Murder | Devotion 5: God Responds
Pastor Ben Kirkman
“During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel and God knew.” Exodus 2:23-25
In Exodus chapter two, we find the people of Israel stuck in a real-life nightmare. They were controlled and oppressed as slaves in Egypt. As we read their story, it is easy to make light of their daily hurt, because we know how the story ends. We know that God miraculously rescued them and freed them from bondage. However, have you paused and thought about how horrible their day-to-day must have been? They were real people abused, suffering, and groaning for years and years. These people are dealing with a real problem, and they were really hurting. As we empathize with their hurt, consider how hopeless they must have felt as they dreamed of escaping bondage. They were not strong enough to rebel and fight the Egyptians, nor could they count on another nation to come to rescue them. They seemingly had no hope.
We find the people of Israel so hopeless and helpless that they resort to audibly groaning and crying out for help. Who were they crying to for help? You would think (and hope) that they were crying out to the God of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Verse 23 gives the indication that the people were just desperately groaning and crying out, hoping someone ( and anyone) would hear, but as you can see, the Bible does not specifically tell us they were crying out to God. Watching how the Israelites forget and neglect God going forward, it is definitely possible they were not crying to Him.
You can picture the scene: A massive group of people is living in a constant groan, desperate for deliverance. God in His faithful graciousness, hears them. “Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel and God knew.” They may have forgotten about God, but He had not forgotten about them. The people cried out, and God heard, God saw, God remembered, God knew, and God responded. God already had every detail of their deliverance figured out; freedom was coming! The people of Israel would one day walk right out of Egypt.
We have all faced miserable days, wondering if anybody cares and if anyone can truly hear and help. We can have full confidence in our faithful, gracious God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sees, hears, and knows. We need always to remember to turn to Him first and trust Him to work no matter how desperate our situation.