I Know Their Sufferings
Exodus 3:7 (ESV) -- Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings”
People carry burdens that others never know about. There are countless people we walk past everyday who suffer with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and all sorts of afflictions. But we never know. People have learned to put on good exterior presentations of themselves for the public to see. Yet many carry burdens and feel alone in them. Our suffering often feels isolated.
Our passage today serves as a comfort to hurting, weary sufferers. The Scriptures remind us that we never suffer in isolation or anonymity. The Lord knows. We read, “Then the Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings’”
The context of this passage is the suffering of the Jews under Egypt’s oppression. Hundreds of years have passed since the Hebrew people had favor with the Pharaoh and Egypt. Joseph and his family have been forgotten. Their position and status within the nation has fallen. They are now perceived as a threat to rebel. So new leaders rise in Egypt who persecute them and subject them to slavery. Hard labor is now their plight. They cry out to the Lord for mercy. They cry out for relief from their distress.
The text today reminds us that the Lord hears their cries. He sees the affliction of His people. This seeing and hearing isn’t passive. He sees and hears in such a way that He acts on their behalf. He shows compassion and mercy on them because He knows their suffering. Our pains and afflictions always have purpose in the plans of God. There is no such thing as senseless suffering under the sovereignty of God. Yet while we wait for deliverance, we seek the compassion and mercy of God. Seek it today, friends. Rest in His grace to sustain you.
Reflection & Journal:
- What comfort does it give the sufferer that we are seen and known by God?
- How should a Christian perceive their suffering if God hasn’t immediately removed it?
- Why does this passage challenge us to trust God in our afflictions rather than falling into despair?
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