What Concerns God?

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?

Refugee Messiah

This past weekend we continued our series “Power in Preparation” at Eastbrook Church. This is the second part of our extended journey through the Gospel of Matthew. This week’s message looks at Matthew 2:13-23 and Jesus as the refugee Messiah.

You can view the message video and outline below. The video begins with a time of prayer for our nation that you can see the written form of here. You can follow along with the entire series here and the devotional that accompanies the series here. You could always join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’” (Matthew 2:14-15)

Seeking Refuge in Egypt (Matthew 2:13-18)

  • Another dream for Joseph
  • Jesus flees south to Egypt
  • Scripture fulfilled: Hosea 11:1
  • Scripture fulfilled: Jeremiah 31:15

Returning Home (Matthew 2:19-21)

  • Another dream for Joseph
  • Jesus returns to the Land of Promise

Seeking Refuge in Galilee (Matthew 2:22-23)

  • Another dream for Joseph
  • Jesus flees north to Galilee, specifically, Nazareth
  • Scripture fulfilled: Isaiah 11:1/Judges 16:17

Jesus the Refugee Messiah

  • Jesus the new King (Bethlehem – Son of David)
  • Jesus the new Exodus (Egypt – Moses)
  • Jesus the new return (Ramah – Exile)
  • Jesus the unexpected, expected One – “he had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him” (Isaiah 53:2)

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into the contrast between Jesus and Herod in one or more of the following ways:

This week dig deeper into the contrast between Jesus and Herod in one or more of the following ways:

  • Set aside some time this week to read Matthew 2:13-23 again. Then write, draw, paint, or pray aloud your own response to this series of events in Jesus’ life.
  • Read Matthew 2 in light of Moses’ life by comparing it to Exodus 1-4.
  • Look at a map of Jesus’ journey with his family to Egypt and back again here
  • Consider watching the BibleProject video, “Messiah

A Prayer to Know God in Stillness

“Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” (Deuteronomy 34:10)

“Inner silence is absence of any sort of inward stirring or emotion or thought, but it is complete alertness, openness to God.” – Anthony Bloom

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
In my agitated being
bring wholeness and comprehensive peace.

Still the windswept ripplings on the surface,
as well as the deeper, unseen churnings below,
so that—healed, whole, quiet, and still—
my soul might reflect Your glory and unity of being.

Grace me to walk from this hour in that way,
that all I meet might encounter You in me
and that, even in the harried hours before me,
I might always return to the stillness found in You.

God is King: Tracing the Kingdom of God through the Old Testament

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church we began a new series, “The Kingdom of God.” This first weekend I explored the theme of the kingdom of God through the Old Testament, touching on the creation in Genesis, Abraham’s calling, the Exodus with Moses and Joshua, the entrance of the kings, exile, and two prophets, Isaiah and Daniel. It was a lot in a short time, but was my attempt to help us gain clarity on the big themes of God’s kingdom in the Hebrew Scriptures. Next week we will take a similar journey through the New Testament.

You can view the message video and outline for the message is below. You can follow along with the entire series here and the devotional that accompanies the series here. You could always join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty.” (Psalm 24:8)

God is King over all (Genesis 1-2)

  • He has made and rules over everything
  • Humanity is made in God’s image and serves as God’s representative upon earth

God is King and His people play a part (Genesis, Exodus, Joshua)

  • God promises Abraham to raise up a new people (Genesis 12:1-3)
  • God delivers Israel at the Exodus and brings them to the Promised Land (Exodus 6:1-8)
  • God’s kingdom is different; He’s on His own “side” (Joshua 5:13-15)

God is King but Israel wanted another king  (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings)

  • Samuel and Israel’s rejection of God (1 Samuel 8)
  • Saul the first and faulty king (1 Samuel 9)
  • David the new, but imperfect, king (1 Samuel 16; 2 Samuel 5)
  • Solomon and the decline of the kingship toward exile (1 Kings 11)

God is King and His kingdom is coming (Isaiah)

  • A day will come when the nations will stream to Jerusalem (Isaiah 2)
  • A messianic king will reign on David’s throne and bring God’s kingdom (Isaiah 9 & 11)
  • He will restore Zion’s glory, rebuild the exiled ruins, and bless the nations (Isaiah 60 & 61)

God is King and no other kingdom will endure (Daniel)

  • God’s kingdom will overwhelm and supplant the kingdoms of earth (Daniel 2:29-45)
  • God’s kingdom will break through the beastly kingdoms of earth when the Son of Man appears (Daniel 7:1-28)

Key themes of the kingdom of God in the Old Testament

  • God is King
  • God’s kingdom is different than and superior to all other kingdoms
  • God’s kingdom will come when the Messiah arrives
  • God’s people play a part in His kingdom
  • God’s kingdom brings blessing to the nations

Everyday Fire: Learning to Stop, See, and Draw Aside with Moses

Everyday Fire

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 2:2-4)

Moses notices the “strange sight” in the midst of his ordinary life and chooses to draw aside in wonder. How often do we miss the strange sights of the Lord in the midst of our ordinary lives?

“Certainly,” we say, “I am no Moses.” Yes, this is true. But who was Moses anyway? An adopted son turned runaway? A murderer fleeing for his life? A rescued baby now lost in the wilderness as an adult?

Moses is not so different from us, other than perhaps in his willingness to be captured in the wonder of God’s appearance; captured enough to draw aside and see. It is just that simple: “I will go over and see this strange sight.” What he sees is inexplicable to him, yet he does not brush past it or ignore it. He stops, draws aside, and sees.

Could it be that this is a fundamental practice of the children of God? Could it be that interruptions of the strange are the activities of God? Could it be that curiosity and wonder are the beginnings of wild new journeys with God? How many bushes burning with divine fire will come our way today? We will never know until see stop, see, and draw aside.