by Clarence E. Macartney

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Chariots of Fire (6 of 18)
Unexpected Providence-Hagar
Clarence E. Macartney
Genesis 16:13

The glad cry of a woman who but a moment before was in
despair and ready to die!

This is one of the great and familiar texts of the
Bible. In any anthology of the Bible's greatest texts
it would have to be included. Yet the popular use of
the text in sermons is an interesting example of
misuse and misinterpretation of Bible texts. In
popular treatment the text has been used to remind and
warn men that the eye of God is upon them when they
enter into temptation and sin. "The eyes of the Lord
run to and fro throughout the whole earth." This is an
important truth; none more important. But it is not
the primary truth of the text. When Hagar made this
exclamation and named the very well where the angel
had appeared unto her the "Well of the Living One Who
Seeth Me," she was thinking of the kind and gracious
providence of God. Until then, driven out of the camp
of Abraham by the jealous Sarah, with not a friend
near her to help or to sympathize with her, the poor
bondwoman had thought she was forsaken. She was in
despair. But to her glad surprise she discovered that
God's eye was upon her and that his providence had
followed her into the wilderness. This undoubtedly was
what Hagar meant when she cried out, "Thou God seest

Unexpected Providence

However, since this verse through the ages has been
piously and effectively used in the other sense, we
shall first of all consider it this way: that God sees
us in the sense that his eye is upon us-that there is
nothing hid from his presence, and that he beholds our

God's All-Seeing Eye

The eyes of God are upon us. The Bible has a great
deal to say about the eyes of God. Some of the kings
of Israel did that which was "right in the eyes of the
Lord," and others did that which was "evil in the eyes
of the Lord." "The eyes of the Lord run to and ...

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