Let me set the scene:
The Israelites have been in Egypt for 350 years. They came there to escape a great famine and were well taken care of and given great land. Unfortunately, they eventually became slaves to the Egyptians. The Israelites spent their days making bricks to build Egyptian cities. At the time of Moses’ birth, the Pharaoh ordered that every baby Israelite boy that was born should be killed to keep the Israelites from multiplying and becoming too big. Their existence was fairly miserable. Here is what Exodus 2:23-25 says happened at this point in history:
The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
God had made promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the Israelites felt like he was forgetting his promises. He was leaving them to be slaves! Let’s look at three important things we see about how God responds to their grumbling and groaning.
1. God Heard
The time between this verse and the Israelites gaining freedom is 80 years! God heard, but he didn’t act immediately. A perceived lack of action from God does not mean he has not heard you. He may be waiting for a Moses to grow up to lead you. But God does hear you when you call out to him. You have to wait expecting God to act on your behalf. Just remember it might not happen as quickly as you would like.
2. God Remembered
God does not forget his promises to us. And he has made a lot of promises to us in the Bible. My friend Dave has been listing the promises of God that he sees on his twitter. He is at 122 and counting. Spend some time reading some of God’s promises and know that He remembers His promises and will see them through. Also know that remembering His promise is not the same as Him being compelled to act immediately. God will work when he works. Remember the 80 years from #1.
3. God Looked
Sometimes as a parent, it’s easy to hear your kids but not see them. You watch out for them by listening, but you try to accomplish something else while they play. Your attention is divided. When you move from listening to watching, your full attention moves towards your kids. You don’t turn and look when you hear crying, you get up and run before they cry because you see them start to fall. God doesn’t just hear you and remember his promises, he sees you. He is paying attention because he created you and loves you.
God may not always act in the way and timeframe we want, but it is a wonder that the Creator of all things hears, remembers and sees us. Rest securely in those truths today.