January 22 | Daily Devotion

If you plan to read every verse of Scripture this year, use the  Lectio Continua (continuous reading) passages. The Lectio Semi-continua (shorter reading) is an abbreviated selection of verses from the day’s passages. Lectio Divina (divine reading) is Pastor Lionel Young’s commentary on the daily readings. See the Resources page on the Lectio Divina website for additional study helps.

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina (meditation on the text)

“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…’” ~Exodus 3:7-8a

The title of Exodus is derived from an ancient Greek word that means “exit” or “departure.”  The book tells the story of God saving His people from slavery so that they can literally exit Egypt to worship Him. But, as is so often the case, His intervention is both for His glory and their good.

God’s concern for His people is the repeated theme of the first three chapters. He rescues Israelite babies from a paranoid king through the kindness of Shiphrah and Puah, midwives to the enslaved people (Ex. 1:15-22). And when God hears the people groaning under the weight of slavery, He is moved by their need (Ex. 2:24-25). He sends Moses on a great mission to rescue the people because “the cry of the Israelites has reached me” (Ex. 3:9).

God looks upon the suffering of his people, and He is moved by their needs. Moved to compassion and moved to action. In the New Testament reading for today, we see that Jesus is moved by compassion, too (Matt. 15:32). When we are struggling, it is comforting to know that God hears our groaning and looks upon us with concern.   Here is great encouragement to cry out to Him for help, to pray the prayer of the psalmist, “How long, Oh Lord?” and expect an answer (Ps. 13:1, 35:17). His answers sometimes arrive in unexpected ways, a single expatriate returning to rescue an entire people group must have been quite a surprise for the Hebrews, but a response always comes.

God loves the world, but He is especially concerned when He sees His own children struggling. As the great theologian John Calvin explained in Institutes of the Christian Religion, “God’s providence…reveals his concern for the whole human race, but especially his vigilance in ruling the church, which he deigns [stoops down] to watch more closely.” Call out to Him today if you’re struggling. Ask for help, persevere, and wait for God to do awesome things for your good and His glory. For as James reminds us in his powerful epistle, “the Lord is full of compassion and mercy” (Jas 5:11).

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.