ODJ: a hit to the heart

April 26, 2015 

READ: Exodus 2:11-25 

God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act (vv.24-25).

Commotio cordis, which normally leads to cardiac arrest, is caused by an abrupt and blunt hit to the chest. Often it occurs as an object strikes an individual near the heart during the “window of vulnerability”—a 10 to 30 millisecond moment between heartbeats. The medical condition, usually experienced by boys and young men as they play sports, often results in death.

During a vulnerable time in its history, Israel took a long-term hit to the heart by Pharaoh and the Egyptians (Exodus 2:23). Israel’s lengthy commotio cordis was obvious as the people groaned and cried out to God for help. This devastating blow to their collective heart left them lamenting and mired in physical, emotional and spiritual suffering. They couldn’t save themselves, and there were no defibrillators available to shock their heart back to life.

Their only hope was God. He heard their deep sighs as they struggled beneath the oppressive weight of slavery (v.24). And because He’s a God who keeps His promises, He brought to mind the agreement He had made with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)—one that He renewed with Isaac and Jacob (26:3-5, 28:13-15). He looked upon them with compassion, felt their anguish, acknowledged them and provided a deliverer to rescue them (Exodus 2:25).

—Marvin Williams

365-day-plan: 2 Kings 11:1-21

Read Nehemiah 9:27-28. Why do you think it was important that the Israelites remembered this part of their history in prayer?
When you take a hit to the heart, how does it make you feel to know that God hears your cries for help? Knowing that God hears you, how can you face—rather than run from—your fears and problems today?