The Saved Son
Almighty God, in whose love and care I begin and end my journey through this day, I bless Your name.
Read EXODUS 2
Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 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.
7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 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. 10 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.”
Moses Flees to Midian
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”
14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”
19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel” (Psa. 103:6,7). The unseen forces of God’s providence overshadowed Moses’ life from the very beginning.
There are three distinct stories here, all helping us to understand the man Moses became and preparing us for chapter 3, when the story of God’s deliverance of Israel really begins. The first story reveals the initiative and intelligence of Moses’ mother and sister. Whether the mother, Jochebed (Exod. 6:20), worked so hard to save Moses, even giving him up to save his life, because he was a “fine child” (2) or just because he was “her child” is an interesting question. One can imagine the relief and thanksgiving when she received him back without the threat of a death sentence. It is clear that Moses from his early years knew his Hebrew heritage and that he was greatly loved and treasured. We don’t know when he moved into the royal household, perhaps after weaning or possibly not until he was 5 or 6, but he then became the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and would have been educated as such, presumably absorbing confidence and self-esteem.
The second story reveals that as Moses grew his interest in his ethnic origins remained. He saw the injustice of the Israelite's position and felt strongly enough to kill one perpetrator of that injustice. His intervention when two Hebrews fought shows that his dislike of violence was not limited to Egyptians abusing Hebrews. It was clear, however, that his original killing was widely known and, knowing that Pharaoh’s fear of a Hebrew rebellion would be stronger than any loyalty to his adopted grandson, Moses fled.
The third story also illustrates Moses’ concern for justice and righteousness, as he helps the Midianite shepherd girls. Verses 21–25 cover the next 40 years: Moses married, Pharaoh died, the Israelites (at last) cried out to God, and God heard and decided to take action.
How do you feel about God using a murderer to further his plans? How has God used a personal flaw or failure of yours for his greater glory?
Lord, help me to share Moses’ inbuilt concern for justice and to know when and how it is appropriate for me to take action in the situations I come across.
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