When I look at my life, there are things that concern me: my family, meaningful relationships, my finances, the state of the world, and more. I am sure that you have your own list of things that concern you.
In my Scripture readings from the past week, I was interested in finding out that there are also specific things that concern God. Look at these words from Exodus 2:
God heard their [the enslaved Israelites] groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. (Exodus 2:24-25)
God is concerned about people. His concern for people plays out in two different ways: 1) God’s concern that He is faithful to His promises to people, and His concern about the suffering of His people.
God is Concerned About Being Faithful
First of all, God is concerned with being faithful to the promises He makes with people. The Scripture quoted above says that God “remembered” His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Even though the Israelites are now enslaved by the Egyptians, God has not forgotten the promises He made to them over many generations. He remembers His covenant, or agreement, with Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation…” (Genesis 12:2). He remembers that He renewed that covenant with Abraham’s son, Isaac: “I am the God of your father, Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you…” (Genesis 26:24). And God remembers that, even though Jacob has done many things wrong, He renewed that covenant again with Jacob: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac….I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…” (Genesis 28:13, 15).
God is concerned with being faithful to these promises. As it says in the Psalms: “He is faithful in all He does” (33:4). And as it says in Numbers 23:19, “God is not a human, that He should lie.” God is faithful to His promises, and He is concerned about living up to His promises to people. It is helpful for us to remember this in our lives. When we have our own concerns and worries, God is concerned about being faithful to what He has promised to us.
God is Concerned About His People’s Suffering
Secondly, God is concerned with the suffering of His people. After hearing the groans of the Israelites, God calls Moses to be a deliverer for His people. Here are God’s words to Moses that reveal His motivations in calling Moses to the job of deliverer:
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. So I have come down to rescue them…’ (Exodus 3:7-8)
God is concerned about their suffering. Many people view God as an impassive, removed deity who has no sense of the pain and suffering we endure in our lives. The picture we see of God here in Exodus is quite different. God is concerned about the suffering of His people.
In the life of Christ, we come face to face with God’s concern over human suffering. On the one hand, Jesus reaches out to heal and care for people in their suffering. On the other hand, Jesus goes to the cross for the sin and evil of the world, bringing healing to a suffering world: “Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering” (Isaiah 53:4). God is concerned with the suffering of His people, not only in this Exodus story, but also in our daily lives. He hears and He is concerned about us.
Since we live in a world filled with concerns, it is beneficial to remember that God has concerns as well. He is concerned with being true to His promises to us, and He acts in complete faithfulness with us. God is also concerned with the suffering of His people, and He acts with appropriate care and power to help us.
How has God showed up in your life with His divine concern?