By Christy Cox
“And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.
Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.’”
So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage. (Exodus 6:5-9)
God heard the Israelites groaning from the agonies of their lives. They cried out for God to intervene and change the situations in their life that caused them perpetual pain and their specific cry was for freedom from oppression and bondage.
Exodus 2:24 says, “So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant…” It was their fervent prayers that reached the Lord and motivated Him to take action. When it says God remembered, it doesn’t mean that He forgot about them. It means God was reminded of the promises He made to them and it was time for Him to take action. We see this in Scripture over and over. God remembered Noah and sent a wind to dry up the waters. God remembered Abraham and saved Lot out of Sodom. God remembered Rachel and later Hanna and opened up their wombs and gave them the sons they had longed to receive. God remembered Cornelius’s prayers and God sent Peter to bring the gospel.
For years the Israelites had heard about the promises of God for their lives and were reminding God to fulfill what He had spoken years before. And now God is speaking the promises afresh through Moses and awakening hope in them for a better future. He is speaking very specifically what He will do for them and give them. There’s no vagueness with God but specifics.
“But they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.” The very bondage that imprisoned them was now even blinding them to be able to see their coming freedom. Pain has a way of killing hope. Waiting for God to move through the pain can kill hope too. And we can become like the Israelites today. We have been given all the promises of God purchased for us forever by the blood of Christ, given unrestricted access to the throne room for power and answers to our prayers, hold truth and hope in our very hands through the Word of God and yet we see only bondage ahead. We are placing our circumstances above the very Word of God.
And just as God remembers us, to take action, so we must take action, to remember the Lord. To remember who He is, that He hears you and is all-powerful and nothing is too hard for Him. Remember He is Truth and all shall be done as He has spoken. Remember His faithfulness in the history of scripture and in the lives around you. Remember His promises given to you. Remember He is willing to do whatsoever you shall ask of Him for He loves you and has promised to answer. Believe that your prayers are heard and God will act on your behalf and fervently cry out to Him to remember you.
Prayer Forgive me Lord when my vision is clouded by my circumstances and it causes me to doubt Your word. Help me to remember You through the Word of God and to cry out for You to move in my specific circumstances. I choose to believe Your truth and ask You to build my faith. “Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope.” (Psalm 119:49) “Remember me, O Lord, with the favor you have toward Your people. Oh visit me with Your salvation.” (Psalm 106:4) Remember me, O Lord and perform all that You have promised me, for You are my Lord and God.