The God Who Knows
The salvation of God’s people from Egypt pictured God’s great rescue mission in the Old Testament. The cross of Christ pictures an even greater rescue mission, one that dealt with a far worse slavery than the slavery of Egypt.
The God Who Knows
By Dana Dexter
“During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.”
(Exodus. 2:23-25 ESV)
Veni, vidi, vici. Three words spoken by Julius Caesar after a swift military victory at the Battle of Zela in 47 BC. In Latin these words mean: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Three small, yet impressive words. These words displayed the might of the Caesar and probably invited the trust of his Senate and people. In Exodus 2, we find four words that teach us about the might, care, and knowledge that our God has for His people.
Seventy people strong, Israel had entered Egypt at the end of the days of the Patriarchs to survive a severe famine. Four hundred years later, Israel had grown. This divinely promised growth made the Pharaoh nervous. So for the sake of self and national preservation, he bitterly oppressed the people of Israel (Exodus 1:8-14). Under the weight of their oppression in slavery, the children of Israel groaned. Their groans turned to cries for help from their God to rescue them. Our text tells us that God heard, God remembered, God saw, and God knew.
God heard the groaning of His people. He did not remain aloof to their suffering. Their heavy-hearted sighs, their tears, their grief, and groans were all heard by the ear of One Who never sleeps, Who never tires of the cries of His people. Next, God remembered the covenant that He had made with His people. The author of Hebrews tells us, “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself” (Hebrews 6:13). God had sworn by Himself that He would fulfill His promises to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 22:16-18). God had committed Himself, and the One Who never forgets remembered His promise.
In the midst of their grief and suffering, “God saw the people of Israel, and God knew.” God saw His people. If hearing and remembering and seeing were not enough, God knew. Yes, God knows everything, but we must see the depth of this knowledge here. He intimately and personally knew His people, and He knew the burden they were under. He also knew what He would do on behalf of His people. In fact, His plan of redemption was already underway even before these cries for rescue had come up to Him. By now, Moses had been spared from death, nurtured in the house of Pharaoh, and was tending a flock of sheep in a wilderness in preparation for a far greater task to come. God knew.
The truth that God knew, and that He knows, takes on an even deeper reality in the New Testament. Again, the author of Hebrews tells us, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Hebrews 2:14-15). Jesus would come, He would see, and He would conquer. Yet, unlike Caesar, Jesus would conquer through His death. Jesus intimately knew all of the weight and temptations that we face (Hebrews 2:17-18), and He conquered on our behalf. God knew our desperate plight and made provision for our sin-enslaved souls to find true freedom and life through this conquering King, Who died for us and is risen to reign forever.
The salvation of God’s people from Egypt pictured God’s great rescue mission in the Old Testament. The cross of Christ pictures an even greater rescue mission, one that dealt with a far worse slavery than the slavery of Egypt. The slavery and dominion of sin is broken over the Christian, so that we can walk in a new and free life (Romans 6:5-11). Further, since Jesus has suffered and been tempted in every way like us, yet without sin (Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15), we can be confident that our God knows. He knows all of our suffering, He knows our temptations, He knows us deeply and personally, and He knows the plans that He has for us to do us good for eternity in Christ (Ephesians 2:7).