Spirit of Grace Ministries
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Surely God Sees US

By Dennis Pollock


It is fascinating to discover how God called men and women to do His work in the Bible. And one of the most dramatic callings was God's appearing to the former prince of Egypt, Moses. While tending his flock of sheep out in the middle of the wilderness, Moses noticed a solitary bush on fire. But as he looked the bush appeared green and healthy, and showed no signs of being devoured by the fire. This was a curious thing, and Moses drew closer to see what was happening with this mysterious bush.


As He approached the bush, the God who had spoken to his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, now spoke to him. After identifying Himself, God quickly got to the point. He told the astonished shepherd:


"I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians." (Genesis 3:7-8)


The Enslaved Hebrews


Having lived in Egypt the first forty years of his life, Moses knew full well the plight of the Hebrews there. Even though he had been raised as an Egyptian, he was by birth a Hebrew and identified with their misery. He knew of their centuries' long enslavement, and of their continual prayers for freedom to their mysterious, invisible God. And he knew the discouragement of the multiple generations of prayers for freedom which had apparently gone unheard, unnoticed, and definitely unanswered. Moses had himself no doubt prayed for the liberation of his people, but there was not the slightest evidence that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was even remotely interested in answering those prayers. It was as though God was blind to the misery, the suffering, the enslavement, and the cruel hardship that millions of Hebrews were forced to endure.


Now God had shown up and He told Moses, not merely that he was aware, but that He had "surely seen" the oppression of His people. He was not just vaguely aware or barely aware, He was keenly interested and acutely conscious of their oppression. It turned out that God was not blind, nor did He possess the slightest trace of near-sightedness. He had been watching the misery of the descendants of Abraham all these long years. He added, "I know their sorrows." Their sufferings had not gone unnoticed. The notion that nobody saw, nobody noticed, and nobody cared about their misery was entirely untrue. God had waited long to act, to be sure, but this did not mean He was aloof or apathetic to their suffering.


He went on to tell the astonished Moses, "I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians." After generations of waiting, watching, and observing their sorrows, now God was prepared to move on their behalf. And His divine deliverance would involve Moses. When God said, "I have come down," He was not suggesting that He was going to make a personal appearance to Pharoah. The invisible Ruler of the universe would stay behind the scenes as He always does. But He was sending Moses to do the work, anointed with the Holy Spirit, and carrying a miracle rod that would turn rivers to blood, and bring about utter ruin to the land of Egypt. By the time God and Moses finished their work, the Egyptians would be begging for the Israelites to leave their land.


Slow – and Fast!


What is involved here is the frequently seen principle of "slow and fast." God can and often seems to take so long to answer our prayers. In our misery and eagerness to see a breakthrough, we suppose that the King of Creation should move quickly in response to our desperate petitions. But often He does the exact opposite. He waits long and requires us to wait… and wait and wait. In fact, He does this so often you might say that it is his "modus operandi," His usual method of doing things. But when He is ready to respond, He will often move with lightning speed, so much speed, in fact, that it can make us dizzy and sometimes even a little frightened.


It would be this way with Israel. God had waited hundreds of years to respond to the misery and the prayers of His suffering Hebrew children. But once He revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush, it was time for Him to act. Moses was immediately sent to Egypt, where he confronted stubborn Pharaoh. Pharaoh, of course, said, "No," and plague number one was sent. Moses returned to Pharaoh and again demanded the liberation of Israel. Pharaoh said, "No" again, and plague number two was launched. Seven more demands were made, seven more "no's" were given, and seven more plagues fell upon Egypt, until the nation was left in ruins. Ultimately Moses made his final demand, Pharaoh responded with his usual "no," and every single firstborn son in all of Egypt fell dead in one night. At this point there was an outcry such as had never been heard in the history of proud Egypt. Crying, shrieking, groaning were heard from north to south and east to west.


God had told the Israelites to have a meal that night, but to make sure and keep their regular clothes on – no pajamas (or whatever they wore at night). They were to eat their meal quickly and were not even allowed to take their sandals off. They needed to be prepared to move out in a hurry.


