Friday, April 20, 2012

El Roi

Genesis 16:13 Then she called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, You are The-God-Who-Sees (El Roi); for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?

El Roi is another name of God (like El Elyon and El Olam) that describes one of His specific attributes. It literally means the God who sees. It tells us that He observes, considers, and distinguishes. It is the name of the all-seeing God. El Roi sees us, knows us as we really are, sees what we try to hide, and sees what we’re going through.

God sees us as we really are. For an unbeliever, that is not a good thing. But for the ones who have faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, it’s a very good thing! Why? Because He doesn’t see us as sinners any more.

He sees believers the way that 2 Corinthians 5:21 describes us: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 1 Corinthians 1:30 declares that Jesus became righteousness for us. So because of what Jesus gave us, God now sees us the same way He saw Noah in Genesis 7:1. “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” God sees us the way we really are - righteous, the way Jesus made us.

That’s worth repeating -  God sees us as righteous!

There is another side to this, though - we’re called to pursue righteousness (1 Timothy 6:11) and to seek righteousness (Matthew 6:33). We can’t live a sinful, rebellious lifestyle, refuse to repent, and then claim that we’re righteous in Jesus. Righteous people seek and pursue the righteous way of life. It’s cause and effect - we were made righteous, so we seek righteousness! Why? Because now we serve a righteous God who sees everything!

Hebrews 4:13 warns us, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Even after we’re saved, God sees our conduct. One day we’ll be required to account for what we do on earth, and nothing is going to be hidden on that day! Psalm 94:7 speaks of the people who claim that God won’t see their wrongdoing. It says, “Yet they say, ‘The Lord does not see, nor does the God of Jacob understand.’ Understand, you senseless among the people; and you fools, when will you be wise? He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see?

In the book of Jeremiah, God saw the sins of His people - those who were called by His name and who were worshipping in His temple! Out of love for them, He sent Jeremiah to warn them. God’s exact words were “Behold, I have seen.” Nothing they were doing was hidden from God’s sight - and nothing we do is either.

Some Christians ignorantly say, “Doesn’t the Bible say that God doesn’t see my sin?” Yes, that is part of the truth. But it isn’t the whole truth. You see, God does say in Hebrews 10:17, “Your sins and your lawless deeds, I will remember no more” - but read it again carefully! God chose not to remember our sins, but He did see them at first! There’s a crucial step between God seeing our sin and God forgetting our sin. That step we all have to take is called repentance!

Thankfully, God sees repentance too! Nineveh is a great example of how God sees repentance. When Jonah preached about impending judgement, the entire city of Nineveh repented. Jonah 3:10 says “When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.” God saw their repentant hearts and forgave them. And, since El Elyon never chages, He will do the same for us. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

Repentance and forgiveness isn’t about God closing His eyes to the sin that’s in our life. El Roi never closes His eyes, God always sees everything! Instead, God’s forgiveness is about Him washing us clean from our sin. When we’re forgiven, there is nothing in our life anymore for Him to see! Think about this, the God Who sees everything, sees us as righteous! When we’re forgiven, there is literally no sin in us for Him to look at!

Let’s start seeing ourselves the way El Roi sees us!

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