While reading this morning Exodus chapter three again, a question and a statement came to mind and not in this order. The question was “What came before the Exodus?” And the statement was “you need an encounter with God before your exodus out of whatever it is God wants to deliver you from.” So, what is an exodus? An exodus basically means mass departure or going out. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word itself is derived from the Greek word Exodos which literally means “the road out”. We know that in Exodus three that God commissions Moses to lead His people out of years of oppression and suffering. God saw and heard His people and He said to Moses, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering (Exodus 3:7 NLT). He then goes on to say that I have come down to rescue them. This is where Moses fits in and gets welcomed to join God in His mighty work.
Does God See Our Tears?
Exodus had to remind me that God hears and He sees. Often, many of us saved or unsaved cry out that God does not see all of the suffering in the world or even in our individual lives. He does. He is aware. That is why He sent His Son to bring His Kingdom here on earth and bring salvation and reconciliation. We now have an opportunity to one day no longer suffer and be in agony and turmoil.
Moreover, as I read Exodus three, it dawned on me that some things preceded the exodus of the Israelites. For one, Moses had an encounter with God. And some other things took place also but first let me encourage you that God sees your suffering and He hears your cries.
Circumstances Don’t Have The Last Say
Circumstances in life, especially ones that won’t let up, won’t let you sleep, and keep popping back up, will make you feel like running and throwing in the towel. I have had days where my conversations with God are full of tears, pleas and cries of wanting to just give up. However, a Bible plan I read left me with the impression that God will either deliver you from it or see you through it. The line in the Bible plan actually read “that sometimes God doesn’t deliver you from the trial. Instead He saves us through it.”
In my struggles with anxiety and fear as well as other circumstances presented in my life, I sometimes think that this would be a lifelong struggle that eventually I would lose. But the devil is a liar. And John 16:33 reminds me that Jesus has already overcome the world, and therefore, He has already overcome the issues that plague it too. We may lose some battles in our human experience but Jesus overcame the war. I may deal with anxiety for the rest of my life, but I know one thing God is teaching me through all of this, and that is to trust Him one day at a time.
Shoot, the second thing He is teaching me is that He sent me a helper, the third person and He is called the Holy Spirit. He is my Comforter and constant, unparalleled peace in the midst of any storm. Three, I must surrender all to God. I must surrender to His love and lordship. And four, God does want to deliver me. There will be times I will be afraid and anxiety will rear its ugly head to challenge me to run and hide, stand still and give up, or tremble and fight. But the Holy Spirit will help me to get to the point where fear will not control me. And I will take my focus off of fear and anxiety and put it back on Jesus. I will live in the presence of God. The spirit of fear will not choke out my destiny or become my identity. The spirit of fear will not dictate the quality of life I will have or shall I say lack thereof. God did not give me a spirit of fear, but that of power, love and a sound mind. I will receive the life and life to the full Jesus came to give me. I will see myself the way God does. I will experience the joy that comes from God here on earth instead of believing I have to wait to experience it in heaven. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I will be fulfilled by only the One who can fulfill me and that is God.
Life is not and will not always be comfortable. In fact, storms come and go. But I can walk in the freedom and wholeness of God, knowing that in His presence and with His grace, I can live simply, fruitfully and purposefully.
What Comes Before An Exodus?
Now back to what comes before the exodus.
- God heard and saw. He sees your suffering. He feels your pain. He acknowledges what you’re feeling. Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. Exodus 3:7 NLT
- God remembers His covenant and promises. “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ Exodus 3:16-17 NLT
- You have an encounter with God. One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father —the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:1-6 NLT
- God invites you to join Him in His mission. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:9-10 NLT
- You get His instructions and encouragement. Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “ I Am Who I Am . Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations. “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord , the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord , our God.’ “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed. Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.” Exodus 3:7, 10-22 NLT
Lastly, I would like to say that God is right there with you in your healing journey. He is our Shepherd and we have all we need because He cares for us and He will always provide for us. He never lies and never fails. Before our exodus, we must also come to let our flesh die daily. This means that with God’s grace and prayer, to humble ourselves before God and surrender to Him as well as keep renewing our minds with His word to transform our hearts. We must take time to spend time with God and make sure we keep our prayer altars lit. Let Him guide us and prepare us for each day as well as our deliverance, however that deliverance looks like to God. God is an amazing God and He loves us so!
Tannika Nikeya 🙏🏾