Where is God?
When we’re going through tough times in our lives, that’s a pretty common question.
“God! I’m suffering here. Don’t you see? Don’t you hear? Where are you?”
That’s probably how the Israelite people felt in Egypt. It says at the end of chapter 2, “The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out.”
I remember in my religion class back in university, our professor talked about the holocaust in Germany. And he talked about how in some of the places where the Jews were held, they too cried out, writing “Where is God?” on the walls.
Where is God? Where is he during our times of suffering? Why doesn’t he do more? I remember several years ago, one of my wife’s friends died in what appeared to be suicide. And my wife asked “Where was God? Why didn’t he stop my friend?”
It’s a tough question. And I certainly don’t have any easy answers. All I can say is what the Bible teaches. In talking about the Israelites in Egypt, it says, “their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God…So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.” (2:23, 25)
Later God told Moses, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them…” (3:7-8)
God says the same thing to us. “Your cry for help has come up to me. I hear you. I have seen your misery. And I’m concerned about your suffering. And so I have come down to rescue you.”
Ultimately, the evil that we see in the world is the result of sin. It was the sin of the Egyptians that caused the suffering of the Jews in Egypt, and it was the sin of the Germans that caused their suffering during World War II.
A lot of the pain and suffering we see in this world is the result of people hurting other people. And it’s the result of people turning their backs on God and trying to live their own way. And so every day, people cry out in their suffering.
God heard us. He saw our misery. And so he came down in the form of a man, and he died on the cross to bring healing to this world of sin.
Where is God? He’s right here. More importantly, he’s in the hearts and lives of the people who have put their trust in him and received Jesus as their Savior.
And now God says to us the same thing he said to Moses, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (3:10)
God sent Moses to Egypt to bring the people out of their lives of bondage and slavery. In the same way, God sends us into this world, to bring people out of their lives of bondage and slavery to sin.
So when we see the suffering of the people around us, and ask “Where is God?” The answer is, “He’s in you.” What are you going to do about the suffering that you see? Are you going to stand by and watch, doing nothing? Or will you be the hands and feet of God to the people around you?”
When we ourselves go through suffering, remember again that, “He is in you.” He’s not left you alone. He has promised that he will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
But also remember he’s in your brothers and sisters at church. They are God’s instruments to touch your life. They are his hands, they are his ears, and they are his mouth to minister to you in your times of trouble. So don’t isolate yourself from them. It’s easy in times of trouble to isolate ourselves from people. To just suffer by ourselves. But that’s not God’s will for us. He has put people in our lives just for those moments. So go to them, and lay your burdens down before them. Let them minister to you. And when they go through times of suffering, do the same for them. As Paul wrote, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
Where is God? He’s in you and me. So let’s go out into this world and make a difference in the lives of the people around us.