Tender, Loving, Faithful

“For He [The LORD] has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.”  {PSALM 22: 24}

This week during quiet time, I have been reading about Moses and the Exodus. Now, a little back story; when Joseph son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by his brothers, his journey took him to Egypt. Once in Egypt, Joseph’s experience varied – he was a slave to a very important man, he was thrown in jail for something he did not do, and eventually was promoted to second in command over all of Egypt. Because of a famine that consumed Egypt and the surrounding areas, Joseph’s family, the descendants of Jacob (renamed Israel), sought refuge and settled in Goshen, a region of Egypt. Due to God’s favor, and Pharaoh’s adoration of Joseph, Israel’s family stayed in Goshen and prospered.

Fast forward 300 years later, Joseph has died, there is a new Pharaoh who knows nothing of Joseph or how he had saved all of Egypt from death by famine. The descendants of Israel have multiplied greatly, and as a result are now slaves to Pharaoh. If slavery wasn’t punishment enough, Pharaoh also ordered the midwives to kill all the Israelite baby boys. This was a time of great unrest and oppression, and the Israelites hadn’t heard God speak in a big way for 300 years. I can imagine that they were discouraged, and ready for deliverance. God heard their cries, and answered.

The Lord gave a Hebrew mother great courage; she protected her precious baby boy from Pharaoh’s death decree, and snuck him to the Nile. This sweet baby drifted into Pharaoh’s palace, and was found, unharmed, by Pharaoh’s daughter. She named him Moses. One really amazing piece of God’s faithfulness just in this part of Moses’ story is that when Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses, she needed someone to look after him and nurse him until he was older; Moses’ biological mom got to be that caregiver. What an amazing detail that God wove into Moses’ story. God knew the heartache that Moses’ mom had been suffering, so He allowed her to care for and love her son even if it was for a short time.

God chose Moses to stand up to Pharaoh and deliver His people from Egypt, and sent the Israelites this message: “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you into a land flowing with milk and honey…” {Exodus 3: 16-17}

God saw his people, and had compassion on them. In the same way, He sees our bonds, our struggles, and our burdens. But he doesn’t just notice, he responds in the most tender and loving way. We may go through difficult, refining seasons (the Nation of Israel’s was 300 years), and we may feel hopeless in our situations. We may face injustice and oppression, heartbreak and betrayal. But the Lord heals and restores, and He will never abandon His people. Take heart, your sorrow will be turned into joy, your fear into peace, and your bondage into freedom. Our God is faithful.

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