Over the next few emails, I’ll be unpacking one aspect of 10 Days, “The Cry”.
As evil continues to mature globally, believers around the globe will face increasing pressure. God is using the pressure of growing evil from the outside coupled with the Spirit’s inner work to elicit an unprecedented response from the global church. The result is going to be a Cry for Deliverance that God will not ignore, "Deliver us from the evil one!". 10 Days is designed to be a global Cry from the Church for ultimate deliverance from the increasing evil and oppression of this dark age.
Can you imagine cities around the globe stopping to repent of evil deeds and to cry out to God for deliverance from this evil age? How would God respond?
Let’s dig into Scripture and History in order to gain understanding as to how God governs and acts in response to "The Cry".
The Way God Brings Deliverance
One thing we know about God is that He loves to bring deliverance to His people. We see this pattern repeated throughout Scripture at the Exodus, throughout Israel’s History, and ultimately at the Cross. But How does God bring great deliverance?
Deliverance in Scripture always comes in response to something called “The Cry”.
Exodus 2:23-25: Now it came about in the course of many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel groaned [sighed, moaned] because of their bondage [labor], and they cried out, and their cry for help ascended to God. So God heard their groaning and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and God saw the sons of Israel and God knew them.
“The Cry” brings about a response from God that has four aspects (v24-25):
So God heard their groaning
And God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
God saw the sons of Israel
And God knew them (Yada)
The Cry is something that seems very bad: it comes forth because of “oppression” and “injustice” and “suffering”. Keep in mind that this is not some theoretical suffering; it is very real to the Sons of Israel who are experiencing daily the trials of slavery and even having their children murdered!
The Cry has an involuntary component. It happens to you when you are suffering. It also has a voluntary component as we can resist it (i.e. by taking vengeance into our own hands) or partner with the Cry.
A Cry that moves God to respond can come from many different sources including nations, the earth itself, and even truly unrighteous people! Here is a partial list of Biblical examples of a Cry that moved God to respond and act:
Individuals (Gen 21:17—Ishmael)
Righteous people (Hezekiah, Hannah, David)
Unrighteous people (Ahab)
Blood (Gen. 4:10)
Sin (Genesis 18:21)
The Land/Earth (Lev. 18:24-25, Gen 4:10)
The whole Creation (Rom. 8)
The Cry is one concept: It’s a call for help to God while suffering injustice or pain that provokes a righteous response from God. However, many different words in the Bible describe this reality. A few examples of words that speak to the Cry are: mourning, desire, lamentation, groan, childbirth metaphor, patient waiting, fasting, suffering, eager expectation, hope, labor, intercession, prayer, humility, help, wait for the Lord, silence, pour out the heart, bitterness.
“The Cry” moves God to intervene: It makes him “hear”, “remember”, “see”, and “know” us.
In God’s economy, the Cry is what moves Him to bring deliverance, glorify His name, and advance His Covenant over time. This in no way contradicts his sovereignty, but rather the two are in agreement!
Learning to see this Biblical Pattern
Once you start to notice this pattern in Scripture, you can’t un-see it—it’s everywhere! Entire books of the Bible are built around the Cry.
Example 1: The Pattern of Judges:
Judges 3:7: Sin: Israel Does Evil
Judges 3:8: Oppression: God sells them (gives them over) to their enemies
Judges 3:9: The Cry: Israel cries out to the Lord because of the oppression
Judges 3:9: Deliverance: God sends a deliverer
Judges 3:12: Peace: There is a season of Peace
The pattern first seen here in Judges 3:7 repeats 12 times in the Book of Judges. The entire book is built around a theology of the Cry! As we will soon see, Oppression can come to God’s people either through their own fault as in the book of Judges or through no fault of their own.
Example 2: The Pattern of 2 Chronicles chapters 10-36
2 Chronicles is another Old Testament Book built around the theology of the Cry. The famous 2 Chronicles 7:14 is the paradigmatic verse: “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Through chapters 10-36, we see this pattern replaying over and over.
Sometimes Israel’s sin leads to affliction (12:1-7) …Sometimes they are righteous and innocent but persecuted (20:1-13)
Affliction, Oppression, Invasion come against Israel
The Cry: The people do the 2 Chronicles 7:14 thing…they humble themselves (fast), pray, seek God’s face, and turn from wicked ways
The entire pattern repeats itself throughout the book of 2 Chronicles chapters 10-36. Each story is different, illustrating the variation possible within this basic pattern.
The Cry: Post-Biblical Examples
Lest we think that God’s ways have changed, we have notable examples of how God continues to respond to the Cry in more modern history.
Example 3: Slavery in the USA
Oppression and Slavery inflicted on Slaves
A Cry went up from the slaves themselves and from righteous men and women who stood with them as intercessors
God brought a great deliverance at great cost to those who oppressed them (the south) and those who were complicit (the north)
There was a season of peace with freedom enshrined for former slaves in the 13th-15th Amendments
The slaves understood themselves to be like Israel enslaved in Egypt. Far from a “stretch”, this was not far from Lincoln’s own understanding of what was happening. He had a dream that led to the passage of the 13th amendment (outlawing slavery). The dream clearly meant that for the United States to have rest, slavery would have to be eradicated forever.
You can see how Lincoln is thinking Biblically about slavery in his Second Inaugural Address, just weeks before He was murdered on Good Friday in 1865:
“…The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?
Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
Example 4: The Establishment of Israel
One of the more powerful and undeniable examples of the Cry in modern history is the Holocaust and the foundation of the modern state of Israel. Consider the pattern as it compares to Exodus, Judges, and 2 Chronicles:
The Sons of Israel were oppressed increasingly by an anti-christ type leader who blamed them for societal ills, rounded them up, enslaved them, and killed them systematically and in large numbers
This Holocaust created a “Great Cry” for freedom and deliverance that was based in unimaginable suffering.
God brought a great deliverance at great cost to the German people. He not only delivered them from the Holocaust, but Germany was greatly judged.
Out of the Cry of the Holocaust, God gathered the nations together (the United Nations) to reconstitute Israel as a nation nearly 1900 years after the destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple, fulfilling a seemingly impossible Biblical promise.
Conclusion: To Be Continued…
Hopefully this has helped illustrate the importance of the Cry in understanding how God governs the world. In the next episode, we’ll dive deep into the Exodus story to understand this concept more fully in a particular example.
What's Happening in your City?
This is the time of year when we're mobilizing cities to do 10 Days and connecting everything on the 10days.net website. Right now we have 25 or so confirmed locations planning to join in 10 Days this fall! If you're doing 10 Days in your city, we want to hear from you!
Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have resources and coaches available to help serve you in uniting believers for city-wide worship, fasting, and repentance.