God’s Response to Affliction

“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”(Exodus 3:7).

God appeared to Moses in a burning bush in Exodus 3, because of his concern for his people who were suffering in Egypt. The Israelites travelled to Egypt during Joseph’s time as Prime Minister to pass the drought which affected their region. We see in chapter 3 where a new King was in power who did not know Joseph. This King was threatened by the large and increasing number of Israelites. His intention was to oppress them so that they would no longer increase.

The King even ordered the midwives to kill the male children and when this didn’t work he had the people to throw the babies into the river. But Moses was born and his mother spared his life and he was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses became overzealous once he discovered that he was Hebrew and runs away to the wilderness after killing an Egyptian. What Moses didn’t realise was that his anger, although misplaced at the time, was a signal of the desire which God had placed in him.

Now the appointed time came for Moses to carry out his assignment of leading God’s people out of Egypt. God explains to Moses that he had heard the cry of his people. “and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites” (Exodus 3:8).

Moses’s assignment was to be a mouthpiece for God and to show his wonder to the Egyptians. God knew ahead of time that Pharaoh would not listen to Moses and he would need to use signs and wonders to bring about his purpose. Either way, God would not allow the ongoing oppression of his people. The assignment was twofold; tell Pharaoh to let them go so that they can worship me; to bring them into a good land full of good things.

This is God’s response to oppression. To avenge the oppressor of his people, to demonstrate his power and to recompense his people for the wrong done to them. The end result would be restoration to a place of abundance to repay for the season of suffering and pain.


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