The God Who Sees and Seeks
By Dawn Wilson -
“Come and find me, Mommy,” my oldest son Robert yelled down the hallway. At age three, Robert loved to play Hide and Seek, but his attempts to hide made me laugh.
I stopped cutting potatoes for dinner and searched for my son. It didn’t take long to find him. As I rounded the corner, I spied two legs sticking out from below his bed. I smiled, understanding that in his little mind, as long as he couldn’t see me, I couldn’t see him.
“Gotcha!” I yelled, as I grabbed his legs and pulled him out. I tickled him and we both erupted in goofy giggles.
I wonder whether God smiles or is grieved when we play Hide and Seek with Him. He must think we’re pretty silly when we “hide” our sinful behavior. Do we really think He can’t see?
In Jeremiah 23:24, God asked the prophet, “Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” The writer of Hebrews gives us the answer: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight” (Hebrews 4:13a).
As a child, I heard the story of Achan (Joshua 7:1-26), hiding banned items in his tent in direct disobedience and rebellion against God. My Sunday school teacher said God saw what was hidden and punished Achan with death. I remember being terrified of God—the One who saw everything!
In high school—trying to live a “Christian” life without knowing Jesus—I read about Ananias and Sapphira, hiding their sin of greed and lying to the apostles (Acts 5:1-11). But God saw it all. He knew their hearts. As I read about how they died for their deception, I squirmed. “God sees my heart,” I thought, with growing fear, “and I’m such a mess!”
Even after I became a Christ-follower in my early 20s, my view of God was such that when I thought of Him beholding my sinful behavior, I was too convicted and scared to come to Him. Whenever I sinned, I avoided time with God instead of quickly coming to repent and move on in freedom. I still had much to learn about the grace of God and that the person who “conceals” sin will not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces sins discovers God’s great mercy (Proverbs 28:13).
But one day, I read the story of Hagar the concubine, running away from her jealous master, Sarai (Sarah) to dwell and perhaps die in the desert (Genesis 16:7-14). God “found” her by a spring of water in the wilderness when she felt most alone and destitute.
Hagar called the Lord “a God of seeing.” She realized that the omniscient God saw her in her great need, and He was going to look after her and her son and give them a future. She called the place where God met with her Beer Lahai Roi—meaning “the well of the Living One who sees me.”
My view of God changed that day. I understood the incredible grace of the One who sees everything, yet pursues me to reveal Himself for my good. The Psalmist says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). There’s no need to hide; but even when I do, my loving Father God will seek, find and comfort me with His love.
What have you learned about this great God who sees and seeks?