Our pastor was teaching last night in Exodus 4 when Moses had received God’s call. Israel had been beaten down and abused by the Egyptians for 420 years, and the entire people were crying out to God to save them. Moses first task was to go back to the Hebrew elders and explain to them that God had called him and would deliver them.
So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped. ~ Exodus 4:31
God looks on our affliction and He cares! My heart was struck by the next passage read by our pastor:
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
I have read/heard the “plentiful harvest” passage a hundred times. But I’ve never noticed the verse immediately preceding it: “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Jesus looked out at this people, it was the Hebrew people again just like He did with Moses, and he was moved with compassion. They were “weary and scattered”, beaten down by life, bruised and broken, tired and frustrated, exhausted from their hard life. Look around you at the world right now. Do you see it? Do you see the people? Do you see how tired and bruised they are? God does.
Jesus not only sees it. He feels it. He knows our pain. He knows what you’ve been through because HE HAS BEEN THROUGH IT. Have you been betrayed? He has. Have you been abused? He sure was. Have you been taken advantage of and cheated? Yep, He’s been there. Have you been lied to? He was lied to and lied about. Has someone stolen from you? Judas stole money from Jesus ministry. Physically exhausted from your workload and feeling like your body just can’t go on? He was certainly there while carrying the cross and then hanging on it.
Then this morning in my Bible study, as I’m going through the book of 2 Chronicles, I came upon this verse:
Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; but when in their trouble they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”
~2 Chronicles 15:1-7
You see, the Israelites had a loooong history of turning to God in times of distress and repenting of their sin, whereupon God delivered them through their trouble, then they would turn around a few years later and go back to their old ways.
King Asa had turned the entire country back to seeking fellowship with God. This man of God comes at God’s prompting at tells Asa:
The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you…. in their trouble they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them.
God’s word tells us that if we seek Him, He will be found! He tells Asa that twice here in this short passage. Look at how Jesus says it in the book of Matthew:
All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
So take heart my friend. If you seek Him, truly seek Him, He will be found. How do you do that? First, repent and believe in Jesus as your Savior. He died for you. He wants to save you. Then, start attending a solid, Bible-teaching church. How do you know one when you see it? This is a church where most folks you see bring their Bible into the service with them, and the teaching pastor opens his Bible and teaches from it. Read your Bible and cross-check that what the pastor says is true.
If you are seeking God, He will be found. That’s what it means to “find Jesus”.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”