The movie The Ten Commandments may be the reason I love Moses and the story of the Exodus. But, there is something powerful about the way God prepared, equipped, and sent Moses that has always been a source of comfort and challenge.
In Exodus 3, we find the exchange between God and Moses at the burning bush. It was a miraculous event. In that moment, Moses’s life was forever changed. He encountered the one true God, and that God gave him a mission to accomplish.
The crazy thing about this is that while Moses was the physical representation of deliverance, it was God who was bringing about. In verse 8, God tells Moses this is exactly how it was going to happen.
7 Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Exodus 3:7-8a ESV)
There are several quick ideas I would like to highlight.
First, God was not blind. He tells Moses that he has come because he has seen the affliction of his people. In times like we find ourselves, I find this comforting. God does not have to remove the source of affliction for us to know he knows what is going on.
Second, God knew that suffering was taking place. Therefore, we can know that God knows that suffering is taking place now. God’s knowledge of suffering is a reminder to us that he is compassionate. God does not delight in suffering and he is not guilty of evil when he permits it. Our inability to understand the purpose of our present circumstances is not an indictment on God’s goodness.
Third, God had a greater good in mind of his people. God is a good God. He is also a good Father. He is not blind to our predicament and he is not indifferent to our tribulations. What we have to keep in mind, maybe even force ourselves to remember, is that whatever discomfort we feel (even if it includes death) pales in comparison to the promised blessings that await us. This is difficult in the middle of dark times. However, it is never too late to put our hope in God’s love and mercy, in his faithfulness and provision.
As we move steadily toward Easter, I would encourage you to take heart. We have not been abandoned. Our deliverer is nearer than we realize.