Read - Exodus 2:23-25
Message - Alan Burke
What would you do if you woke up with chest pains during the night? Where would you turn if you were struggling with debt? Who would you call if someone broke into your house? What would you do if you were unfairly sacked from your job? It’s not a quiz so there are no right or wrong answers, I’d suggest if you woke with chest pains to phone 999 and ask for an ambulance, if you were struggling with debt get in touch with CAP that’s ‘Christians Against Poverty’, if someone broke into your house you phone 999 and ask for the police, if you were sacked unfairly contact your union or citizens advice. We could make an exhaustive list of circumstances and where to turn to in our time of need but what if there is no one to turn to, no where to go?
It is God whom often people even with no faith cry out to when they are left feeling helpless, when there seems no one or no where else to turn to help. That’s what the people of God did, they cried out to God, they had no where else to turn to for help. They had been slaves in Egypt for possibly as long as four hundred years, who were living as an oppressed people, who faced hardships that were unimaginable to us, cried out to the Lord God, they had no where else to turn to (2:23). This is the turning point in the whole account of their slavery in Egypt, these first two chapters had set the scene, covering four hundred years of the life of the people of God and the next thirty eight chapters would now speak of what God did on their behalf.
For to Abraham, God had promised that he would deliver his descendants from the house of bondage, in Genesis… “The Lord said to him (Abraham), ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions’ ” (Gen. 15:13-14). Even if God’s people had forgotten this covenant promise of God, he had not, he still remembered, not like recalling something to mind but a constant remembrance, ongoing, never forgotten. With the king of Egypt now dead it was possible for Moses to now return, God was at work, He was sending His people a redeemer, a saviour, one who would free them from their slavery. Ultimately this was only one part of God’s plan of redemptive purposes to bring about the Saviour of His people and that is Jesus Christ our Lord so that all who turn to him in repentance and faith will be saved.
A couple of things as we finish. God has promised that he will hear the cry of his people, the groaning of his people. We have in our weakness the spirit of God who even when we do not know what to pray intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Rom. 8:26). Even when we don’t know what to say, even when we have no words to express how we feel, God understands what we are trying to pray. He hears our cries for help and our groans for deliverance, just as he heard them in the days of Moses.
Now look to verse if you have an NIV you will likely read something like “So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.” But literally it is… “God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.”
God knew, just as it is clear from the opening verse of Exodus (1:1) God knew them his people are a people that are chosen by Him, they are known by name and individually numbered, God knew and knows each one of his people, we also know that they were there by God’s divine plan, purposes and promise.
The God we come before is the God who sees, hears and remembers, is the God who knows our situation in all its desperate need. He is a God who is worth praying to. He already knows all about our situation because he sees everything that happens. He hears our prayer, He remembers that we belong to him through Jesus Christ and He answers our prayers even though they may not be in the way we wanted or desired but in a way that brings him glory.
Q69 What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto. (Acts 16:28, Gen. 9:6)