This passage spoke to me today as I was reading in my morning devotional time.
“So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped.”
The people of Israel were in Egypt for 400 years. The latter years were dramatically more difficult that the former because the leadership of the nation changed following Joseph’s death. (Never mind a sermon on how God has to, at times, increase our discomfort to get us to move on with the mission). Pharoah really hammered the people and the more he tried to break them physically, emotionally, and even spiritually, they grew increasingly desperate in their cries to God.
Then Moses arrives on the scene. He approaches the people, demonstrates, his credentials (which were nothing but the working of God through him…which is another sermon in itself), and the people saw a glimmer of hope.
They HEARD that God cared about them. This is an important step that we miss. Many of God’s people are busy explaining how God is angry with their conduct. The focus at times is on how God is concerned with everyone else BUT the people we speak to. What moved these people though was their understanding that God was concerned for them.
God had SEEN their affliction. What an encouraging thought that God sees every transgression, failure, victim, and perpetrator. He sees. He sees! There is nothing that you and I experience that God doesn’t see! Furthermore, He voiced His concern and demonstrated that He was seeking to rectify the matter. (It is why He raised up Moses).
And the people BOWED LOW and WORSHIPED. The response of the people upon realizing that God sees and is concerned is humility and worship. It was not God’s awareness fo their sinfulness and lack of faith that provoked worship. God met them exactly where they were. There would be many days ahead to address faithlessness, but today, what provoked worship, was realizing God’s concern.
For the preacher today…”Message received.” Perhaps you hear the same thing. Today, remind people that God is concerned. He sees. He is able. He is active. He deserves worship.