God Knew

Exodus 2:23-3:10

During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. (Exodus 2:23 ESV)

“During those many days” means a long time.

Exodus 7:7 says:
Now Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:7 ESV)

We know then that Moses was 79 or 80 years old at the time we are picking up the story. Acts 7:23 tells us:
When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. (Acts 7:23 ESV)

When Moses visited his brothers, the children of Israel, he was 40 years old. At that time, he murdered an Egyptian and fled from the king of Egypt, who was trying to kill Moses because of the murder. He fled at 40 and returned at 80, so we know that the “many days” Exodus 2:23 is talking about was 40 years or approximately 14,610 days.

14,600 days of slavery for the Israelites. The king of Egypt died. He had ordered the killing of the Hebrew baby boys. He had ordered the increase of their labors and their sufferings. With his death, the suffering did not stop. The slavery and suffering of the Hebrews were institutionalized. It was part of the laws and culture. It was part of the habits of thought and practice in the land. And, the people groaned because of it.

This is not the exasperated groan of a teenager asked to take out the trash. This is the weakened sigh of the person about to die because they don’t have food. This is the sigh of a person too spent to make an actual groaning sound. The people of Israel were spent. They were on their last breath. The design of the king of Egypt had been to exterminate them, and it was about to be accomplished. In this state, the people of Israel cried out for help.

Our sufferings either drive us to the Lord or from the Lord. We are either growing closer to the Lord or further from the Lord. The suffering of the children of Israel caused them to seek the Lord.

Moses tells us:
And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew. (Exodus 2:24-25 ESV)

Please pay close attention to what this says. God heard. God remembered. God saw.

God heard their groaning. God is not unaware or insensitive to our suffering. The history of God’s people teaches us that God knows and understands. Not only did He listen to the groaning of the children of Israel, but, at the right time, He also sent His Son, who was tempted and suffered along with us. Hebrews 4:15 says:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15 ESV)

He can sympathize with our weaknesses. He has been tempted in every respect as we are. I have found that when I am angry and kicking at God, I tend to get further and further away from Him. But, He promises that He will save all who call on Him. Romans 10:13 says:
For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13 ESV)

Please remember that statement, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Next, the text says God Remembered His covenant.
And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew. (Exodus 2:24-25 ESV)

Here is another important thing to remember. Throughout the Bible, the Word of God, we see that God keeps His covenants. A covenant is a promise or an agreement, a guarantee or commitment. One way of saying this is that God is a covenant God. However, God uses the word “Faithful” to describe Himself. In Exodus 34, Moses describes his encounter with God on Mt. Sinai. He asked God to show Himself to him, and God showed Moses what God termed seeing Him from behind. At the same time, God gave a brief description of Himself. In Exodus 34:6, God says:
“Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” (Exodus 34:6 NLT)

Verses like this along with the account of God’s dealings with Egypt and Israel form the foundation of our understanding of who God is and how He deals with us, His creatures.

The Egyptians were God’s creatures, just as the Israelites were God’s creatures. The Egyptians could see and understand that the Israelites were suffering, but they refused to have compassion or mercy on them. God’s compassion and mercy also extended to the Egyptians. However, God is also a God of love and justice, and judgment was necessary. God could not ignore the suffering of those who called on His name. Here is another Scriptural principle. This principle is summed up in 2 Peter 3:9.
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. (2 Peter 3:9 NLT)

We must not think because we do not seem to see God’s judgment or justice that it will not come. We must not think that judgment is not necessary for our world and for our own lives. Each one of us must answer for the things we have done. This is why the death of Jesus Christ was necessary. HE TOOK THE JUDGMENT WE DESERVED. God made a covenant, a promise, with Eve in the garden to provide a Savior, and God is faithful to His covenants.

For the Egyptians, God remembering His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob meant that judgment was imminent. In other words, their time to repent and change their ways was running out. God also remembers the promise Jesus made to come again. Our time, this world’s time to repent and change our ways is running out.

Our text also says that God saw the people of Israel and God knew.
And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew. (Exodus 2:24-25 ESV)

God saw. He understood.

There is an account of an incident that took place in the life of Hagar, Abraham’s concubine. When Hagar became pregnant, her mistress, Sarai, was jealous and mistreated her. Things were so bad for Hagar she ran away. God met with her on the way and told her that He would bless her and her son, and make him into a great nation. At that point, she called God “the God who sees,” in Hebrew “El-roi.”

For God “to see” means that He knows and understands.

This has profound implications for us, His creatures.

First, consider what 2 Chronicles 16:9 says:
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT)

Just think of the greatness of being in the position of having God on your side! In Zechariah 2:8 it says:
For thus says the LORD of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” (Zechariah 2:8 NKJV)

God keeps a close eye on those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. Another favorite text on this subject is Psalms 139:15-16
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalms 139:15-16 NKJV)

God sees, and God knows. If God is on your side, what can overcome you? Do you need to fear anything?

As long as a person’s heart is fully committed to God, God’s favor is a fact of life. However, the second aspect of God seeing and knowing is the Egyptian side of the story.

God seeing and knowing did not work out so well for the Egyptians.

The Egyptians set themselves in opposition to God. God saw, and God knew.

We must realize that this is why not everyone is saved. God is not willing that any should perish, but sadly we are told in Scripture that many will perish. We love John 3:16 that tells us that God so loved the world. I love John 3:16 and have loved it since I started to understand words. But, we must read the verses that follow John 3:16 if we are to understand its full meeting. Here is what it says:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:16-20 NKJV)

These verses clearly state that the one who does not believe is condemned already. And, just as importantly, they say that they hate the light because they do not want their deeds to be exposed.

The world is angry with God. The anger poured out by some atheists is one example of the world’s anger with God. The last verse, John 3:20, is enlightening as an explanation. “For everyone practicing evils hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” One reason the world is angry with God is the fact that He sees and knows.

God sees and knows, and in our hearts or consciences, we all know this and are convicted of our malice, envy, greed, lust and other sins. And, no matter what we try, we cannot escape the fact that God sees and knows.

These three facts lay the foundation for what is to come in Exodus, and they lay the foundation for our understanding of salvation.
1.       God hears
2.       God remembers
3.       God sees

These facts can be good or bad depending on which side you are on. Have you called on God for salvation, or have you set yourself in opposition to Him?

Please call on Him, today, while there is time.


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