The God Present in Suffering

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Exodus 2:23 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. 24 So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.

Despair over oppression? suffering under injustice? Burdened by evil acts? These were the exact feelings of the sons of Israel under the bondage of the Egyptians. In their despair, they cried out.. for what? for help.. It did not exactly say that they cried out to God but rather verse 23 tells us that their cry for help ‘rose up to God’.

v. 24-25 are two short verses where God is mentioned 4 times doing 4 things.

1) God heard – God is not deaf although sometimes He seems to be because we perceive he is mute. We pray and pray and get no answer so we tell ourselves God is not listening. But God hears. He not only hears, He hears our groaning – our silent cries, our ineloquent mutters.

2) God remembered – God keeps His promises. He does not forget. What He says, He will do in His time in His way in His perfect will. It is sad that we forget. We forget God’s blessings to us in our times of difficulties. We think God has forgotten us when in fact, it is us who forget – we forget how He sees us through each trial. We forget how He heals our sickness. We forget how He provides for us in our need. We forget that He remembers.

3) God saw – God is not blind although we often look around us and see the injustice in society, good things happening to evil men while bad things in good people’s life. And we wonder where is God in all these. God is sovereign. He is omnipresent and omniscient. Even when we cannot see let us be assured that He sees. Who did He see? He saw the sons of Israel, He also sees us – we are His children made in His image. How can He not see!

4) God took notice – God is not passive even when we often feel and think that He is doing nothing. He not only heard, He not only remembered, not only saw, He ‘TOOK notice’. This means He takes action. We often hear the phrase – God moves/works in mysterious ways. Because it is a mystery to us, we will never comprehend how He acts because we often cannot see because we are blind, we forget and we do not listen. We are not attentive to God as He is attentive to us. God takes notice of me – He listens, He remembers, He sees.

Prayer: Let me do the same – Help me Lord to listen to what you have to say, to remember all the goodness you’ve done for me, open my eyes so that I may see You every moment of everyday. Holy Spirit, give me wisdom and discernment that I will be attentive to take notice.

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