The story of Moses could not have been written by Hollywood’s best screenwriter. We have an evil king in Pharaoh. We have an oppressed people in the Israelites. We have a baby redeemer.
The story begins with a nervous Pharaoh, trying to stymie the growth of the Israelite people. But the plan backfires.
“But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.” (Ex. 1:12)
An Ancient Hitler
Finally, Pharaoh commands the midwives to kill the Hebrew baby boys at birth. But they feared God. How can women, with such a noble calling as bringing life into this world, murder these precious babies? It only amplifies how utterly evil the modern practice of abortion is. They refuse to do it, and because they fear the God of the Israelites, He protects them and gives them families of their own.
As the population of the Israelites grew, Pharaoh came up with a more Hitler-esque idea. “Every Hebrew boy that is born, you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.” (Ex. 1:22)
A family from the tribe of Levi, who already had a boy and a girl, became pregnant again. It was another boy. Jochebed, the mother, could not bear to have him killed, so she placed him in a waterproof basket and positioned him in the reeds of the Nile—I assume, to keep him from being taken by the current. It was a huge risk. But she must have felt that this was a child of destiny, even as Joseph took Yeshua as a baby to Egypt to escape Herod’s similar plan.
A Perilous Journey
The Nile crocodile is 12-feet-long and they were known to hang out on the shores. It is the longest river in the world, passing through 11 countries. The Nile perch can grow to 175 pounds and there are over 30 species of snakes, most of which are venomous. I have to wonder if her husband knew of the plan? If not, how did he react when he found out? Did he trust God or was he angry? She put the whole family at risk. There are many similarities between this couple, and Joseph and Miriam. You can only imagine that Jochebed cried out to the God of Israel for Him to preserve her baby.
And He heard her prayers. Jochebed sent her daughter, Miriam, to see what would happen with the child. Imagine it is Germany (and not Egypt) and a Jewish mother hides her baby from Hitler’s death machine. To her shock, Hitler’s daughter finds the baby! Game over, right? Well, that is exactly what happened to her.
The daughter of the bloodthirsty Pharaoh finds the baby in the reeds. Surely, she knew these babies were to be killed. All she had to do was have one of her slaves flip over the basket to join the other babies in the Nile. But God moved on her heart.
“She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said.” (Ex. 2:7)
Pharaoh’s daughter: If she had only known…
Miriam, and this had to take some courage, spoke up and ask, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” (Ex. 2:7) Had Pharaoh’s daughter known, at that moment, that this baby would grow up and be the cause of her brother’s downfall, as he would be the next pharaoh, she surely would not have answered as she did. But again, God moved on her heart.
“’Yes, go,’ she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.’ So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water.’” (Ex. 2:8-10)
Unbelievable! In the morning, Jochebed gave her baby to the Nile River. Within a few hours, Moses is back in her arms, drinking milk from her breast. He stays there for several years before he goes to live as the grandson of Pharaoh. Only God could have orchestrated this. The man he will grow up to defy is now his uncle. The rest is history.
Peter tells us that God doesn’t show favoritism. If God protected young Moses and led him into his destiny, we can trust that he will do the same for us! The Father loves you!