I Know Their Sorrows
Mark D. Rowell
“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;”
The purpose of
God in regard to the Nation of Israel was made abundantly
clear in the Lord’s conversation with Moses on Mount Sinai.
The dialog between Moses and the Lord consisted mainly of
the Lord telling Moses what he was going to do and, of
course, Moses trying to tell the Lord he had the wrong man
for that job. However, the Lord begins this conversation by
telling Moses, 1) he’s on holy ground, 2) who he (the Lord)
is, and 3) what His purpose is in regard to the Children of
Israel. I think it’s also important to note that Moses never
argues that the Lord won’t do what He said He would do, just
that Moses felt unworthy and unable to do what God was
telling him he would do. For as much content we have, my
mind is directed to #3 above: the Lord’s purpose regarding
the Children of Israel. Even more specifically, let’s look
at what the Lord saw, heard, and knew about His children.
understand the suffering of the Jews while in Egypt. We also
know that the Lord had told Abraham hundreds of years before
that Israel would be captive in Egypt. (Gen 15:13) Now the
purpose of God is about to be fulfilled in His children at
the time that God deemed appropriate. But His statement to
Moses gives us some understanding of God’s connection with
His children. He doesn’t just tell Moses that He told
Abraham this would happen, and that He is now going to
fulfill His promise. The Lord certainly would have been just
in doing so, but He gives us insight to His love for His
children by saying that He is very knowing of what
Israel has been going through, and subsequently, what His
children go through day after day in their lives!
Lord says He has “…surely seen the affliction of my people…”
There is nothing hidden from the Lord. We have many
scriptures that teach us this (Ps 139:1-4, Job 42:1-3, et
al) The Lord sees your afflictions. There is no doubting
that He is intimately aware of the things that afflict us
day after day. The Lord was moved by the sight of His people
while He lived in this world. He had compassion on those
that were brought to Him in their sicknesses and weaknesses.
His compassion hasn’t stopped! He sees us day in and day out
and will guide us in the ways we should go, even in the
midst of great affliction.
Lord says He has “…heard their cry by reason of their
taskmasters…” Oh my friends, does He not still hear our
cries? Don’t the “taskmasters” of our lives, whatever they
may be, cause us to cry out to the Lord for relief? David
said, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when
my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher
than I.” (Spa 61:2) Some might say “I cry, but it seems He
doesn’t hear!” Haven’t we all felt like that at different
times in our lives? Sometimes our prayers are nothing more
than cries and weepings, having failed to find words to
utter in the direst of times! But He hears! “Evening, and
morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he
shall hear my voice.” (Ps 55:17) Oh, He is always
listening! He always hears our cries! When it seems life is
just too much to bear, we cry, He hears, and brings relief
to us by way of His grace, mercy, and love! In the presence
of our Lord, we feel a relief that can’t be found anywhere
else! This world is one of taskmasters, but our God is
gracious, and provides rest to our weary souls.
Lord says He “…know[s] their sorrows.” This last one is the
most intimate of the three! There is an acquainting aspect
of our Lord that is unsurpassed by anything else. His
position of empathy is derived from the fact that He
experienced all of our sorrows while living in this world.
Even more so, He became intimate with our sorrows on the
Cross of Calvary! This last portion of scripture should
bring to mind another well known scripture: “He is despised
and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with
grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he
was despised, and we esteemed him not. “Surely he hath borne
our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isa 53:3-4
The Lord Jesus
Christ knows how you feel. Remember, He is a High Priest
that is touched “…with the feelings of our infirmities.”
(Heb 4:15) He bore our signs on the Cross of Calvary and
redeemed us to God by His blood! He now sits on the right
hand of the Father, making intercessions for us, completely and
intimately aware of our sorrows!
Bliss wrote the lyrics to a hymn we often sing. He lived in
the mid-19th century and penned several hymns. He died
young, in a train wreck, but wrote many wonderful hymns.
Surely he himself was acquainted with our texts in Exodus
and Isaiah! The first verse of one of his hymns is:
sorrows’, what a name
For the Son
of God who came
sinners to reclaim!
What a Saviour!
the Man of Sorrows because of our sorrows! Aren’t you
glad He carried our sorrows and bore our griefs! Aren’t
you glad the Lord knows our sorrows! May we find comfort
in these words while we live in this world, waiting for
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!