While Moses was busy tending sheep on the back side of nowhere, “the Israelites groaned because of their difficult labor, and they cried out, and their cry for help because of the difficult labor ascended to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the Israelites, and God knew” (Exodus 2:23–25). Read that again. They groaned... they cried out... their cry for help ascended to God... God heard their groaning... God saw their affliction... God knew.
From the burning bush, God spoke to Moses saying, “because the Israelites’ cry for help has come to me, and I have also seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them, therefore, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh so that you may lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:9–10). Again, we read of the people’s cry for help, God’s awareness of their need, and His merciful response.
The great king David often cried out to the Lord and recorded them in the Psalms.
“I called to the Lord in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears” (Psalm 18:6).
“Lord, I call to you; my rock, do not be deaf to me ... Listen to the sound of my pleading when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary” (Psalm 28:1–2).
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears ... The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry for help” (Psalm 34:4, 15).
“I waited patiently for the Lord, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help. He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure” (Psalm 40:1-2).
“God, hear my cry; pay attention to my prayer. I call to you from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me” (Psalm 61:1–2).
“Lord, I cry out to You; Make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:1–2, NKJV).
“I cry aloud to the Lord; I plead aloud to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; I reveal my trouble to him... I cry to you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my shelter, my portion in the land of the living.’ Listen to my cry, for I am very weak. Rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me” (Psalm 142:1-2, 5-6).
When is the last time that we cried out to the Lord? Are we desperate? Is our need urgent? Be assured, God is listening.
Let’s be more specific. When is the last time that you prayed, desperately crying out for the salvation of a lost soul? Or, when is the last time you begged God to grant you an opportunity to experience real spiritual power in your life or real revival in your church? The Israelites cried out because their nation was in bondage to an evil king. Is it time to recognize that America is also serving an evil king?
“God heard their groaning... God saw the Israelites, and God knew” (Exodus 2:23–25).