Happy Heralds, Inc
NOTES ON THE NAMES OF THE GOD
by Doctor Fred Wittman
EL ROI--THE GOD WHO CONTINUALLY SEES
‘‘And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after[at the back of] him that seeth me?’’ (Gen. 16:13AV).
‘‘And she titled the name of 0LORD Who[article as pronoun] was speaking to[the face of] her, You$, The God[Strong One] is continually seeing me! She said, Because I also beheld the presence of |Him[article as pronoun] Who| has beheld me’’ (Gen. 16:13 LLX, APT).
Introduction: In The Word of The God there are over 500 names, titles, and designations for The God. These pertain to The Godhead, many to The Father alone, and but all include The Lord Jesus Christ as well. Many of these names retain their Hebrew name for greater significance. Their full significant meaning is lost in translation into English. Many Old Testament names contain a prefix or suffix with the Hebrew name of The God, El which refers to The Strong One, such as Elijah, Elisha, Eli-melech, and Elkanah, or Israel, Samuel, Daniel, and Emmanuel. Let us focus our attention on one of these Hebrew names found in Genesis. This name of The God is the translation of the second person singular pronoun and two Hebrew nouns in close proximity without a verb for emphatic expression. These three words are transliterated as, ’attâh - You$, ’êl - God, Strong One, Rōeé - to see, thus literally: ‘‘The Strong One Who ever Sees.’’
I. Who Is So Titled? The Old Testament Jehovah -- The LORD, The Self Existent One Who Reveals Himself, The Covenant Keeping God (Ex. 19:3-5).
II. Who Titled Him So? Hagar (Gen. 16:1-15).
The God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees when he was 70 years old (2078 A.C.). At 75, he left Haran and entered the land which The God promised to give Him and his seed after him. Because of famine in Canaan, Abram sojourned in Egypt for a while, then returned to Canaan. Ten more years passed (2093 A.C.) and then The God promised a son would be born out of his own bowels. Another year passed and Sarai had not yet conceived. Then she stooped to the heathen custom that prevailed in those days. She repeatedly proposed to Abram that her female bondslave Hagar, whom she obtained back in Egypt, could bear a child in her name and thus the stigma of being childless be taken from her and The God’s promise be fulfilled in that way. Human reasoning can never fulfill God’s purposes, especially when it involves uncleanness and sin and violation of The God’s original order (Gen. 2:24). Abram succumbed to her persistence and Hagar conceived. The result of that sin has plagued and will continue to plague Abraham’s promised seed, the children of Israel, until The Christ returns to Earth to subdue the nations and set up His Kingdom to reign on the Earth in peace.
Unpleasant Events for the Whole Family Resulted:
1. Forced Uncleanness (vs. 3,4) in God’s eyes (Gen. 2:24).
There are two Greek words for committing adultery in The New Testament: moixaomai means ‘‘to defile a married woman by adultery’’ and moixeu0 means ‘‘for either sex to have sexual relations with one other than the spouse.’’ Both Abram and Hagar became unclean through sin.
2. Resentful Attitude (vs. 4b,5) ‘‘despised.’’
When she despised or acted in contempt toward Sarai, Sarai complained to Abram, who told Sarai to deal with her as she pleased. In the Book of Proverbs, 1065 years later Solomon wrote of four things which disquiet the Earth and it cannot bear. The last two are: ‘‘For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress’’ (30:21-23).
3. Unreasonable Treatment (v. 6) - ‘‘dealt hardly with her.’’
And when Sarai came down hard upon Hagar, she fled from her face into the wilderness. Hagar couldn’t take the harsh treatment her actions provoked.
4. Unacceptable Response (vs. 6b,8). Hagar fled away from sin, conflict, strife, bitterness, confusion, affliction, and The God’s blessing upon the home in which she served, back to Egypt on the Way to Shur.
III. Why Titled So?
The Living God found Hagar in the wilderness by a well on the Way to Shur (a wall on the border of Egypt) and spoke to her.
‘‘And the angel of The LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of The LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of The LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of The LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because The LORD hath heard thy affliction’’ (Gen. 16:7-11).
The God asked her two questions, only one of which she could answer. The sting of tender, subtle rebuke was followed by words of comfort and promise of a prolific offspring. The Living God was interested in rich Abram who offered many sacrifices to Him. But why should He think of and care about her, a poor, friendless, homeless, forced-to-be-pregnant, runaway, heathen-slave-girl alone in the wilderness? All of her young years she prayed to stony-faced, starey-eyed, deaf and dumb idols, who stared back at her misery, affliction, and loneliness. Not even once did they speak or their blind eyes reflect compassion. Nor did they ever act in any way to proffer help or communicate to her.
