Tuesday, June 21, 2022

          The second book of the Bible is Exodus.  And part of this book chronicles the deliverance of Israel from captivity and slavery in Egypt.  We learn how God moved in a mighty way to set His people free from Pharaoh’s clutches.  We read in Exodus 2:24, “God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.”  And just a few verses later, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush and chose Moses as his servant to bring Israel out of Egypt.  We pause for a moment at the expression “God heard.”  The God who hears is one way for us to know or to acknowledge God.  The name “Ishmael” for instance means “God hears.” God hears us and answers us based on His righteousness and goodness and not ours.  We do not win or earn the right to be heard because of something we do or because we have had a really successful day.  Rather, God hears us because of who He is and His righteousness.
            Followers of Jesus who have come to faith and trust in Him are blessed with the assurance that God hears them.  God takes note of their situation or condition.  In the case of the Exodus, God heard the cries and groans of His people.  God saw their chains, bindings and slavery.  He had not forgotten His covenant with them or promises to them.  There can certainly be times where we feel or even think that God does not see or hear us.  There can be occasions where situations and battles have worn us down so badly that we think God has moved on from us and left us to ourselves.  Life can be hard and daily battles can take a devastating toll. 
            But a story like the Exodus challenges our thinking and feelings.  We learn that we have not been abandoned or forgotten, ignored or dismissed.  God remembers His promises to us and keeps His covenant with us through His Son Jesus.  In I Peter 4:7, we read, “The end of all things is near.  Therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so you can pray.”  Peter wrote at a time when many Christians believed that the Lord could and would return in their lifetime.  These first-century believers expected to see Jesus return at any moment.  While Peter did not set a day or time for Jesus to come back, he did command us to be clear-minded and self-controlled.  The idea is to hold on to the Lord’s promises and His Word while we wait for Him to come for us.  We are not to allow anything to rob us of the peace and clarity that we find in His promises and plans. The Lord will bring such things to pass, we need only to be still and wait upon Him.
            Today, the enemy can easily flood our faces, eyes and ears with an onslaught of trials and temptations that can leave us dazed and staggering.  The enemy can be so ruthless that we wonder where the Lord is and whether He hears us or cares for us.  The enemy is a master at casting doubt and confusion upon God’s Word.  Go back to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and consider the doubt and confusion that the serpent threw at them.  Doubt and confusion still work today.  The enemy may not be very innovative but he is very good at recycling and reusing the same old schemes again and again to deceive us into doubting God, God’s compassion and the reality that God hears His people.
            We can rest assured today that God hears us.  Our situations may not be as dire as what Israel faced on the eve of the Exodus but He still hears us.  He hears our loneliness, confusion, worry, fear, confusion and dread.  He hears the small whimpers and the loud cries.  He is and always will be the God who hears.  His ears are never too weak or too small.  Have a great Tuesday and remember you can share our worship with others anytime you wish by visiting youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.       
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