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Sermon Notes: 5/12/24

"Overlooked? Look Again."

Pastor Logan Almore


The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.

-Genesis 16:7


There’s a lot to unpack in this verse and we will get to some of it in just a little bit, but for right now I just want to point where this encounter took place. Because verse 2 tells us that:


“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar…”

-Genesis 16:2


Perhaps Abram and Sarai took Hagar with them as a servant after they spent some time in Egypt in chapter 12. Whatever the case may have been, Hagar was an Egyptian. And when you look at a map and pinpoint the area Hagar fled from Sarai and find this wilderness area of Shur, guess where it looks like Hagar was headed?…Back home to Egypt.


When adversity comes your way (you feel overlooked?), don’t run back to Egypt.

When adversity comes your way (you feel overlooked?), don’t go back to who you used to be.


As believers in Jesus Christ, here is what Egypt represents for us…Egypt is the place of bondage that Jesus Christ freed us from. Egypt is the life of sin that Jesus brought us out of. Egypt is the old me. Egypt may feel like home, it may feel comfortable…but Egypt is not where I belong anymore. So, why is it that when we are faced with trouble we so often find ourselves running back to the places that the Lord brought us out of??


God has so much greater for us than Egypt.


You may feel like there is no other way, but look again.

You may feel like there isn’t a path forward, but look again.

You may feel like the wilderness will never end, but look again.


The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.

-Genesis 16:7


God always provides a spring.


Isaiah 43:19 says:

“See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland.”

-Isaiah 43:19


We serve a God who makes a way in the wilderness, who makes streams in the wasteland. It’s there, He’s done it, He’s going to continue to do it…but it’s up to us to perceive it.


And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

-Genesis 16:8


Where have I come from? (How has he been faithful to you before?)


Where am I going? (Since He’s been faithful before, won’t He be faithful again?)


Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

-Genesis 16:9-10


He said go back. Don’t run away from your obligations Hagar. I know this particular situation is hard for us to relate to, but I’m just talking about our lives today…we have turned obedience into a nasty word. As this world becomes more and more rebellious, obedience looks more and more like weakness. The enemy has twisted the blessing of obedience and caused it to look like a burden, or like God is trying to withhold something from us. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Isaiah 1:19 says:


“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land…”

-Isaiah 1:19


God has good plans for you, He has blessings and promises, but sometimes He wants to see…are you going to be WILLING? Are you going to be OBEDIENT to what I asked you to do?


But He said don’t worry Hagar, I know I’m not asking you to return to something that’s going to be easy for you, but I’m going to make it worth it.


Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”

-Genesis 16:9-10


All too often we want the easier route. We want the way out. But sometimes he tells us to go back…return to that situation.


God won’t always remove you from it, but He will see you through it.


In the book of Daniel, when King Nebuchadnezzar issued a decree that at the sound of music everyone must bow down and worship a golden image and anyone who didn’t would be put to death…3 men refused and chose to obey God and worship Him only. So King Nebuchadnezzar threw them into a fiery furnace and ordered that it be heated SEVEN times more than usual. Then the King looked in and said to servants…didn’t we put THREE men into this fire? And when they replied yes, the King said in verse 25…


“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

-Daniel 3:25


God won’t always REMOVE you from the fire, but he will see you THROUGH it. He will be with you every step of the way, refining you, strengthening you, and shaping you into who He would have you to be.


She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

-Genesis 16:13


“The angel of the Lord…” -Genesis 16:7

“Then the angel of the Lord…” -Genesis 16:9

“The angel of the Lord…” -Genesis 16:11


“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her…” -Genesis 16:13


“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.”

-John 1:18


So if no one has seen God the Father, and Hagar is talking face to face with the Lord here, we can assume that this is Jesus Christ. And do you want to know what I find even more powerful about Jesus appearing in this particular story? It’s that this is the FIRST physical appearance of Jesus to man in all of scripture. And I think that was extremely intentional. Jesus’ first appearance wasn’t to Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. It wasn’t to Elijah or Elisha. It wasn’t to King David or anyone from “God’s chosen people” the Israelites for that matter. It wasn’t done in a loud way in front of a crowd. It was in the secluded desert…to a mistreated, overlooked, lonely, imperfect Egyptian servant woman named Hagar.


She may have considered herself a lost cause, but she was found by Jesus.


She may have felt like no one cared about her, but Jesus came to her. She may have felt lonely and unloved, but Jesus found her in that very place.


“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert…”

-Genesis 16:7


Who here knows that when you were in the wilderness, Jesus FOUND you? Who here remembers how when you were at your lowest point, Jesus FOUND you…He met you right where you were?


