Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. God will not let His Word fall to the ground empty, nor return to Him void. God is moved by the compassion of His heart for the people, but even more so, God is moved by the Word that He has established for all eternity, and the blessings that He promised Abraham would come to pass no matter what.
He was not going to allow His covenant to fall apart because He'd spoken it. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in our series called Moses, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It'll be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.
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That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. Okay, you ready for some good news? God hears. God remembers. God sees.
God knows. Exodus chapter 2. As we have launched into the series on Moses, we started with the Red Sea, wherein we have spoken a New Year's blessing that Moses spoke of the Israelites that planted courage in them as the Red Sea was about to part. And we spent three weeks looking at this incredible image of the Red Sea, and then we have jumped backwards to start at the beginning of Moses' life. And all throughout chapter 2, we have seen how Moses grew up as a sojourner. He named his first child Gershom, which means sojourner. And we saw how he was like an alien. He was a Hebrew but raised in the Egyptian court and then exiled to Midian.
It set him up to be the perfect mediator. He could meet with the Hebrews, he could meet with the Egyptians, he could meet with the people, he could meet with God. And in chapter 3, we're going to see in coming weeks, we're going to see the call experience of Moses, the burning bush, the famous burning bush. But right here at the end of chapter 2, there are three little verses that are some of the most beautiful verses that I've ever read. And we're in no hurry, so we're going to pause here and look at these few verses at Exodus chapter 2 at verse 23. 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.
Do you see these four verbs that are there? God heard their groaning. God remembered his covenant.
God saw the people of Israel and God knew. Author Tony Campolo had a friend who had a little girl. Her name was Jennifer. She was five years old. And one night there was a big, big storm, lightning, thunder crashing.
The sky was just illuminated with electricity that night. And the mother was looking around the house for her five-year-old and didn't see her and was concerned that the little girl might be tucked away in the corner of her room scared. So she went up to her little girl's room and found her, much to the mother's surprise, standing up against the windowsill with her arms spread out like this, facing out the window.
And the mother said, Jennifer, what are you doing? And she said, I think God's trying to take my picture. That's a healthy esteem if you go through the storms of life and you think that God's paying special attention to you. But for a lot of us, when we go through the stormiest times in life, that's when we begin to wonder if God sees us at all. And here is Israel having been in hundreds of years of slavery and they are crying out to God. And what we get are these couple of beautiful verses that says here's how God responded to the cry for help from His people who were so heavily burdened that God heard their groaning, He really heard them.
We'll look at what that means. And then God remembered, but He remembered something very specific. He remembered His covenant with Abraham.
So we need to look at that. And it says, and God saw the people, literally the children, the sons of Israel. He saw them. And then the last statement, and God knew.
Some of your translations might put in an object in that sentence. God acknowledged them or something like that. But the Hebrew just says, and God knew.
He heard, He remembered, He saw, He knew. And it is a word for any of us who have ever wondered what's God doing when it seems like I'm walking through difficult times. And for all of us, even those who are at the most glorious times of life, out of bondage, to remember this is the God who has saved us. The first thing to pay attention to is the idea of Israel crying out to God. The word really is repeated twice and then another word for groan.
So there are four different mentions here. Israel groaned, cried out, their cry for rescue, and God heard their groaning. So the words just sort of pile up here about their cry. And what's interesting is that this is the first mention of the people of God crying out to God in the midst of their slavery. I'm not saying that because the Bible is silent about this that no one had ever prayed to God or no one ever cried out to God. But the Holy Spirit is wanting to highlight for us that at this particular juncture, the people cried out in a very deep and very passionate way to God. What had happened was the Pharaoh, who had been so oppressive, died. And some scholars say that the Hebrews were probably hopeful that under the new regime things would get better.
But they didn't get better, they got worse. And so when they realized that a change in the political arena was not going to help their situation, the people of God in their desperation, they just cried out to God. They had become aware in some new way of the depth of their need. And it's interesting that the Bible is silent about any cry to God before any of this calling out to God before this time. I had an old chuckle, I saw a story of a boy that didn't talk. And his parents and medical people, everybody was so concerned. He never spoke and they just thought he was mute, he seemed to understand everything, he just never spoke. They tried to do everything good to get him to speak, he didn't speak.
And then when he was five years old he was eating some soup at the kitchen table and all of a sudden he opened up his mouth, he said, this soup is cold. They said, oh, you can speak, you can speak, how wonderful, how marvelous, oh, this is, oh. They said, but you've never spoken before.
And he said, up until now everything's been okay. Let me talk about crying out to God. This cry of the Hebrew people, this one, they finally spoke up. This was not a sign of their despair.
