Wednesday, March 14, 2012

God's Heart for the Humbled (Part 2 – Israel in Egypt)

(Here at Venture, we believe that God's heart is with the humbled.  He cares deeply for the poor, marginalized, and oppressed.  There are two main reasons God's heart is with the humbled: (1) He is compassionate beyond understanding and (2) He wants to make it clear to the world that when He does something it is Him doing it, not people.  So, we are taking some time to tour the Bible and see God's heart for the humbled.  See all our  posts in this series here.)

The next major time in Scripture that we see God’s heart for the humbled is in Exodus 3.  God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, were in slavery in Egypt.  For almost 400 years they were living under the whip and forced into hard labor.  But, as we know, God called Moses to go and rescue His people.  God commissioned Moses by telling him this:

 “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.  So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of they Egyptians.” (Ex 3:7-8)

I want to note a few things about what God says here.  First, He saw and heard His people.  The people of Israel had been in slavery for so long that they had begun to doubt that God cared for them or even knew about them.  But God assured Moses that He had indeed seen them.  No matter what, God knows His people, and He sees all suffering.  Sometimes it seems like God is indifferent to the problems of the world, but our omniscient God knows. 

Second, not only did God know about their suffering, but He also was concerned about them.  He did not simply see problems and turn aside, or leave them to deal with it on their own.  Because He loved them and had compassion on them He wanted to do something for them.  This is a clear example of God’s heart for the humbled.  Israel was humbled by their slavery, and God was concerned.  Let us never forget that God loves those who are broken and hurting with all His infinite self.

Third, God came down to rescue them.  We tend to love this until we see what He said to Moses next.  “I have come down to rescue them […] So now go. I am sending you.” (Ex 3:8,10)  This seems weird, if God came down to save them, why was He sending Moses?  Because, He wanted to use Moses and involve Moses in what He was doing.  He delights in bringing us into His plan and in using us for His glory.  He is a God who loves community with His people, and does not want to work in this world apart from His people (He is totally capable of working without us, but He wants to work with us).

God’s heart is for the humbled, people who have been enslaved.  And He sees their sufferings; He is concerned about their pain; and He wants to rescue them.  But He wants to do it through us.  He has come to send us to save them.  Are we going to go?

Devlin McGuire
Venture Corps Chaplain

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