You don’t have to work your way to Jesus, because you can’t. You don’t have to get yourself together before you come to Him, because it’s impossible without Him. You don’t have to pretend or hide, because our God will meets you in whatever circumstance you find yourself in today. The Lord FOUND Hagar near a spring in the desert…


She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

-Genesis 16:13


You are the God who sees me…in Hebrew this is translated as “El Roi." It’s not one of the Names of God that we hear about the most and in fact, this is the only time in scripture where it is used—right here from the mouth of Hagar. She looks at Jesus and calls Him “El Roi”…”the God who sees me.”


Hagar had a personal revelation of the Lord, right here in the dry wilderness…at quite possibly one of the lowest points in her life. It was there, when she was trying to run away from her problems, when she was trying to run back to who she used to be and the things she used to do, when she was hurt, angry, and confused about why these things were happening to her…that she had an encounter with the living God and realized just how much he loved and cared for her.


“You have searched me, Lord,

and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.”


“You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue

you, Lord, know it completely.”


“You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.”


“Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”


“If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.”


“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,’

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.”


“For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I KNOW that full well.”


My frame was not hidden from you 

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”


"Your eyes SAW my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book 

before one of them came to be.”


“How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you.”

-Psalm 139:1-18


“That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.”

-Genesis 16:14


“So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.”

-Genesis 16:15-16



When the circumstances that you’re faced with, or the feelings that are welling up inside you, or the enemy tried to convince you that you are overlooked, alone, unimportant…remember who your God is. He is the same God that found Hagar, the God who sees you. He is the same God that remembered Hannah in 1 Samuel chapter 1 and answered her prayers. He is the same God who blessed Leah in Genesis chapter 29 when she was unloved by her husband. He is the same God who listened to Rachel in Genesis chapter 30 when she cried out to Him. He is the same God who strengthened Gideon in Judges chapter 6 when he felt powerless. And He is the same God that saw PURPOSE inside of Nathanael in John chapter 1 when He called Nathanael forth to become one of his disciples. When you feel overlooked by people, know you are never overlooked by God. Look again to His Word. Look again at who He has been to you. Look again at the promises He’s give you.


He sees you. (Genesis 16)

He remembers you. (1 Samuel 1)

He loves you, even when you feel unloved by man. (Genesis 29)

He hears you. (Genesis 30)

He strengthens you. (Judges 6)

He has a purpose for you. (John 1)


Speaking of Jesus calling Nathanael in John chapter 1, there is something I want to point out here. Because I think when we are in this wilderness, this dry season in our lives, when we are feeling overlooked and unloved…it’s easy for us to get caught up in that and only see ourselves and our situation.


The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida.


Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”


“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.


When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.


Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

-John 1:43-49


Jesus KNEW Nathanael…before. Jesus SAW Nathanael, when Nathanael thought he was all alone, and no one was paying attention to him. And it was Jesus’ SEEING him, that caused Nathanael to believe. Similar to the story of Hagar. But check out one of the things that is different in this scripture.


Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

-John 1:45


Philip encountered Jesus. Philip went and found Nathanael. Nathanael had been all alone sitting under a fig tree. We aren’t given any further details about what was going on with Nathanael at this time, but we do know that he came to know Jesus, the one that saw him, because Philip went and found him…because Philip said to him “Come and see this man that I met named Jesus.” Jesus found Hagar himself, but with Nathanael, he sent Philip to be His hands and feet.


Who has been a Philip to you?

Who can you be a Philip to?


God wants to use YOU to see the overlooked. God wants to use YOU to find the forgotten. God wants to use YOU to reach out to the hurting. And sometimes it’s as simple as “Hey, come and see…let me tell you about this man named Jesus.”


God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.

-Genesis 21:17


“Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

-Genesis 21:18


Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

-Genesis 21:19


God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.

-Genesis 21:20


God was with the boy. God fulfilled His promise to Hagar and to Ishmael. And I find it so interesting that God fulfilled His promise to Abraham and Sarah, too! He made that promise first, to bless them with more descendants than there are starts in the sky. Abraham and Sarah took it into their own hands to try and make that happen, and they messed it all up…dragging Hagar into the mess. But despite the detour, despite the mistakes they made…God worked it all together, He made a way to bless both Abraham and Sarah AND Hagar and her son Ishmael.


You can never make a mess too big for God to straighten out.


Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

-Genesis 21:19


Hagar was overcome with grief, she had given up…she thought surely her and her son would die there in that desert. “Then God opened her eyes and she saw…” She saw the water in the wilderness. Had it been there the whole time and she didn’t notice? Had God placed it there in that moment? We don’t know. But we do know, He saw her. We do know, He was with her. We do know, He was faithful. And I know….that He sees you today. I know that He’s with you today. And I know that He is faithful to me, to you, to each and every one of us all at the same time.

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