And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And 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 had respect unto them.
Had God forgotten about Israel? Did He forget His promise, and so they had to toil under these burdens for so long? Had He given up on them and left them to face these things all alone with no hope? Of course He hadn’t. The people were suffering, craving a deliverer from God, but they had to endure while His plan unfolded and He worked behind the scenes. Though many years might pass, His promises are still valid. Though things seem bleak and hopeless at the moment, that doesn’t mean that things can’t change.
God is not inactive when it might seem like He’s forgotten us and where we are and what we’re dealing with. Often, He is working somewhere we can’t see at the moment. He’s waiting for something to come to pass that needs to happen before He can move in our lives. Unseen to the Israelites in Egypt, the land of Canaan was changing as they suffered in their bondage. Cities were being built. Land was being cultivated. Things were flourishing as it became a fruitful place. And that is what they would have to return to, not the barren land of famine that Jacob had left all those years before.
In the meantime, God was with them. He heard their cries. The people were growing and multiplying. And off in a wilderness of his own, God was preparing Moses to be what he needed to be in order to deliver the nation of Israel from the grip of Pharaoh. So that time was not wasted. Those years were not spent in vain. And when the exact right moment came, God made His move. He sent Moses back. He performed signs and wonders. He brought the people through the Red Sea. And He set them free and brought them into the promised land.
Maybe we feel like we’re in a place of bondage right now. Maybe we’re in the midst of some struggle and it feels like God has forgotten about us. Maybe it seems like we’re calling out to God and He’s just not hearing us. But may we trust that God does hear us and that our cries prompt a response from our loving Father. May we understand that sometimes we just have to be patient in our struggle and allow God to work behind the scenes. May we know that God is always aware of our situation even if it doesn’t seem like He is doing anything to help us. And may we be willing to allow God to prepare circumstances and to prepare us so that His purposes and plans can move forward in His time.