January 29, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.”—Exodus 2:23–25 (NKJV)
Today’s passage begins with the words, “Now it happened in the process of time . . .” This is a biblical way of reminding us there’s a deliberate process and sequence of events that have been determined by the Lord, who is in complete control over all things. This is a foundational principle that ties Exodus all together: God, not man, is the one who determines and directs the flow of all things.
Although it may not have looked like it from any earthly perspective, things were progressing perfectly according to God’s agenda. An entire nation of enslaved people who descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were inching closer to their liberation. Again, no one could have foreseen it except God, who had set the necessary factors into motion.
Moses certainly didn’t see it, as he had been settled in the faraway land of Midian for close to forty years! He had a family and a flock of sheep to shepherd. The last thing on his mind was returning to Egypt on behalf of his ancestral people. In Moses’ mind, all that was a distant chapter in his life’s story. This was his life now, and this is likely where he figured it would end—and we would have probably thought the same.
And yet, regardless of how unlikely a return to Egypt and a rescue of his Hebrew countrymen may have seemed, this was always going to happen because it was God’s plan. We read that as the children of Israel cried out because of their enslavement, God was listening! He heard every plea for justice, and He saw every bitter tear and drop of blood shed in their bondage. And while nothing seemed to be changing and there was no end in sight to their enslavement, a great and glorious work was in the works!
We need to hold this tight in our hearts, because in life there will be times where it’ll seems like our cries and prayers to God aren’t changing anything. The natural tendency is to grow discouraged and give up. The wayward ones we care about only deem to drift further and further away, the desires planted in us by the Lord only seems to grow more and more distant, the sense of spiritual bondage to something only appears to grow stronger and stronger . . . it’s very easy to give up and stop praying and trusting God in such seasons.
But remember, the Lord is listening! And in the process of time, in His time, His good work on behalf of His children will be revealed. He has set things into motion we can’t see or anticipate.
God is bringing things together as only He can, because that’s His job. Our job is to persevere in prayer and trust, despite what the circumstances look like. Faith understands that with God there’s always a work in the works and He will fulfill it according to His timing.
Pause: What important principle did you learn from this passage?
Practice: What are you tempted to give up praying about? Consider what this may be telling you and continue in earnest to pray!
Pray: Great and glorious God, I am weak and often rely on my sight instead of my faith in You. Help me to persevere in prayer and grow in my trust in You and Your timing to accomplish Your work in and through my life. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.