Four times the phrase, the angel of The LORD is used to describe Who she beheld. She was amazed! This phrase along with verse 13 (see before Introduction) indicates that this appearance to Hagar is a theophany or a preincarnate Christophany. She was amazed! Hagar recognized that The Living God had appeared to her in the form of an angel, seeing her plight and knowing her affliction. He spoke to her about the future for her and her offspring.
From this encounter it is clear that The God sees the afflicted and cares. How wonderful it is that The Living God is our God, El Roi who ever sees all concerning us and has spoken to us through His precious Scriptures.
IV. Instances in the Lives of Others in which the verb meaning to see is used concerning The God: one, 170 years after Hagar’s experience, in which Jacob speaks of The God seeing him (2264 A.C.); the second, another 241 years later, in which The God speaks of Himself to Moses (2507 A.C.); the third, 566 years after speaking to Moses, The LORD spoke to Samuel when he arrived in Bethlehem to anoint a king to replace Saul (3073 A.C.); the fourth, to Jeremiah (3498 A.C.); and the fifth, to David (c. 3100 A.C.).
A. Jacob (Gen. 31:38-42):
After serving his uncle and father-in-law for twenty years with wage changed ten times mid much affliction, Jacob stole away to return to his father unaware to Laban, who pursued him. When Laban caught up with Jacob and his family, there was a hot exchange of words, during which Jacob recalled twenty years of mistreatment, deception, fraud, conflict, strife, barter, and bitter resentment. He said,
‘‘This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes. Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight’’ (Gen. 31:38-42).
This account further enforces the fact that The God sees the afflicted in their affliction and cares. He does have a way to deliver them in His time.
B. Moses (Ex. 3:1-10):
For forty years Moses had been tending sheep in the back side of the desert to which place he fled for his life from Pharaoh and the persecution of the people of Israel when The LORD God spoke to Him out of the midst of the burning bush.
‘‘And The LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them’’ (Exodus 3:7-9).
The grueling persecution of the enslaved people of Israel by Pharaohs Egyptian task masters persisted day after day leaving the people broken in spirit and beaten in body by constant affliction. It removed all hope, joy, and peace in life from the rigors of hard bondage. But Jehovah, the covenant keeping God is El Roi, and He said to Moses, I have seen the affliction and I have seen the oppression. I heard their cry and I know their sorrows and I am come down to deliver them (Ex. 3:7,8).
Yes, as in the case with both Jacob and Moses, there are times when it seems that The God ignores our dreadful circumstances; when He appears to be indifferent to us and our affairs of life. And it seems He doesn't care. But remember, dear friend, He is El Roi. He does see all that transpires in our lives, in your life and in mine! He chastens His people when they turn their backs to Him, disobey Him, and go their own way, astray. He does care! Very much so! He does see! He is not disinterested even though He waits long to act. Like the farmer who has long patience waiting to see the ripening grain for the harvest, The God has long patience with His children, waiting for the chastisement to produce obedience in your life and in mine. He does have a way to deliver them and us in His time.
C. Samuel (1 Sam. 16:1-13):
When The LORD sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his son’s to be the king after The God’s own heart, he thought the first one he saw was surely The LORD ’s anointed. But The LORD does not see as humans see.
‘‘But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart’’ (1 Sam. 16:7).
The LORD sees the heart of every human and He evaluates every one. for service on the basis of what He observes.
D. Jeremiah (17:9,10; 13:27; 16:17):
Jeremiah prophesied concerning the kingdom of Judah who had forsaken The LORD. He related the words that The LORD had spoken.
‘‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I The LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings’’ (Jer. 17:9,10).
He searches the heart to render to every one according to his way and the fruit of his doings. He sees every action and deed we perform and He sees the thoughts that precede every deed. He sees all the lustings and strayings, all the covetings and rebellions, all the temptations and all the yieldings to Sin, all the acts of rebellion and disobedience, as well as every act of obedience to The God’s Holy Word. He spoke to the Israelites through Jeremiah the prophet,
‘‘I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be? . . . For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes’’ (Jer. 13:27; 16:17).
E. David (Ps. 139:16, 23,24):
He sees us even before we were born and He sees every thought of the heart of every human.
