August 12, 2008
On Its Way – Part 1
“Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.” Exodus 2:23-25 (NASB)
In today’s key verse in Exodus, we’re given an update of the state of affairs in Egypt. Clearly, God’s people needed deliverance and provision. When I read this passage, what stands out to me isn’t the people’s situation but the number of times God is called “God.”
Read it out loud and see if it hits you too. In everyday conversation we don’t tend to repeat the name of the subject over and over in subsequent sentences. We say it once and then use pronouns like “He.” However, God is referenced by name 5 times in 2 sentences in this passage. Awkward? Maybe. Significant? Monumentally.
I think the purpose is to make it clear to us that God is the one in charge of all that is about to transpire. God will hear their cries, remember their situation, and look upon them with concern. Then God will initiate the activity that will set the captives free, bringing glory to His name.
The Israelites were crying out to God for help in their slavery, but had no way of knowing that their gracious God was already at work, calling Moses to be His mouthpiece and their deliverer from Egypt. God had heard their cries, but it would be some measure of time before they were aware that He had answered their prayers.
Patience is required for those who seek the face of God. He has the answer in hand before we even voice our need, but it may take some time to manifest. You’ll find many examples of this in Scripture, but can I offer you a more contemporary example?
Most of my earliest memories are set in Fort Worth, Texas where we lived while my dad attended Southwestern Seminary. I remember little of the hardships my parents and grandparents talk about. My Granny still cries every time she describes what those years were like for her young son and daughter-in-law, so poor and so far from home. My mom, though a degreed teacher, stayed at home with me. My dad went to school full-time and worked as much as his demanding study schedule would allow. These were lean times financially.
At one point during our stint in Fort Worth, our car was stolen from the apartment complex where we lived. Mom tells me that while we had insurance, we didn’t have the money to pay the $100 deductible. While my parents tried to figure out how to make the ends meet, the mail arrived that day with a letter from my dad’s childhood Sunday school teacher. The letter explained that God had laid our family on his heart a few days prior, and God had told him to send us some money. In fact, God had told him to send us $100.00!
So a letter left Georgia nearly a full day before our car was stolen and two days before we were aware of our desperate need for $100.00. Even before my sweet parents’ prayers had reached the throne room of heaven, our great God had provision on its way. Remarkable? Certainly. Significant? Monumentally!
God knew what His covenant people enslaved in Egypt needed in 1400 B.C. He knew what a poor seminary family in Fort Worth, Texas needed in 1979. And dear sister, He knows what you need today right this very minute. He knows what we need because He knows all the cares of our heart. He is intimately aware of all that happens to us, because it all comes through His hand purposed for His glory and for our good.
Dear Lord, remind me even in moments of desperation and fear that You are in control. Help me fight the temptation to worry or doubt your provision. Grant me the peace to accept Your will as your promise to protect and provide for me and my family. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Intimacy with God: Your Daily Guide to Prayer by Tara Furman
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