It was actually a sign, though it may be only small, it was a sign of their hope and a seed of faith. Because crying out when you need help is actually a sign that you believe, at least in some way, that it is possible that you could get help. When a baby's born you like to hear a nice full cry. You'd never want your baby to stop crying if the baby was in real need. If the baby stopped crying it meant the baby had given up, that anybody would ever help. A cry for help is a mark of hope. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Ever feel like something's holding you back, as if you lack an important key that could change everything?
Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? The missing blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The Gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org.
Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. In the award-winning film, 12 Years a Slave, the story depicts the true account of a New York State freeborn African-American man, educated man, Solomon Northup, who was cruelly kidnapped and in 1841 sold into slavery in the South. And he spent 12 years wrongfully as a slave, not only under the injustice of slavery itself, but under the injustice of the fact that he was actually a free man, lived in New York, carried on a business.
And the movie is heart-wrenching and it's powerful. And in a poignant, climactic moment, this man Solomon Northup, who had been beaten, abused, and given a slave name, Platt. In a very important moment, he decides to risk it all and tell a white man, a Canadian laborer who was working alongside of Northup for the master on a gazebo they were building.
And he saw this Canadian laborer seem to have compassion for the fact that this master was mistreating the slaves. So Solomon Northup decided to ask the man for help. He had previously asked someone and it almost cost him his life because the man betrayed him.
So now he is at this moment, will I ever cry for help again? And when he asked him for help, he said, would you send a letter back to my hometown so that someone could know that I'm here? That's all it would take is just one person that knew that he was actually Solomon Northup, a free man, that everything could change.
And so he asked him for help and the man agreed and indeed he sent the letter. And not long thereafter, one day while the slaves were working in the fields, the sheriff pulled up and he had a man with him. And the sheriff called out and he said, which one of you goes by the name of Platt? And Solomon Northup came up and the sheriff said, what's your name? And that was a moment in which Northup knew that if he gave his real name rather than his slave name, he might be beaten as he had been beaten before. But he looked at the sheriff and he said, I'm Solomon Northup. In other words, he was saying was, I'm a free man. I have a name.
I have a life. It's up in New York. He was saying this by saying, I'm Solomon Northup. And the sheriff said, look over, do you recognize that man? And Solomon Northup looked up after 12 years as a slave and he saw that it was Mr. Parker who ran a business in his hometown. He said, that's Mr. Parker. And as soon as he recognized him as Mr. Parker, it proved, of course, that he had a whole another life up in New York. And he was set free that day under the protest of his slave master.
And this whole powerful heart-wrenching scene came to pass. Why? Because as a slave, though he knew himself to be a free man, he asked for help. He cried for help.
Why? Because the cry for help was an indication that he believed somewhere down deep inside of himself that he was not a slave and he was not destined for slavery. And what I'm saying is that when the people of God finally cried out to God and groaned out to God and they cried out, they might not have known anything else to do. It just might not even have been a prayer. It might have just been a cry to God. It just might have been a groan that's too deep for words. But in that groaning, in that crying, there's something inside of these people that have been slaves for hundreds of years that are saying, there must be something else for us. When you come to that point in your life where if you have ever felt spiritual oppression or spiritual bondage, if you've ever felt that you have been under bondage to sin, if you've ever seen that your life feels more like drudgery, more like slavery, more like you're just living out of fear, more like you're just in a monotonous routine where you're working for some slave master where life doesn't have vision, where life doesn't have purpose, where life has no joy, where there's no future, where there's no hope. And it just seems like if you've ever been in that situation and there's some part of you that just cries out for help to somebody, somehow it is an indication that there's a part of you, at least a little part of you, that knows you were made for more than this.
And that's what they did. They cried out for help. You shall call Isaiah 58, 9, and the Lord will answer. You shall cry, and He will say, Here am I.
It is the kind of cry that comes when you feel like you're at a breaking point, the third day song. There is hope for the helpless, rest for the weary, love for the broken heart. There's grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing.
He'll meet you wherever you are. Cry out to Jesus. Cry out to Jesus. And the first of these great verbs, and God heard. The word here in Hebrew is Shema. Shema.
You want to say that with me? Shema. One of the most important Hebrew words, because this word is the word that is used in Deuteronomy chapter 6, which is one of the most important chapters in the Bible and one of the most important chapters to the Hebrew people, because in Deuteronomy 6, the text says, Shema Israel. Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one God, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength. And you know that later Jesus says all of the law, all the exhortations and commands of God can all be summed up and love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. And so the Deuteronomy 6 command to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, is called the Shema, because it begins as Hear, O Israel, Shema, to hear. God heard, God heard. Now does this mean that suddenly God grew some ears and that he could hear things that he hadn't heard before?
