24 So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them. (Exodus 2:24, 25)
During our recent year-end family vacation in Taiwan, we were thankful for the opportunity to stay at a mountain chalet. We could see the mountain range from our balcony and on the last day, the sea of clouds rising from the valleys against the majestic range. One morning, I had the privilege of climbing a watchtower nearby and as I read Exodus 2 especially verses 24-25 (NASB) in the midst of His creation, I am reminded about our God who hears, sees and remembers.
God who hears---call out to Him
Exodus 2 marked the turning point in the life of Moses after he killed an Egyptian who tortured a fellow Jew, and had to run away to Midian to escape his punishment. Literally, he was changed from a man of importance to one who was impotent. He had no control over his own circumstances and had to rely on God for comfort and strength. It was at this juncture that Exodus 2:24-25 speaks of God being “all ears” about the plight of the people under bondage in Egypt and that He heard their groanings and cries. Similarly, the psalmist frequently acknowledged the God who heard his voice when he cried out to Him (Psalm 6:9; 18:6; 28:6; 31:22; 40:1; 116:1). In our own daily lives, we can be faced with moments of frustration, exasperation or desperation at work, home, school, even church and we may doubt that anyone would hear us, including God. Recently, I faced a tense situation at work when two of my staff went into cold war due to some misunderstanding and were using me to pass messages between them. It went on for a good few months and I tried different means (including pulling in close colleagues) to help but to no avail. I finally realized that I was depending on my own human efforts. However, as I learnt to focus vertically, prayed to Him and relied on His guidance over this matter, the situation began to improve. Indeed, we can take comfort in calling out to Him as He is a God who hears.
God who sees---come to Him
I remembered the story of a lady, Miss Annie Siow, in the papers last year who lost her vision in her right eye following a vicious attack by her spurned suitor which also left her with extensive facial scars. After multiple operations to correct her severe injuries, she finally regained semblance of a face. Out of gratitude, she now manages Hopeline, reaches out to attack victims and even participated in a 25 day round island cycling tour of Taiwan as part of Concern and Care Society to visit and encourage residents of orphanages and nursing homes. When asked what kept her going and not giving up, she said it was her Christian faith in a God who sees her clearly despite her partial vision. Indeed God clearly proclaimed to His people in Egypt that He is a God who took notice of them. From the watchtower in the crisp morning air, we had a bird’s eye view of the entire landscape. In the same way, I believe that the same God of the Jews continues to have a bird’s eye view of every aspect of our lives. There is nothing that we can and need to hide from Him. Indeed, we can come to Him warts and all, and He sees us and knows our needs even before we utter them.
God who remembers---cling to Him
I am thankful that in the last few months, I had been able to join several reunions of schoolmates going back to Primary School days. Consistently, we lamented how we could only remember a portion of the friends and needed the year book to jolt our memories of other schoolmates. In contrast, God never suffers from memory loss as He remembers His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His promise of making His people into a great nation and a blessing to others around them. Of course, to the Jews, the prospect looks unbelievable in the context of their living conditions under bondage in Egypt. It may seem so as well in our own present situation. It reminded me of a hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”, which was poignantly related to the story of Horatio Spafford who lost his four daughters in a shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean. In the midst of intense sorrow and grief, he composed the hymn which spoke of the God who was present and who remembered him even when all was lost. The hymn sings of his scoffing at the buffet of Satan during such painful personal tragedy and his clinging onto the God who remembered him and was concerned about his predicament.
As we enter 2015 and wrap our minds and hearts around the church theme of “Heartfelt Worship, Unceasing Prayers”, it is my conviction that we can rest in the God who hears, sees and remembers. We can worship Him with our hearts as He sees and remembers us. We can pray continually as He hears us in our circumstances wherever we are. Question: “Do we call out to Him, come to Him and cling onto Him individually and collectively as a body of Christ at PSPC in all facets and stages of our lives?” It is my prayer that we will grow a little stronger each day in our faith as we persevere and draw near to Him in our daily walk.