Israel’s suffering in Egypt was intense.
Israel’s growth spooked Pharaoh. Multiplying and spreading and growing, Israel looked like a threat to Egypt. To protect the system, Pharaoh took stern action. He subjected Israel to hard labor, then had their sons killed, then instructed his people to throw the sons of Israel into the Nile.
But the worst suffering was self-inflicted. Yahweh raised Moses from the water to be a deliverer for His people. In Moses, the Lord visited Israel, but Israel was not ready. They didn’t want this man to be the ruler and judge over them. So the delivered withdrew; Moses fled to Midian. The man drawn from the water drew water for the maids of Midian, not for Israel. Yahweh sent Israel’s savior to the Gentiles for forty years.
At that point, we’re told that Israel began to sigh and cry out in her bondage. And He heard, remembered, saw, and acted. In response to the prayers of Israel, Yahweh sent the delivered back from Midian to demand the deliverance of His firstborn Israel from slavery.
Israel could do nothing but groan, but that was enough.