Read the intro for the 2020 Advent devotional here!

Day 1 – November 29, 2020

If you have a candle, light it.  This is a reminder that we are a people who live in darkness without the light of God. And in the coming of Jesus, we anticipate the light that was to come.  He is our light.

And read:

“The Lord said, “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 from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.””

Exodus 3:7-10 NIV


God notices. When I was young, I felt a little disturbed that God noticed. It was used more as a threat than a comfort.  You know the old, “be careful, because Jesus is watching” warning that many of us received.  This did two things. First, it reinforced the idea that Jesus was out to get us.  He wasn’t here to rescue us. He was just waiting to catch us at messing up.  Secondly, made us want to live life unnoticed.  Like Adam, who hid from God in the garden, we were being encouraged to live secret lives.

In Scripture, the idea that God notices is a comfort. Aloneness and isolation are the curse.  The presence of God is a blessing.  In the passage above, God saw the misery of his people. They had been enslaved for 400 years.  Egypt, that had been their place of rescue and comfort had become a place of suffering and pain. But God hadn’t left. He wasn’t unaware. He was awaiting history’s readiness. He heard their cries. He was concerned about their suffering. And now he was acting by sending Moses. God is a deliverer.

God knows the oppression we live with. He is aware that we are enslaved by the systems of the world and we are in bondage under the domineering power of our own flesh.  He knows we’re stuck under the power of sin and death. He knows the pain of our isolation. And he hears us when we cry.  Again and again in Psalm 107 it says, “they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.”

We have a God who shows up.  He brings comfort and hope for true deliverance.  That’s the Savior we’ve been waiting for.  He is the One who joins us in our suffering and leads us back to life.

He sees.  He takes note, not to condemn, but to rescue. But let’s also remember that his rescue is not an event. It’s a journey. God led the people out of Egypt by taking them into the wilderness.  There He sustained them and taught them how to be His people. It wasn’t easy.


Father, thank you for hearing our cries and sending a Savior.  Thank you, Lord Jesus the Son, for submitting yourself to the point of death on a cross, so we could be delivered.  Holy Spirit, we pray that you will awaken our spirits to the goodness of our God.  And we pray that you will fill us with the hope of our Savior’s coming.

Pray for those who need His deliverance today.In the name of Christ, the power of the Spirit and for the glory of the Father, we pray, Amen.