Scripture: And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:9-10 ESV
Observation: Chapter 2 provides an overview of Moses’ birth story, upbringing, and flee to Median, and of God hearing the groans of his oppressed covenant people. Here, we will focus on Moses’ birth story and upbringing.
The author tells us that Moses was a “fine child,” so Jochebed (Moses’ mother, see 6:20) hides him for three months until it is no longer safe to keep him. She then makes a basket of reeds waterproofed with bitumen and pitch and strategically places the basket in the reeds of the Nile by Pharaoh’s palace. Moses’ older sister Miriam watches from a distance as the princess hears his cry and sends her servant to fetch the basket. When she beholds the child, she identifies his ethnicity but still pities him. So Miriam approaches Pharaoh’s daughter and asks if she should fetch a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby and promptly brings her mother to the princess. Instead, Pharaoh’s daughter instructs Jochebed to take the child and nurse him, and she will pay the wages due. Then, at the right time, Jochebed presents her child to the princess, who adopts him as her own and names him Moses (Hebrew for draw out).
Takeaway: Just as God blessed the Hebrew midwives for disobeying Pharaoh’s order to kill all the newborn Hebrew males, so he blesses Moses’ biological mother, Jochebed. Granting her the privilege to nurse her son to a young age, the Lord even inspires Pharaoh’s daughter to pay Jochebed wages for her time. And once Moses would assume his position as a child of the princess, presumably, he would receive a prince’s education and likely become bilingual—all preparing him for his mission to confront Pharaoh and lead God’s people to the Promised Land.
So what does this means for you and me? First, God is sovereign over all his creation and will use godless people to accomplish his purposes. And we need not be surprised when he inspires those who oppose us to bless us with their provisions. Secondly, when we part company with loved ones and entrust them to God, we would do well to remember that our Lord’s love for them far eclipses our affections. Lastly, what we deem may not be in our child’s best interest may prove to better prepare them for the challenges of God’s calling on their lives. Our part, then? Pray, obey, watch, and wait as our loved ones’ stories merge into God’s story.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you that your love for our children is perfect and unhindered by sin. Would you please help us, when overwhelmed with concerns for our children’s wellbeing, to pray, do our part as you direct us, and exercise patience as we watch their stories merge with yours? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling