And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.” (Exodus 3:7)
There are a couple of words in this verse that, in Hebrew, hint at notions beyond the idea that God was aware of their suffering. The Hebrew word translated as “know” is yada and actually denotes “being intimate” with or “being one with” their pain. This same word is used, for instance, when Adam “knew Eve his wife and she conceived” meaning that they came together as one. The point is that the Almighty told Moses that He was intimately aware of their suffering which, in turn, hints at something else.
The Hebrew word translated as “sorrows” is makov and is the same word used by Isaiah when, speaking of the Messiah, he said:
“He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.…Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” (Isaiah 53:3-4)
In other words, it was prophesied that the Messiah would be intimately familiar with our suffering and the pains we had to endure in this life. It wasn’t that He would be aware of these things through simple observation; He would experience these pains and sorrows just as we do. Thus the writer of Hebrews said:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15
This is fascinating to consider when we recognize that the One speaking to Moses at the Burning Bush was the “Angel of the LORD” — the One who would, centuries later, take on the form of flesh and suffer on our behalf. Regardless of our situation, we have a Savior who understands our plight and whose heart is touched when we call out to Him for deliverance. Nothing is too big or too small for our God.
Blessings and Shalom,