No. It means that God heard the cry in a way that brought his entire being and commitment into alignment with the desperation of the cry that he had heard. This is best understood by the fact that the word Shema, to hear in Hebrew, is also used in Hebrew as the word for obey. Now that's very interesting, isn't it?
To hear in the Hebrew mentality is to obey. So, I don't know, a few weeks ago I was off, I was at home, I have no idea, sometimes unpleasant tasks, I suddenly feel I have some grace to do it, and so if I feel I have a little window of grace to do something I don't want to do, I just better do it right then, because I may not get that feeling again for another year. And I had the desire, it was just weird, I just, you know, it's basketball season, I got a basketball goal in my backyard, I wanted to shoot a few baskets, and I just, my basketball goal has been, well, unused, and it is covered, it was covered with mildew, it was dark with mildew. And I came in, I told Anne, I said, I'm going to go out there, I'm climbing up on a ladder, I'm going to clean off the backboard, I'm going to make the thing spotless white again, have we got a product that would do that here in the house? She pulled out something, she said, oh, this will do it. She said, but it's mostly bleach.
She said, so, look at me, listen to me. If you get that on your clothes, it will immediately bleach them out, you must be very, very careful. I said, okay, all I'm going to do is just spritz it onto the backboard and then rub it off there. Well, I got to working on it. Did I go upstairs and put on some old grubby clothes? No, no. I went out there in my black sweater, my nice black sweater.
Yeah. I'm telling the truth, she told me at least five times, you better be careful, this will bleach anything it touches. I went out there, I spritzed the thing, I said, hey, this is working, you know, but I had to scrub a little bit, and then I had to climb a little higher on the ladder, and I spritzed that thing, and I started saying, I need more.
I totally forgot. I totally forgot I was wearing a black sweater, and I totally forgot I was spritzing this bleach. I came down, that thing is beautiful, my backboard is beautiful. I put a new net on it, and I looked down at my black sweater, and it looked like just it had bright red spots all over it, and I just walked into the kitchen and stood there, and I just said, I didn't listen. In other words, if I go in and I said, if I had said I listened to you, then it would have meant I obeyed you. It would have meant I hearkened into what you were saying, and so I put on some old clothes that didn't matter. But to come in and say I didn't listen, it didn't mean I didn't hear what you said, it just meant that I did not line up with what you said. I didn't act according to what you said. So in the Hebrew mentality, to say you hear somebody is to say you obey.
So it's very interesting. You can look in the Hebrew in instances like when the law is given and the people of God have said, we will be obedient. What they really said is we will shema. And so the people of God have groaned and they've cried out to God, and now the text comes and says, and God heard. Does it mean God obeyed? Well, not in the sense like the people were telling God what to do, and he obeyed them, but what it means to say he heard them was it means that he heard their cry at the deepest level and everything inside of the heart of God then lined up according to the request of the people. He heard them. What does God hear? God hears the groan and the cry of people who are in need. He is a parent, and when a child is in need, there's something that is within him. There's something in him like a mother. He says elsewhere in the scripture, he said, how could a nursing mother leave her crying baby?
No, you can't. There is a physical reaction that happens inside of you that you have to respond. Alan Wright. And that's a bookmark here in our teaching and God knew from the series Moses. And Alan is back here in a moment with additional insight on this for our lives today and today's final word.
Stick with us. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Ever feel like something's holding you back, as if you lack an important key that could change everything? Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Alan, as we continue in this series on Moses, knowing that God knew, knowing that he came to us and he was fully God and fully man and was someone we could both relate to but at the same time respect as the authority of the world. What's your takeaway today as we place a bookmark here with the topic, and God knew? It's such a beautiful verse that at the heart of it is God knew. God hears, God remembers, and God knows, God sees. This word for know is a word of intimacy, a word of closeness.
It is a word of identification. And it's a powerful image to think of the people in their slavery that are calling out to God, and God hears, God remembers, God knows them. It's so encouraging to us. No matter what we're going through, God knows.
He understands. Alan, in this series of Moses, in today's teaching, and God knew, we're touching on a theological principle here of God's sovereignty. And when you study that and you get real academic and theological and you study it and you embrace it, that's cool. But what about, for those of us with dirt under our fingernails, everyday life, what is the sovereignty of God? His promise is never failing, and His word that we can trust. What does that mean to us? The thing about this, and we're looking at this incredible text to talk about God who heard and God who saw and the God who knew, is not just to say that, okay, He's this great, big, sovereign God and He knows everything going on. It is to say at the same time He's like a Father. And to say that He knows is actually a very intimate expression. It is to say that He knows us, and He wants to be known by us. So God hears, God remembers, God sees, and God knows is ultimately the great news of the gospel, that the one who died for you also knows you intimately and wants to be known by you. Today's Good News message is a listener-supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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