|I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.|
Studying the Story of Moses
I have been studying Exodus 1:8-2:10, the story of Moses. This is one of the first stories I remember learning as a small child. Due to long familiarity, I am guilty of skimming through the book of Exodus, instead of studying it.
Today, I realized that my point of view has changed drastically. The story of Moses still contains lessons for me to learn from the women in this story. My fall study guide includes questions about the midwives, Moses' mother, Moses' sister, and the Pharaoh's daughter. The last question is the same, "How did __________care for others?"
Two Brave Midwives
The two midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, did not follow the king of Egypt's command to kill the male babies. They feared God more than Pharaoh. However, the Hebrew women and their families knew what the two midwives were doing. To keep their baby boys alive, the Hebrew families had to make plans for keeping the male births a secret.
Women caring for women. Fathers caring for sons. Families protecting the midwives. The midwives protecting the babies. Even when questioned before the King, the midwives said the births were over before they arrived. The Egyptian King reacted to this news by ordering his people to throw male Hebrew babies into the Nile River. Can you imagine having your baby plucked out of your arms and thrown into a river to drown? No wonder Moses' family hid him until he was three months old.
Moses' Family Have a Plan
Moses' mother must have been desperate. Can you see the family coming up with a plan to try and save the baby AND keep themselves safe? Moses' mother knew that only Pharaoh's daughter could keep her son alive. All of the residents must have known where the princess bathed in the Nile. Putting baby Moses in a water proofed basket, among the reeds, tells me that a plan had been made and put into action. That basket was being held in place by the reeds on purpose. Miriam was waiting for the Egyptian princess and her attendants to discover her baby brother when they approached the river to bathe.
How Did These Women Care For Others?
Back to the question of " How did _________________care for others?"
- The midwives cared for the Hebrew families and hid the births of male babies from the ruler of Egypt.
- Moses' mother cared for her family. The baby couldn't be kept a secret and the other members had to be kept safe.
- Moses' sister helped her mother and baby brother. She cared enough to approach Pharaoh's daughter and ask if she could get a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby. Certainly a woman of noble birth would have been accompanied by armed guards. Miriam did not let guards or attendants stop her. She cared about others, her parents and her baby brother.
- Pharaoh's daughter felt sorry for the Hebrew baby boy. She knew about the order to have the Hebrew male babies thrown into the river. In spite of this, she paid to have this baby taken care of. Then, she adopted the child as her own.
My Personal Perspective
I find it intriguing that Moses' mother was paid to nurse her own son until her was old enough to be raised as the Pharaoh's grandson. What a paradox! Because of Pharaoh's order, he (Pharaoh) ended up raising and educating God's chosen messenger as his grandson.
In my opinion, the story of Moses' birth and adoption is an outstanding example of how God operates. Obviously, God had a purpose for Moses before he was born. Today, God has a purpose for each of his people before they are born.