Each week on Thursdays we highlight a trustworthy discipleship resource that can help you in your mission to make disciples. This week’s post is from Gospel Foundations Volume 2: A Wandering People (Exodus – Judges), Session 1: God Hears His People. At the end of this post there is a link to sign up for a chance to win a free giveaway of the first volume of this resource!
God listens to the cries of His people.
Read Exodus 3:2-10.
It’s a simple statement but often one difficult to believe: God listens to the cries of His people. When circumstances mount against us, when the pain in our lives is very real, we might wonder if God really hears our prayers and cries for help. This is surely what the Israelites felt throughout their protracted slavery in Egypt.
Moses, as an Israelite, was likely familiar with the cries of his people that had been offered up to God for four hundred years. The Israelites knew their history, that God had promised their forefather Abraham that He would give them a land of their own and He would bless them in a special way . Perhaps after so many years in slavery, some within the Israelite community wondered if God had gone back on His word.
Despite the decades and centuries that passed, God was still listening. In His mercy, God heard the cries of His people and responded . Notice who initiated the conversation: God came to Moses . God revealed Himself to the man He had chosen to intercede for His people and then identified Himself as the God of Moses’ forefathers.
Humans have no right to demand an audience with God. God is not dependent upon us; all of creation is dependent upon Him . God is not accountable to us; we are accountable to Him. God would have been fully just and righteous to create this world and leave it to the natural processes He sustains, never to intervene (by way of a miracle), never to communicate with His human creatures (by way of special revelation), and never to involve Himself with our human plight (by way of redemption). There is nothing about our existence that forces God to be a God who reveals Himself. And yet, God listens to our cries and then acts in response.
God would not allow His people to continue to suffer. Instead, He would intervene to rescue them . Here we see a shadow of the good news of the gospel! The gospel is the story of a God who issues a call to helpless sinners . In our spiritual blindness and deafness, we are imprisoned and enslaved by our own sinfulness. We cannot see the goodness of God until He gives us new eyes. We cannot hear the voice of God until He opens our ears.But God, out of sheer grace, spoke to us in a most unexpected way—through His Son, the Word. God chose to enter our world of darkness through the person of Jesus Christ . John 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (v . 1). And then, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (v . 14). Jesus is God’s Word to us, breaking through our dark, silent prison and saying, “Let there be light!” (“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it” [vv . 4-5] .) In His perfect life and sacrificial death, Jesus revealed God to us. He showed us God’s character. He demonstrated the love at the heart of the Father’s authority.
This same heart of love, grace, and compassion is on display as God listened to the cries of His people. Just as He would later do in the gospel, God would take action on behalf of the Israelites. He would do for them what they could not do for themselves— bring them into freedom and, in so doing, continue to keep His covenant promise to Abraham.
What have you experienced or are you experiencing that might make you doubt whether God is listening to your cries?
How can reminding yourself of the gospel also remind you that God is indeed hearing you when you cry out to Him?
This article is an excerpt from Gospel Foundations Volume 2: A Wandering People (Exodus – Judges). Gospel Foundations takes groups through the storyline of scripture in one year. Learn more and preview three free sessions at lifeway.com/gospelfoundations. Fill out the form below before tomorrow night at 11:59pm for an opportunity to win a free bundle of this resource. The bundle includes 10 Volume 1 Bible Study Books and 1 Leader Kit.