her family all asleep in their rooms around, a man was seen by her entering her door. He stopped a moment after he had gained entrance, her little night lamp shining on them both from the stand by her bedside. He saw this sick girl surveying him with perfect tranquillity. She raised her finger, pointing upward, and said, Do you know that God sees you?" The man waited a moment, but made no reply, and then turned and walked immediately out, having opened no other door than the street door and the door of her chamber. Thus God interposed and defended her by the weakest instrument, but with the mightiest power. "Thou God seest me. When the great Phidias had completed his reclining statue of Theseus, someone, knowing that the statue was to occupy an elevated position in the temple, and observing that the back of the masterpiece was as highly polished and as carefully completed as was the front, asked why such waste of time and energy, when no one would ever see whether it was finished or in the rough. The sculptor calmly and reverently replied, Men may not see it, but the gods will." Our every act is under the inspection of the living God.

(Christian Age.)

It presented a difficulty to the mind of the Emperor Trajan, that God should be everywhere and yet not be seen by mortal eye. "You teach me," said the Emperor, on one occasion, to Rabbi Joshua, "that your God is everywhere; and you boast that He resides among your nation. I should like to see Him." "God's presence is indeed everywhere," said the Rabbi, "but He cannot be seen. No mortal eye can behold His glory." The Emperor insisted. "Well," said Joshua; "but suppose we go first, and look at one of His ambassadors." The emperor assented. The rabbi took him into the open air. It was noonday; and he bade him look on the sun, blazing in its meridian splendour. "I cannot see," said Trajan; "the light dazzles me." Said the rabbi, "Thou art unable to bear the light of one of these creatures; how, then, could'st thou look upon the Creator? Would not such a light annihilate thee?"

A plate of sweet cakes was brought in and laid upon the table. Two children played upon the hearth rug before the fire. "Oh, I want one of those cakes!" cried the little boy, jumping up as soon as his mother went out, and going on tiptoe towards the table. "No, no," said his sister, pulling him back, "you must not touch." "Mother won't know it; she did not count them," he cried, shaking her off and stretching out his hand. "If she didn't perhaps God counted," answered the other. The little boy's hand was stayed. Yes, children, be sure God counts.

(Children's Missionary Record.)

"Thou God seest me" is a very unwelcome thought to a great many men, and it will be so, unless we can give it the modification which it receives from belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ, and feel sure that the eyes which are blazing with Divine Omniscience are dewy with Divine and human love.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.).

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