January 16

Genesis 16:11-13 (NIV) 11The angel of the LORD also said to her: "You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. 12He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." 13She 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."

Hagar had been abused. She left her security because she would rather take a chance at running away, even if it meant the risk of death. Things must have been pretty bad. There she was in the desert thinking that no one cared, that no one heard her heart. Jesus met her in her hour of need. Yes, the angel of the LORD is Jesus. He told her she had a son in her womb and to name him 'God hears', Ishmael. God heard her misery. She is not the one that was chosen to carry the Seed, but God heard her misery. He hears us in our most desperate circumstances. We may think no one else understands, but the angel of the LORD does. He hears our misery.

The sons of Ishmael have fulfilled verse 12. Then she said to the LORD who was speaking to her (notice the angel of the LORD and LORD are used synonymously) "You are the God who sees me...". Not only does God hear our misery, but He also sees our circumstances. He cares. God sent her back to Sarah, and she was able to go. Now she knew God saw and heard, and that was enough. It should be enough for whatever circumstance we face too. He sees and He hears. Know that He is with you and understands like no one else can. You do have One to Whom you can turn. He has heard and seen all you have been through. "No one ever cared for me like Jesus."

Meditation: The Lord hears my misery and cares. He comforts those that mourn.

January 16

Zechariah 3:8-10 (NIV) 8"'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. 10"'In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,' declares the LORD Almighty."

Those who were seated there are said to be symbolic of things to come. I believe these are the patriarchs and types and shadows of Christ in the Old Testament. They are symbolic of the things to come, i.e.: God's servant the Branch. Later on, Joshua is called the Branch, because he does become symbolic of the Branch to come. This reference is to the reality, Jesus. See Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 33:15. The true Branch is a descendant of David of the tribe of Judah. This man, Joshua, is a priest and therefore of the tribe of Levi. If he walked in the ways of the Lord, Joshua would join this group of men whose lives were a foreshadowing of Jesus

The stone, Jesus, is referred to as the rock, the rock of offense, the cornerstone, and the capstone. A rock is something solid that remains. In Revelation chapter 1, John sees the seven spirits of God before the throne. There are seven eyes upon this rock in front of Joshua. In several ways we see Jesus in this rock. And the LORD Almighty says He will (future tense) engrave an inscription on it and remove the sins of the land in one day. When were the sins of a nation ever removed in one day? Good Friday! And what was the inscription on the rock? What marks on the rock have to do with our salvation? Isaiah 53 tells us, "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted." They are strikes of the Engravers tool on the rock.

Consider: There are the marks that verify our redemption, forever on display for the spiritual world to see.