The first mention of beer in the Bible has nothing to do with alcohol. Rather, beer is the name of a special well where one depressed woman was touched by God. Beer-lahai-roi is the name of a well located between Kadesh and Bered. Hagar was Sarai’s maidservant who ran away from home after being mistreated. Jealousy of the baby in her womb, Sarai mentally and verbally harassed Hagar to the point of tears. Unable to take these emotional scars, Hagar left thinking it was for the best.
Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi [A well to the Living One Who sees me]; it is [c]between Kadesh and Bered, Genesis 16:14.
Whenever you’re alone, crying out to an invisible God seems to be a logical thing to do. While Moses doesn’t specify how many months Hagar had been pregnant, it’s enough to see an expanded belly. Depressed, lonely and in the middle of the wilderness, Hagar cries out to God for help. Based upon the words in the passage above, Hagar was blown away by how the Lord was able to hear and see the pain she felt inside her heart.
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. 12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you, Jeremiah 29:11-12.
I have days just like Hagar, feeling lonely and helpless, unsure of my future. While I know the Lord can see my pain, I’m still waiting for a response. Perhaps, I’m like the person one Old Testament Prophet writes about in Isaiah 1. Clarity doesn’t come until confession is followed by a contrite heart. While living in Delaware, one of the Bible Studies I attended talked about spiritual blockage, which prevents clarity. Whatever the reason for my current spiritual condition, I pray that one day soon I’ll have a similar experience as Hagar at the well of Beer-lahai-roi.
by Jay Mankus