23 A long time passed, and the Egyptian king died. The Israelites were still groaning because of their hard work. They cried out, and their cry to be rescued from the hard work rose up to God. 24 God heard their cry of grief, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God looked at the Israelites, and God understood. Exodus 2:23-25, CEB
I find it interesting when people struggle to believe that God, as he’s portrayed in the Old Testament, is not compassionate. There are plenty of unsettling things about God in the OT but they pale in comparison to the number of times where he’s portrayed as a sympathetic God who goes to work for his people.
We love to put God in a box. We tend to think that if he’s going to do anything on our behalf we have to ask for it and we have to ask for it many times. But he doesn’t just work in one way. He has many ways of working.
In this passage, the people groan because of the difficulty of life in slavery. They groan and cry out and this cry rose up to God. Have you ever simply groaned because of how difficult life gets? Have you ever cried out just because times are tough? Is that prayer?
Maybe so, maybe not…but, in the case of the Israelites anyway, God heard these groans and began the process of saving these people, simply because he understood their grief.
What a bizarre God.