‘‘Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. . . . Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’’ (Ps. 139:16, 23,24).
The Negro Spiritual says, My Lord is writing all the time, time, time . . . He sees what you do and He hears what you say. My Lord is writing all the time! Yes, El Roi gives assurance that He sees all things in every person and judges accordingly. But also He sees in order to guide and preserve us from eternal death.
‘‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. . . . Behold, the eye of The LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine’’ (Ps. 32:8; 33:18,19).
V. The Lord Jesus Christ is our El Roi:
John the beloved disciple wrote about the first Passover in the ministry of The Lord Jesus Christ in chapter two of his Gospel. He stated that Jesus continued in Jerusalem during the Festival after cleansing the Temple and many people committed trust unto His name because they were observing the repeated miraculous signs done by Him (2:23). He wrote,
‘‘But /Jesus Himself was not entrusting Himself to them, because of the fact that He continuously knows[from experience] all |people| and because He was not having a need that anyone testify concerning the human being; for He Himself was continuously knowing[from experience] what was continually in the human being’’ (Jn. 2:24,25).
A. He sees and knows all in every human! He is The Creator (Jn. 1:1-3) and He is omniscient. In order for Him to know from experience all about human beings, He had to know what they were like inside and out. He had to be able to see into their hearts as well as to observe their actions. All things are open to Him. The apostle Paul wrote in his Epistle (Treatise) to the Hebrews that there is no hiding from This Living God who is called El Roi. He sees and knows all our secret sins and our open sins. All is laid bare to El Roi, The God Who continually sees. This is the vital truth that Paul emphasizes in the fourth chapter to the Hebrews.
‘‘Therefore let us give persevering attention to enter into that /state of rest, lest anyone fall in the same sample of resisted persuasion. For The Word of The God |is| absolutely living and effectual and sharper beyond every two-edged short sword and is penetrating of Itself as far as distribution[separation into kinds] both of soul even from spirit, and of joints even from marrow&, and |is| a discerner of reflections and intentions of 0heart. And not a creature is a disappearing one in the viewpoint of His, but all things |are| naked and stand laid[met.: make throat bare by bending back the head] bare to the eyes of Him with[to the face of] Whom to us |is| the indictment[account]’’ (Heb. 4:12,13APT).
The Word of The God could be referring to one of three, or more likely applies to all three, entities:
1. The Written Word of The God Which contains all Scripture, Old Testament and New Testament. This is The Word of Truth (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Thes. 2:13; Acts 6:2,7; Eph 1:13; Col. 1:5; 2 Cor. 2:17; 4:2; 6:7; Heb. 13:7; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23).
2. The Living Word of The God Who is The Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 1:1,14; 1 Jn. 1:1; 5:7; Rev. 19:13: 20:4).
3. The Word of the oath which The God swore (Heb. 3;11,18,4:3; 7:28). This is the contextual meaning of the Book and particularly of chapters three and four which Paul gives to the phrase, ‘The Word of The God’.
“So I denied them with an oath in My /anger, If (and it positively shall not be) they enter into My /state of rest! . . . Now to whom did He swear with an oath |who| shall not enter into the state of rest of His, except to the ones |who| resisted persuasion? And we see that they were not able to enter because of faithlessness[refusal to commit trust]” Heb. 3:11,18,19APT).
Because ‘The Word of The God’ (spoken with a sworn oath that shuts humans out of rest (in the promised land for faithless Israelites or rest in Christ for those who commit trust in faith to The Lord Jesus Christ today) is still alive and effectual in keeping faithless humans shut out of His salvation rest. It is sharper than any two-edged sword or surgeon’s scalpel performing a delicate operation. It even penetrates as far as sorting out the soul from the spirit, sorting out self-consciousness from God-consciousness, sorting out intellect from discernment, sorting out will and determination and distribution of superficial emotion from devotion. There is a prevailing religious response to preaching that reaches no further than the soul or mind. Religion is all superficial emotion that expresses contentment with conversion. It never reaches the depths of the spirit of man in his heart to result in true devotion to The God and His Christ with total persistent commitment to The Lord Jesus Christ resulting in regeneration. But The Word of The God that shuts humans out of His rest of full salvation because of faithlessness distinguishes between superficial emotion resulting in conversion of some kind and true devotion resulting in regeneration. The Word of The God pierces to the differentiation between soul and spirit.