Pharaoh called for Moses and demanded that he and all his people leave the land of Egypt. Word spread quickly over the land of the slaves, and they soon were on the move. Millions of men, women, and children made their way out of Egypt. Those centuries of slavery were ended in what amounted to probably a month or two of plagues, and the Jews left Egypt in a single night. God may have waited long to respond to their prayers, but when He did choose to move, it was with blazing speed.


It was a great historical event, but this was also a great theological lesson to all of us who have embraced God as our Father and Jesus Christ as our Savior. God may not move as fast as we wish He would, but if we will keep on praying, keep on believing, keep on seeking our God, His answer will come.


Bearing Long – Avenging Speedily


And in case we miss the point in the story of the exodus of Israel, Jesus spelled it out to us in a parable. He told about a widow coming again and again to an "unjust judge." The judge did not care about God and had no regard for people. But because the widow kept coming to him so often, he finally broke down and gave her what she wanted. And then Jesus tells us the point of the story, saying:


And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. (Luke 18:7)


It is a strange concept: God will "bear long" with His elect, while they cry out to Him day and night, and then "avenge them speedily." How can it be a speedy response, if He has been "bearing long" with us? The speed is not in how long we must persevere, but rather the incredible swiftness God employs once He finally swings into action. We may have waited for months or years or even decades, but once God starts moving, nothing can stop Him or slow Him down. Our victory shall come speedily.


God is worth waiting for. Joseph had to wait 13 long years as a slave and a prisoner before he was exalted as a leader in Egypt, but when it happened it happened fast, and Joseph realized that God had been with him all along. Malachi is considered the last of the major Jewish prophets and his book makes up the final book of the Old Testament. After Malachi there were 400 years of prophetic silence and it seemed as though God had forgotten all about the Messianic prophecies He had made to His people. But in perfect divine timing, an angel named Gabriel was sent to two women who were cousins, Elizabeth and Mary. Elizabeth became pregnant with the baby who would become the man we know as John the Baptist, and Mary became the mother of the Son of God. And after those two visitations, things started happening in a hurry.


Delay is not Denial


At the age of thirty John began to preach with an anointing like no one had ever heard, and all of Israel took notice. Around six months later Jesus began preaching – and healing the sick and raising the dead. Within four years John was dead, and Jesus had been crucified and then raised from the dead. He had commissioned His disciples to preach and baptize in His name, and then ascended to heaven. The Holy Spirit fell upon 120 of His disciples in an upstairs room, and that day 3,000 people were added to the church. And that was just the beginning.


There is a lesson here for all of us. The God we serve, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, sees us and hears us, even when it appears that He does not see and does not hear. He delays His answers to our fervent prayers for His own mysterious reasons, but delay is not the same as denial.


Hagar, Abraham's maid turned wife, demonstrates a powerful lesson for us. When she ran away from Abraham's dwelling because of Sarah's harsh dealings with her, she ended up out in the wilderness, when an angel of the Lord showed up. He asked her what she was doing, and she told him that she was fleeing from her mistress. The angel told her: "Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has heard your affliction." (Genesis 16:11). He further told her to return to Abraham and Sarah. Upon hearing the angel's words, a great revelation came to Hagar, a revelation which we all desperately need. She understood at that moment that God had seen her affliction, that His eyes had always been upon her, and she knew that she could trust His word to her. She obediently returned to the camp of Abraham.


But she also gave God a name. She called Him "You-are-the-God-who-sees (El Roi)." She now understood that the great God that Abraham spoke of, the One who talked to him and led him all his days, had His eyes on her as well. He saw in precise detail all the events of her life. And He was worthy to follow and obey.


God, Sparrows, and You


Many millennia later, Jesus Christ came along and declared that not even a sparrow could fall to the ground without the Heavenly Father's intimate knowledge and involvement. Then He encouraged us with these words: "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Our God is the God who sees. He is the God who responds to the prayers of His children. He may not show up when we want Him to, but He will without fail respond in His perfect time.


And if you are in Christ; if you have trusted in the Savior and been born again, the Heavenly Father has adopted you into His wonderful family. You are His child. Your prayers will not be ignored. In His time, He will act with incredible speed. He sees you. He knows you. He loves you.







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