An ancient book recorded for us in the Bible called Deuteronomy says this in chapter 29: “Now Moses called all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land—the great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great wonders.”
Was God a God from afar here? The answer is “yes” and “no” because His overall plan was undoubtedly in mind, and He was recording this for the sake of future generations.
Realise that from the time the book of Exodus opens until the Israelites finally leave Egypt eighty years pass. Moses was not born at the time that Scripture says they were crying out to God because of the bondage. Moses was born and preserved right through the persecution. He was hidden in a little ark and put onto the Nile River, rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter, grew up to be a man, fled into the wilderness at age forty, and spent forty years tending sheep, learning to be humble. Finally, God had him ready, so He sent him back to Egypt.
God’s overall plan was in mind for a long time, yet all through these events, He was very near to Moses, preparing him. God was far off in the sense that He was using these people to prepare an account that His servant Moses would write for our sakes, so that we would understand these things.
God undoubtedly appeared to be far away from the Israelites who were crying out to Him for deliverance, but He was really right on the spot. He was near to them; He is a God at hand. We have to keep both of these views in mind. God is always working two things at once: His overall purpose and His specific purpose for us as individuals and for the church.
Out of this comes a principle…..”the Eternal who sees” or “the Eternal who provides.” It is shortened into this statement: He is there. He was there when Abraham stood on Mount Moriah about to sacrifice his son, Isaac—and God provided a ram. He was at hand through all the plagues of Egypt—and He divided the Israelites away from them. He watched so closely when they left Egypt that not even a dog barked. God was the One observing, watching. He was aware at the Red Sea—and He parted the waters.
He is there. He may seem far off right now for you, but He is not. He is close by.