And it also penetrates as far as differentiating the joints from the marrow. When the points are dislocated, it is immediately obvious to the eye simply from the outward appearance. But when the marrow of the bone adjacent to the joint is affected in some way it is completely hidden from the human eye. But The Word of The God separates into kinds (sorts out) that which is secret and hidden from that which is open and manifest. El Roi sees the differentiation between the most difficult things in life, He even discerns between the reflections and the intentions of every heart.
Not a creature can disappear or hide from His viewpoint. But all, things including people, are naked and laid bare, as a conqueror pulls back the head of the conquered by the hair exposing (laying bare) the throat hidden by the armor so as reveal the throat to execute the victim, so all is exposed to the eyes of Him with Whom is the authority to indict or charge as a guilty sinner for eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. They are all illuminated by The One in all His glory in Heaven Whose eyes are described by the saint, John the theologian, “. . . and the eyes of His as a flame of fire” (Rev. 1:14b). His eyes pierce and penetrate the hearts of all; eyes that glare so no one can evade their perceptive stare in judgment. And no trouble, persecution, or affliction whatsoever which accosts His people in His church escapes his notice. Later in Revelation, John again observes El Roi with “His eyes a flame of fire, . . . and His name is being entitled, The Word Of The God” (Rev. 19:12,13). And every one has to do with Him. There is no escaping His eyes and His throne of judgment. Sooner or later every one of us absolutely must stand before Him and be judged either as those who have been redeemed by His blood and regenerated because we responded to His love and gift of eternal full salvation or stand before Him as those who refused to repent and persistently commit trust to The Lord Jesus Christ but trampled under foot the blood of His cross in faithlessness.
B. He sees and knows all that His Church does and faces! In the second and third chapters of Revelation, The Lord Jesus Christ uses the Greek word oιda, a kindred word to ειδω - an obsolete word meaning to see. Oιda has been translated “to know” but the knowledge is ‘not from experience’ but rather from perception. It is also translated in the Authorized Version, ‘saw’, ‘beheld’, and ‘looked’. It should be translated ‘to perceive’ or ‘to be aware’ and is consistently translated by one or the other of these two English renderings in A Precise Translation. In These two chapters this word is used seven time in the letters by The Lord Jesus Christ written to the seven churches (Rev. 2:2,9,13,19; 3:1,8,15).
Conclusion: The Name El Roi, ‘‘The Strong One Who ever Sees’’is another name not only for The Living God of The Old Testament but also another name for The Lord Jesus Christ. As in fact all of The Old Testament names for God are reflected in some way in The Lord Jesus Christ because He is the incarnation of The Living God Of The Old Testament. As Paul stated to Timothy, “God was manifest (displayed) in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16) over 2000 years ago. He it is that sees the homeless, wandering in cities or in the wilderness, forsaken, despised, hated, wronged, lied against, diseased, and dying, just as He saw Hagar. We, too can cry out sincerely and truly, “You, The God[Strong One] is continually seeing me!”
Not only does El Roi continually see the afflicted, He cares, comforts, and delivers them in His time. But He also continually sees and searches the hearts of all the sinful, insincere, disobedient, and rebellious ones and evaluates and judges, rendering to each one according to his works and the fruit of his doings from birth to death. He sees all our secret sins and our open sins. He sees every disobedience and every going astray. But even more serious , He sees all the empty false profession that prevails today! The Word of the oath of God that shuts out humans because of faithlessness is as valid and effective today as It was when The God spoke to the children of Israel at Kadesh-Barnea and shut them out of the Promised Land. My friend, take heed! Lest you be shut out of The Promised City in Heaven! The Word of The God is sharper than any two-edged sword or surgeon’s scalpel. In your heart and mine It differentiates between true devotion and superficial emotion. Those who are faithless and refuse to persistently commit total trust will be shut out of salvation rest in The Lord Jesus Christ and shut out of Heaven eternally, only to be cast into the Eternal Lake of Fire. But for those who completely commit the trust of their whole lives to Him, they receive Salvation rest and then He guides through life and preserves from eternal death. Have you totally committed the trust of your whole life to Him Who continually sees all about you, El Roi? If not, why not do it now?
To find out how to totally commit the trust of your whole life to El Roi, The Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation and Eternal Life, listen to our webcast titled, KNOWING THE SAVIOR #1 @www.happyheralds.org or .com. If already on our website, click here.
| | understood $singular &plural /the 0no article +masculine ~neuter
Send mail to Info@HappyHeralds.org