Where Is God
Where Is God
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). Under this new Pharaoh the Egyptians "ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves" (Exodus 1:13). We know that such evil treatment lasted longer than 80 years for we read of the birth of Moses, the first 40 years while he was growing up in Pharaoh's house, and 40 more years as he lived as a fugitive in the desert. All this time the people of Israel were suffering. 80 years is long enough for several generations to have come and gone, particularly as slaves who would not have had a long life span. Generations who were born and died as mistreated slaves. These were the chosen people - Abraham's family. Yes they did cry unto God and they did ask the age-old question of 'why' (Ex. 2:23).
First, God had foretold this very thing. When He made the promise to Abraham he said that his children would be servants in a foreign country for generations (Gen. 15:13-14). The present situation of slavery can NOT mean that God doesn't know for God knew BEFORE it even happened. Of course God is aware of their situation.
Then we remember that the very reason they were IN Egypt was because God had provided for them. He 'sent' Joseph ahead of them (Gen. 50:20; 45:5). He raised Joseph to a place of power and authority so that they could be protected and provided for. They had enjoyed a blessed life style because of God's provisions; at least, they did while Joseph was around. NOW Joseph is gone. Where is God?
God has already been working things out. The plan of Pharaoh to kill the male Israelite children was the situation for a baby being raised in the very house of Pharaoh. Moses's mother gets to be his 'nurse' and raise him with the truth of his background and the stories of Abraham. This preparing of Moses continues for 40 years. Meanwhile, 'back at the ranch', the people are suffering! 40 years would see the death of many of them. The hard situation of a slave would have meant a very limited life span of perhaps 30 - 40 years. As they are suffering and dying, where is God.
Moses then flees and lives another 40 years in the desert. Yet again, 'back at the ranch' the people continue to suffer. While Moses is protected, getting married, having kids the people of Israel are suffering. Where is God?
Does God KNOW? Does God SEE? Does God hear our prayers? Of course, He is God. The problem of walking with God is that we live a short time and He is eternal. We can only see today and He can see down through the years. We only know what He has revealed to us about his plans and activities. He hasn't told us all that much. So it APPEARS to us that God doesn't see, know, or hear. All the while He is working things out for HIS purpose and plans.
That is an easy thing to understand while I am having coffee and reading the history of Exodus. It is harder to trust God when I am in a similar situation of suffering. Suffering is the same old story happening to new people. This time it is me or you. Such adds a difficult dimension to the phrase "we walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). Sight means to make our judgments about God and life from the situation that appears to us. Faith is a transcending trust that God is not only there but that God is in control. God is eternal. God's character doesn't change with the times. "Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good" (1Peter 4:19).