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).
In what reads like a repeat of the end of Exodus 2, God reaffirms His awareness of His children’s plight in Egypt. Generally when Scripture repeats itself, it’s for emphasis – God wants us to know that He sees everything we go through.
What did God see in this case? The affliction of His people – the way they were bent over and poverty-stricken because of their harsh treatment. Not only did God see their affliction, He heard their cries and He knew their suffering.
“Suffering” in this verse is slightly different than affliction. It refers to the sorrow and pain resulting from affliction. And God says He knew all about it. The Hebrew word for “know” is yada, which means “to know firsthand through personal experience.” It’s used to describe the way a husband “knows” his wife physically. God knows and experiences our pain – He’s that intimately acquainted with us.
When Saul traveled the road to Damascus, he heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied.’” (Acts 9:3-5) Jesus saw Saul’s persecution of His followers as personal persecution against Himself.
David once wrote, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8). Friends – how could David write those things if God wasn’t intimately aware of his suffering? THAT’s our God – He KNOWS our sufferings. And even if we aren’t aware of it, He’s working toward our deliverance.
God knows your suffering. Commit this truth to memory while things are good – because in the dark nights of the soul, our tendency is to forget what we’ve learned in the light. –Dave
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