Have you ever felt that God was not there? A period of your life that was so dark, or hard that you cried out, ‘God where are you?’. I think many of us have had those moments.
As we read the initial section of this passage (v1-22) God is not mentioned. It could simply be a story of a brave mother who did all she could to save her child, and a brave sister who spoke boldly into a woman’s compassion helping a baby survive a horrible time in his people’s history. The child who was by law supposed to be killed, was saved and became the king’s child. The child grew knowing he didn’t belong as an Egyptian. He knew he was a Hebrew (v11) and clearly struggled with the suffering of his people. His sin caused him to run and eventually be taken in by another people. Over time he married and had a son. At the end of this story we hear that the whole time Moses is gone Israel is enslaved.
Yet it is so much more than that. In their slavery the Israelites groan and cry out and the passage says “God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.” (Verse 24-25).
So, had God forgotten them? Was he absent in the story? Of course not, we know he was at work in the life of Moses, his sister and mother, and the Pharaoh’s daughter long before any of them knew what was to come, because we know the end of the story! When the passage talks about ‘remembering’ his covenant it is a way of telling us that God Is about to intervene, to act in the lives of his people. As we go through life it’s easy to feel like we are journeying through the first 22 verses, without knowing the end of the story. Things are happening that sometimes feel wrong or out of control, well, at least not in our plans, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t at work. We need to remember that we love and serve a promise-keeping God.
Over the years God has often spoken into my life many years after those dark moments and has showed me where he was working even in those times. God has used those times to shape me, and to impact people around me for his glory, totally unbeknown to me. I have learnt that God is faithful, his promises can be trusted, and I am never forgotten. God is often at work in our lives long before we recognise it. Where might God be working in your life?