The God Who Sees & Provides

jesus-304899_1280William J. Stewart | Christ In The Old Testament

The LORD Appeared To Abram
At the beginning of Genesis 12, God calls Abram to depart from his father’s house and to go to a land which God would show him. In verse 1, it simply says “…the LORD had said…” However, when we get to verse 7, it is no longer just a matter of hearing a voice from heaven, but “…the LORD appeared to Abram…”

Since “…no one has seen God (the Father) at any time…” (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12; cf. John 6:46), we must conclude that this was not the Father who spoke with and appeared to Abram, but someone else. This is not merely an angel appearing to the patriarch, for the text identifies the one who appears as the LORD (Jehovah). Who can be called Jehovah, aside from the Father? Jesus is identified as god throughout the New Testament (John 1:1; 5:30; 20:28; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3; etc.). He is Jehovah God.

This was the first of several appearances to Abraham recorded in the Scriptures.

The Angel Of The Lord
When Sarai dealt harshly with Hagar, she ran away into the wilderness.  Moses tells us that “…the angel of the LORD found her…” and spoke with her (Genesis 16:7-10). If we are not careful, we will miss exactly who this is that found and spoke with her. This is not an angel such as Gabriel or Michael, come as a messenger of God. This is the Angel of the LORD!

Hagar perceived who this was, and Moses confirmed it for us:

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

Years later, after Isaac was born, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away by Abraham. Their water supply used up, and unsure what to do, Hagar all but gave up. At this point, it was the Angel of God who assured her that all would be fine with her son (Genesis 21:16-20). This was likely the same God-Who-Sees that comforted her on the previous occasion.

I Am Almighty God
In Genesis 17, “the LORD appeared to Abram again. He immediately identified Himself as “Almighty God” (17:1). Abram conversed with God throughout this chapter, as the Lord reaffirmed His promises to Abraham, established the covenant of circumcision, and foretold the birth of Isaac to Sarai. Having finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham (17:22). It was God who appeared and spoke with the patriarch in person, but not the Father (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12); it was the pre-incarnate Christ.

One chapter later, the LORD again came to Abraham (Genesis 18:1). There were 3 men on this occasion; two of them were angels who went down to Sodom to warn Lot and his family. The third was the LORD (18:13-14, 17ff, 33).

Abraham was commanded by God to take Isaac, the son of promise, and to offer him as a burnt offering. With no argument, Abraham left the next morning to do as God said. As he took the knife to slay Isaac, the Angel of the LORD called to him, saying:

Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me. (Genesis 22:12)

Abraham saw a ram caught in the thickets nearby; the LORD provided.

Melchizedek, King Of Salem
Who is Melchizedek? He appears quickly in Genesis 14, and just as quickly, he is gone. In the absence of an absolute statement, it is not prudent to be dogmatic about his identity, but consider how he is spoken of in Hebrews 7:

  • His name literally means king of righteousness;
  • He is also the king of Salem (peace);
  • Jesus, like all humans had parents, but He’s also God, an eternal being, having no ancestry or genealogy.
  • All humans are born & die (with Enoch and Elijah as exceptions). However, a divine being has neither beginning of days nor end of life.
  • There are several foreshadows of the Christ in Scripture, but are there any like Melchizedek, of whom it is said he was “made like the Son of God”?

Just something to think about – could the appearance of Melchizedek, who came and went in an instant, be the pre-incarnate Christ?


We won’t find Jesus by name in the OT, but He certainly is there, appearing to and serving His people.

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