He hears you
God said yes.
The Israelites couldn’t take it any longer. They had suffered for hundreds of years under the oppression of Egypt and they were tired. One night as they retired to their quarters, they cried out together. In one accord they proclaimed — God rescue us from slavery! We are dying here. We cannot take it any longer. We are under the brutal hand of our enemy. They are trying to wipe us off the face of the earth by killing off the next generation. Oh, God please!
They went to bed with tears and swollen eyes and woke up the next morning. Nothing had changed.
I wonder if they were disappointed. Knowing their character from reading ahead, I’m pretty confident that they probably questioned and doubted God.
I imagine them asking: Why aren’t you responding to our cries? How long do we have to cry out? Our days are numbered and yet you stay silent. You hide your face from us. Oh God, what is happening?! What are you doing?
Don’t we often respond the same way? After crying out to God for days, even years on end — we ask similar questions when God seemingly doesn’t respond. The questions add up as the years go by, piling on top of each other like pieces of trash in a garbage dump. The smoke of bitterness and anger, unbelief and doubt, rise to the heavens.
Are you mad at us? Are you punishing us? What can we do differently so that you will rescue us? Why aren’t you listening? Why are you allowing this? Are you trying to teach us something? How could you do this to us?
But little did the Israelites know that for years as they were suffering, God was raising up their rescuer.
They didn’t know it the night of their big prayer or the next day — or even the next. But God did hear their cries. He did. And He always does.
I love how the writer in Exodus describes God’s response as they were praying. He says, “Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant… God saw the people of Israel — and God knew.”
And God knew.
To someone who has been waiting for God to fulfill his promise and answer my prayers, these words are like a big gulp of gatorade for my thirsty soul. They reinvigorate me to continue to pray. To continue to cry out. To continue to believe that God will come through.
Because at the core of our pleas, isn’t this exactly what our weary hearts want? We want to know — we need to know — that God cares about us. My heart is desperate to know that He still loves me.
God do you hear me? God do you even remember me? God do you see me? God do you know how I feel?
To all of those questions, God responds with a thundering —
Yes, kiddo! I hear you! I remember you. I see you. I know you.
God isn’t ignoring you. He hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t lost sight of your circumstance and He knows your heart is longing for deliverance.
As He was for the Israelites, He is currently working for you as you wait on Him.
For since the world began,
no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like you,
who works for those who wait for him!
Isaiah 64:4, emphasis mine
The Israelites didn’t know when they were crying out that God had responded. They had no understanding that at the exact moment that they cried out, He heard them. He remembered. He saw.
And He knew he had to go to Moses.
Immediately after their prayer, God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. He told Moses that his people were being afflicted and he wanted to bring them up out of the land of Egypt and deliver them to a land free of oppression, to a land flowing with milk and honey.
Moses stumbled. Me? I can’t do that. I’m not smart enough. No one will listen to me. As God does, He got Moses to agree to go to Egypt to rescue his people. I don’t know how long the discussion went on, but I do know that the location where Moses was staying was at least 200 miles to where Moses had to travel. So from the moment their prayers went up, to the moment Moses showed up in Egypt, was at least days. If not weeks or months.
I wish I knew the exact timing, but here is the point: after the Israelites cried out to God, they waited.
And during their time of waiting, the Israelites had no idea that God had immediately responded to their cry. He was working behind the scenes to respond to their prayer for deliverance.
God didn’t ignore them. He didn’t hear their prayer and turn away. He wasn’t out to disappoint them or punish them. He wasn’t withholding freedom from them. He was working on their behalf. God answered their prayer with a yes.
My people! God does this all the time.
God answers our prayers with a yes, even if we cannot see the fruit of the yes right away.
He hears you. Do not give up believing and asking for what he has promised you. Knock down that door. Even if it is the dead of the night and your circumstances are screaming that it isn’t possible that God will wake up and respond to you.
Believe! Because it’s in the darkest hour of the night that my God responds. It’s in the valley that God raises dry bones to life and makes them a great army.
So hold tight and proclaim, “If you’re not done working, God I’m not done waiting!”
Moses finally arrived in Egypt and sat down with the Israelite leaders in the wilderness. He brought with him good news! “God appeared to me. He heard your prayers and it is time that you be delivered from slavery.”
“When they heard that God had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.”
When they realized God had come through for them they responded in worship!
God answered their prayers! And He ended up delivering them from Egypt as he had promised.
Like the Israelites, bow your heads in worship, but don’t wait. Do it now. Praise him, believing that God is moving today! Believe that God has already heard your prayer and He is working as you pray. Rejoice, because God doesn’t make empty promises. With His promise, comes His ability to fulfill it.
Let your heart of anticipation and your prayers of hope rise up to the heart of God like incense, a beautiful aroma to our God and our King.
I am talking to you. Yes, you.
He hears your prayer.
He sees your heart. All of it.
He remembers you. He remembers your circumstance.
And He knows you.
Yes, even now as you wait: