June 15, 2024

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June 15, 2024

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Trust God’s Timing: Soon, The Prophetic Words Of Our Departure Will Be Past Tense

Jonathan Brentner

I love the words of Scripture. They form the basis of my hope for eternal life, provide needed assurance in times of trouble, and calm my soul during the turbulent times in which we live.

Sometimes a passage, or a phrase, speaks to me in a new way. Such was the case with Exodus 2:23-25:

Exodus‬ ‭2:23-25‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “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.”

I love the phrase at the end of verse 25 in the ESV, “and God knew.” In the Hebrew text, the word is yada, which in its basic form simply means “to know.” It appears 947 times in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament.

In Exodus 2, yada reveals God’s awareness of the plight of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage just before He tasked Moses with the job of delivering His people. Yada appears again in Exodus 3:7:

Exodus‬ ‭3:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;”

God saw the distress of His people and acted to deliver them.

After forty years tending sheep in the wilderness, Moses was fully prepared to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. The longsuffering slaves were ready to accept freedom and follow the leader God would send to them. The Lord knew the time was right.

He doesn’t explain why this time was better than twenty years earlier. He doesn’t need to fill in all the blanks for us. We trust His sovereignty and wisdom.

GOD HEARS OUR GROANING

Members of the body of Christ suffer from afflictions of a wide variety. Some face martyrdom for their faith, others lose their freedoms, and many endure severe opposition to their faith. We all fight off the relentless attacks of our enemy.

I know several saints who are hurting because of cancer, other ailments, and grief. The afflictions of this life, along with aging, have a way of catching up to all of us.

And like the ancient Israelites, we groan.

I love how the Apostle Paul connects our anticipation of the Rapture with our signing amid the many hardships of life:

Romans‬ ‭8:23-25‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

The Lord hears the cry of our hearts as we long for Him to appear and take us to glory. And someday soon, our faith will be sight.

The Lord is not distant as some imagine Him to be; He sees; He hears; He feels all our grief; and He will surely deliver us.

Someday soon, the prophetic words of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 will be past tense, and we will rejoice with our Savior in glory:

1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:15-17‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

There are days when it seems as though the perfect time for the Rapture has long since passed. We see the tears of loved ones and watch as violence, wickedness, deception, and lawlessness explode in our world. We often wonder, “How much longer, Lord?”

In the meantime, we rest in the fact that God sees everything with eyes full of love for each and every one of us. Is it not encouraging to know that the Lord knows all about our distressing circumstances and has our rescue in sight?

The One who has “called us to glory” (1 Peter 5:10) is ever so close to taking us there (Colossians 3:4).

A GLORIOUS RESTORATION FOR ISRAEL

The forty years that Moses tended sheep in the wilderness must have felt like an eternity for Israelites in Egypt. It’s likely most knew about God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and looked for a deliverer to take them to the Land promised to their forefathers.

During the last half of the seven-year Tribulation, a much more frightening scenario will exist for the Hebrew people. Once the antichrist defiles their temple, they will face the darkest time in their history. In the end, only one-third of them will remain alive.

The prophet Zechariah, speaking for God, wrote these words about this future time of peril:

Zechariah‬ ‭13:9‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”

Zechariah 14:1-8 describes the arrival of Israel’s future deliverer, the Lord Jesus. He will fight for Israel as a mighty warrior, destroy all the armies that will have come against Jerusalem, and establish His worldwide kingdom over which He will rule from Jerusalem. Is it not fitting that Moses referred to Jesus as a “prophet like me” in Deuteronomy 18:15-18? The greater Moses will deliver the Israelites at His Second Coming.

It will be a glorious time of restoration for the kingdom Israel. God will forever protect the Jewish people with His presence in Jerusalem (Zephaniah 3:14-20).

WE TRUST GOD’S TIMING

We often groan because of personal pain or that of those close to us. At other times, it’s because of a world descending into lawlessness and wickedness, the likes of which we once thought impossible.

In the midst of the distress we feel, the words, “And God knew,” bring welcome relief. We know our Deliverer is surely coming to catch us up to meet Him in the air.

As we wait, we remain confident that:

  1. God is aware of the plight of all those who belong to Him. He sees; He hears, and He loves us more than we can imagine.
  2. Jesus remains ever mindful of the promises we hold dear to our hearts. He’s preparing a place for us in heaven (John 14:2-3).
  3. The Lord will surely come for us before the judgments of the day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:1-10).
  4. Although God’s timing often mystifies us, we trust His purposes knowing Jesus will arrive at the perfect time.

The words “And God knew” seem so simple, yet they breathe hope into the most distressing of circumstances. Our Deliverer stands ready to rescue us and will surely do so.

In the meantime, we pray for Him to come soon.

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Jonathan Brentner

I love the words of Scripture. They form the basis of my hope for eternal life, provide needed assurance in times of trouble, and calm my soul during the turbulent times in which we live.

Sometimes a passage, or a phrase, speaks to me in a new way. Such was the case with Exodus 2:23-25:

Exodus‬ ‭2:23-25‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “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.”

I love the phrase at the end of verse 25 in the ESV, “and God knew.” In the Hebrew text, the word is yada, which in its basic form simply means “to know.” It appears 947 times in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament.

In Exodus 2, yada reveals God’s awareness of the plight of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage just before He tasked Moses with the job of delivering His people. Yada appears again in Exodus 3:7:

Exodus‬ ‭3:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬ – “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;”

God saw the distress of His people and acted to deliver them.

After forty years tending sheep in the wilderness, Moses was fully prepared to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. The longsuffering slaves were ready to accept freedom and follow the leader God would send to them. The Lord knew the time was right.

He doesn’t explain why this time was better than twenty years earlier. He doesn’t need to fill in all the blanks for us. We trust His sovereignty and wisdom.

GOD HEARS OUR GROANING

Members of the body of Christ suffer from afflictions of a wide variety. Some face martyrdom for their faith, others lose their freedoms, and many endure severe opposition to their faith. We all fight off the relentless attacks of our enemy.

I know several saints who are hurting because of cancer, other ailments, and grief. The afflictions of this life, along with aging, have a way of catching up to all of us.

And like the ancient Israelites, we groan.