Exodus 3: 7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
God hears the cries of His people.
For 400 years there is no record of God speaking or moving in the people of Israel but His absence did not mean He wasn’t moving. At the very moment the people of Israel were being enslaved, bruised, beaten and oppressed God was preparing a deliverer.
What seemed a world away, in the backside of the desert, far away from the prosperity and power of Egypt, God was preparing a deliverer. He was preparing a way of escape. He was molding and sculpting the life of a man named Moses. He seemed to be so utterly qualified and prepared already. He was powerful and wealthy in Egypt with all the right connections to get it done. He knew both the language and customs of Egypt as well as the language and customs of Israel. He was strategically well placed in political power to do something.
However, God knew that Moses needed an extra 40 years on slow roast in the desert. Gods seeming absence should not be confused with His lack of movement. On the contrary He was very much on the move. With all the atrocities going on around Moses, God had a plan. It required patience.
In our world, there are atrocities and human rights violations going on everywhere. Lest we forget, there are millions of children that are murdered every year under the ironically watchful eye of physicians and carefully legislated care of the government. We euphemize it with words like Pro Choice or abortion but it is taking the life of an actual baby who feels actual pain is murder. Maybe their cries are not audible, but I am confident that God hears them. I can think of no people group more oppressed and more helpless than these, the least of these.
Not parenthetically, God does have forgiveness and grace for those who have experienced it in the past, and just like you or I mercy awaits those moms who have gone through this.
These things weighed on me the past few months. It has quite frankly brought me to the question: “Can I be a one issue voter?” I’ve heard folks say that they’re voting for the candidate who speaks most to their own personal issues. I’ve heard folks who are voting out of fear from what the other party will do to the country.
But is there one issue that can drive a vote. Is there one thing inside a person’s mind that I can look to and say, “that person doesn’t speak for me”. Is it the war in Iraq? Is it raising taxes on my own personal company? For me personally that deal breaker issue was the voice of the helpless, the voice of the unborn.
We have euphemized this over the years. God help us that we’ve become so comfortable with the word Abortion that we aren’t even incensed anymore.
I personally think God will judge nations as a whole. Look no further than Revelation to see that He will gather together the nations for judgment. For all the talk of God “judging our country” perhaps we should listen.
If you’re a believer though, it might be interesting to note that Peter chooses the word “nation” to describe the Body of Christ. 1 Peter 2 says that we’re called out, that we’re a peculiar people, that we are a “holy nation”.
Before the great judging of the nations, the Lord has some words that are very pointed towards the church, to this peculiar nation Peter talks about.
This one particularly jumped out at me.
Revelation 3:14″To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
We live in a dispensation of Grace. God’s wrath towards mankind was aimed at Jesus Christ on the cross. It was there that He absorbed the penalty for you and me. It’s a grace experienced by believing in Jesus Christ, evidenced by the fruits of repentance. Repentance means changing your mind your direction. We’re not saved by works, but works / fruits are there as proof of our connection to the vine.
There is a day coming however, a day that Jesus referred to in Luke 21 as the “times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” that Gods wrath will be poured out on a wicked, Christ rejecting sinful world.
In the meantime, the Lord says that He stands at the door and knocks. He’s not knocking on the doors of unbelievers, but rather of the church, of you and me. Perhaps we should open the door.
God does hear the cries of His people. He hears the cries of the poor, the oppressed, the powerless, the starving, the unborn with no voice at all. His seeming absence in places like Darfur, Somalia, or Doctors offices around America should not be confused with His lack of movement.
Our deliverer, the real one, is coming.
How should we then live? We’ll talk about that tonight.
Tonight is going to be a sort of special time at Conduit as we talk about our lives in between now and when the Kingdom comes.
We’re going to also spend some time in prayer together as a group. Philip Peters is going to lead worship and we’ll just kind of pray it out.
As a reminder, God is still in control. Any illusion otherwise is just that.