Exodus 2:23-25 reads, “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.”
Herein we find the tribulation of God’s people and the tenderness of the Lord God toward his people in the midst of their tribulation.
The Tribulation of God’s People
Exodus 2:23 does not describe that actual affliction and oppression that God’s people were experiencing at that time. This description is found in the earlier context of Exodus 1:13-14 – “And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.”
Rather, the middle portion of Exodus 2:23 describes the tribulation that this affliction and oppression had brought upon God’s people. “And the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried.” Because of their affliction, they sighed and they cried. They sighed (or, groaned) in their hearts under the oppressive weight of their affliction. They cried from their hearts unto the Lord their God for His deliverance.
The Tenderness of the Lord God
The closing portion Exodus 2:23 then reveals our Lord’s response to the tribulation of His people – “And their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.” Truly the Lord our God has a heart of tender care for His dear children and His faithful servants. Indeed, we can cast all of our cares upon Him, for He tenderly cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) Even so, in Exodus 2:23-25 we find a five-fold response of our Lord’s tender care for His own in their tribulation.
1. The Lord our God received their cry. Again we consider the closing portion of exodus 2:23 – “And their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.” The Lord our God did not disregard the cry of His people. Rather, He gave attention to their cry and to the tribulation that had generated it.
2. The Lord our God recognized their groaning. The opening portion of Exodus 2:24 declares, “And God heard their groaning.” The Lord our God did not just give attention to the cry of their prayers. He also gave attention to the groaning of their hearts. He cared enough in the multitude of His tender mercies to consider the depth of their need.
3. The Lord our God remembered His covenant. The closing portion of Exodus 2:24 declares, “And God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” Indeed, the Lord our God is ever faithful to His promises. He had made a covenant “with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob” concerning the future of the children of Israel, concerning their blessing as a nation and their inheritance of the Promised Land. In “remembering” (not that He actually forgot) His covenant, the Lord was demonstrating His faithfulness to fulfill that which He had promised.
4. The Lord our God regarded their affliction. The opening portion of Exodus 2:25 declares, “And God looked upon the children of Israel.” Indeed, He looked upon them in order to examine their need. Indeed, He regarded them in order to provide an appropriate answer to their need.
5. The Lord our God had respect unto His people. The closing portion of Exodus 2:25 declares, “And God had respect unto them.” Indeed, He had respect unto them so as to move on their behalf. Indeed, He had respect unto them so as to move heaven and earth that he might help them in their need.