August 16, 2018

(Click here to view the PDF of the August 16 Newsletter)

From the Pen of the Youth and Young Adult Director…

“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)

There are four things that we learn about God in these verses. Exodus 2 tells us that He heard, He remembered, He saw, and He knew.

We’ve chosen to walk through Exodus with the youth this fall on Wednesday nights for several reasons. Firstly, we want to begin a pattern of looking through a book of the Pentateuch once a year. We learn there about the law of God, and about how He initiates relationship with His people. His law instructs us about what it looks like for us to be in relationship with a holy and omnipotent God. Secondly, Exodus gives us a chance to show the connection between the testaments. It’s important for all of us, young and old alike, to see the Bible as one story. Finally, we see throughout Exodus God’s plan for the redemption and deliverance of His people. The hope of Jesus Christ shines through the pages of Exodus. He is the lawgiver greater than Moses. He is the paschal lamb. He is the one who leads us through the wilderness to the mountain of God.

Which brings me back to the verses above. This is our story. What does it look like for you and I, in the midst of our daily grind and painful wanderings, to know that the God of heaven and earth hears us? He does. How much more does He hear us with our great intercessor, the son of God, seated at the right hand of the almighty?

Not only that, but when He hears us, He remembers a new covenant made with us. This was a covenant ratified with the precious blood of Christ, blood which Peter likens to “that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1.19). This covenant guarantees for us not just a land to possess, but a sonship that makes us co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8.17). Additionally, God sees and knows the sufferings of His people, but He doesn’t stop there. It’s one thing to receive a card when you’re sick in the hospital. How much sweeter it is though, to be visited, to be seen, to have tender hands bind up your wounds.

Of course, that’s what God did. In the next chapter, the sovereign Lord tells Moses, “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, and I have come down to deliver them…” (Exodus 3.7-8). This is what Christ did for us on the cross. He descended into death so that we might, with Him, be raised to new life.

The people of Israel were delivered so that they might be brought into a worshiping relationship with God in the land He promised them. Their presence there was to be good news for the nations. It was meant to show them the glory and love of God. As Christians, our presence in our homes, our communities, and our vocations is meant to point those around us to the good news: our God is glorious and he loves us. Let us be so marked by the deliverance of our God.

You are heard before the throne. You are remembered. You are seen and known. Christian, you are delivered.

~Jeremiah Hill