Sometimes I feel as if I need rescuing. Do you?
Do life’s circumstances weigh you down? Do you feel as if no matter what you do, you can’t get ahead or make life “work” the way you think it should? Do you wish your relationships were more solid, more caring, more compassionate? Is there some circumstance you are facing that you hope will go away or change or be healed? You are not alone, dear one. A whole nation of more than a million people felt the need for a Deliverer. The Israelites were those people.
Scripture described them as “oppressed” (Ex. 1:11), living “bitter” lives (Ex. 1:14), being treated “ruthlessly” (Ex. 1:14), “beaten” (Ex. 2:11), hunted and “killed” (Ex. 1:16). They did the only thing they had control over, they “cried out” (Ex. 3:7) and “groaned” (Ex. 2:23). Sometimes the only thing we have control over is our own crying out and groaning, too.
A Rescuer heard. Scripture described this Deliverer with the following words; “So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Ex. 2:24); He looked on the Israelites and was “concerned about them” (Ex. 2:25); He had “indeed seen the misery of” His people (Ex. 3:7); He was “concerned about their suffering” (Ex. 3:7b); He had “watched over” them and seen what had “been done to” them. The Rescuer heard, saw, watched over, and was concerned.
The amazing thing to me is not that the Rescuer was aware of what was happening, but that He acted. Scripture records His promises; “I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians” (Ex. 6:6a); “I will free you from being slaves” (Ex. 6:6b); “I will redeem you” (Ex. 6:6b); “I will take you as my own” (Ex. 6:7a); “I will be your God” (Ex. 6:7b); “I will bring you to …” (Ex. 6:8a); “I will give it to you …” (Ex. 6:8b).
Their Redeemer had powerful words for them. But the Israelites were unconvinced. They “did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor” (Ex. 6:9). Are we any different? Do you have trouble trusting and believing the Lord’s goodness in the hardships of life? Our reactions do not change the reality of a faithful God who fulfills His promises. The Israelites had to wait awhile longer before they were finally “driven” out of Egypt, and then they waited 40 more years before they entered into the land God had promised. In fact, things became worse for the Israelites, before life got better. Read Exodus 5-12.
The Rescuer then gave them an amazing work to do and a promise. “Then have them make a sanctuary for Me, and I will dwell among them.” (Ex. 25:8) It amazes me that an Almighty God would desire not only to rescue His people, but to dwell among them.
We know that He rescued the Israelites from bondage to slavery. We also know that He came to rescue us from a life of sin: “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). In fact, He rescued Israel and us because He is faithful; He fulfilled His promises to us. “Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us’” (Matt. 1:22-23). His name is not only “Rescuer”, but “Immanuel”, God with us. Our Rescuer has come. We have been rescued from our sin, and we will be rescued from a world that is groaning in pain. As we live on this wayward planet we groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our “adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:23).
Our Redeemer hears, sees, and promises to return (Jn. 14:1-4). He desires once again to dwell among His people (Rev. 21:3). The old order of things will be over, and there will be no more hardships, no more sorrow, no more pain (Rev. 21:4).
Like the Israelites, you may be discouraged, but God is still faithful regardless of your ability to listen and believe. He will fulfill His promises just as He did with the Israelites. He will return to dwell among us and be our God. He has come, and He will come. Praise the Lord! †