S (Scripture): Exodus 2:23 During that long period of time the king of Egypt died, and the Israelites groaned because of the slave labor. They cried out, and their desperate cry because of their slave labor went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, 25 God saw the Israelites, and God understood….
O (Observation): God’s people have become servants of the Egyptians because of the severe famine that occurred in Joseph’s time. Now, the Pharaoh that was in charge has been replaced. He does not recognize God’s people in a favorable light, but sees them as slaves only and treats them as such.
God’s people cry out…and God recalls His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Kings and numerous descendants would come from Abaraham’s lineage – this is God’s solemn vow. God would now set things in motion, because God heard the cries of His people…and God understood…
A (Application): As parents of three, my wife and I have gained a sense of hearing for the cries of our children (when they were toddlers). A room full of toddlers – laughing, playing, crying – and if our kid was the one crying, we could pick out our kids’ cries…and at the same time, the severity of the injury or insult.
God has a way of hearing our cries, and discerning if they are from insult or injury, and how much love (or “tough love”) would be necessary.
Love looks like freeing the people from Egypt. Tough love looks like allowing the people to lead themselves for 40 long years, but never letting go completely. When the people cry out again, in the wilderness, God reveals Himself with acts of love and rescue.
What was the last thing you cried out for? Did you sense a response from God? What was that response?
What are you crying out for today?
P (Prayer): Dear Lord, save us from ourselves and hear our cries to you. Amen.
Bonus: The link below is for a song (“O Lord, Hear My Prayer”) developed in the Taize community. Play this video and sit back and lift your prayers to God. You can spare 5 minutes for this. Abide. Then, go.