Exodus – God Sees, Hears and Knows
Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people… and have heard their cry… I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them…” Exodus 3:7-8
In Genesis we learn that we all have needs. Our physical needs vary from person to person, but the one thing we all need is a Savior. We live chained to evil hearts and bad choices and we can’t escape the shackles – “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Our core need is to get that fixed, which is what God shows us in Exodus.
Long after Joseph died and a series of leaders rotated through the top spot in Egypt, there arose a Pharaoh who didn’t remember Joseph. This guy was threatened by the size and strength of Israel so he sought to make life as tough on them as possible. Ultimately, he tried to control their population growth by killing all newborn baby boys.
The people of Israel cried out to God in their affliction and God knew it was time for their deliverance. He enacted a plan by saving a little boy who had been born to a very clever mother. The boy wound up being spared, and even raised in Pharaoh’s household with his own mother as his nursemaid! Moses became like a son to Pharaoh until God recruited Moses from a burning bush.
God delivered Israel from Egypt by Moses convincing Pharaoh to let His people go. It wasn’t easy. Israel was a solid workforce and he became reluctant. So God sent a series of plagues that culminated in the Passover.
God gave specific instructions for the night of the Passover, which included every family eating dinner a certain way and wiping the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their home so the angel of death would ‘pass over’ that house. Thus all of the children of Israel were spared what the people of Egypt woke up to the next morning, the death of the firstborn in every home. With this tragic turn Pharaoh demanded that Moses take the people and leave – and they did. Immediately.
The Passover, still celebrated today, is a symbol of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, God’s Passover Lamb. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, burial and resurrection, those people who are under His blood of atonement, are spared from permanent separation from God and have eternal life with Christ.
Having been covered by the blood of the lamb, the children of Israel leave town but are subsequently chased by Pharaoh who once again hardened his heart. With their backs against the Red Sea, God seals their freedom them by opening a pathway across the sea on dry land. When Pharaoh tried to follow the same path God released the waters causing Pharaoh and his army to perish in the waves.
Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea is a symbol of New Testament baptism. The Apostle Paul writes: “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-3) Baptism is how God effects our deliverance from sin and entry into His eternal kingdom.
Beginning in Exodus Chapter twenty, God calls Moses meet Him on Mt. Sinai where He dictates His Law starting with the Ten Commandments. God makes clear through the Law that He has set the people free from bondage to boundaries. Unchecked freedom is never handled well by humans so God outlines a kind of framework for life in His Kingdom.
And when Jesus, God incarnate, came to earth, He didn’t abolish the Old Covenant law, in fact he said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17
The Apostle Paul sheds more light Christ and the Law when we says:
“Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” Galatians 3:24-29
God also gave Moses instructions for how His presence would be manifest among them during the wilderness journey. He provided plans for a structure, a type of tent, a tabernacle, that would be shuttled from place to place. When the Tabernacle was assembled God’s presence would descend in the form of a cloud assuring the people that He was in their midst. And when it was time for them to pack up and travel, the cloud would lift and at night a flame of fire would lead them.
After Jesus’ victorious resurrection and ascension back to heaven, the Holy Spirit came to be with and in each believer, a seal and sign of the perpetual presence of God in our lives. As with the Tabernacle, it’s not so much about a specific location, He goes with us, and we go with Him, following the leading and the will of our heavenly King.
So what is your need? A new van? A Job? A good conversation with your spouse? Maybe you need a Savior. Dear one, God sees you, He hears you, and He knows your need. Trust me, He knows. Call out for deliverance today, He is mighty to save.