God is always on time
During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.
Exodus 2:23-25 ESV
Remember how the Israelites came to be in Egypt in the first place. Some 400 years before, Jacob’s sons had traveled to Egypt to purchase food because of a severe worldwide famine. Their brother Joseph, who they believed to be dead, was governor over Egypt and had been given a vision from God to save Egpyt and the world from this famine. Once the brothers had reconciled, Joseph moved them all to Egypt to the best part of the land. At the onset of the book of Exodus, the number of Israelites in the family of Jacob totaled 70 people.
God continued to bless Jacob’s family and their offspring. And they multiplied. Over the years, the Israelites grew to be so numerous that Pharoah perceived them as a threat. He responded by increasing their forced labor and by ordering the killing of male Israelite children. It was at this time that Moses was born and miraculously saved and adopted by Pharoah’s daughter.
By Numbers chapter 2, the oppression of the Israelites had grown so intense that they cried out to God for help. “And God remembered his covenant.” At first reading, this appears a strange statement. Of course, it does not mean that God had forgotten his covenant. It may have seemed to be have been forgotten, but God was waiting for the right moment – this moment – to proceed with his plan.
Verse 25 states, “God saw the people of Israel – and God knew.” Other translations render this as “God had a respect unto them”, “God acknowledged them”, or “God was concerned about them”. The ESV version makes me think, God knew … that the Israelites were finally now ready to be saved, that the time was right for His glory to be made known to Pharoah and His incomparable superiority over all of the gods of Egypt to be made clear. God knew His people and He knew that it was time to act for their salvation and for His glory.
God’s timing is always perfect. There may seem to be times when God has forgotten, but rest assured, He has not. He will act at the right time to show His mercy, grace, and power to those who put their trust in him. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)