I counted the number of Bible studies that I went to last week – it was 6 in one week – maybe I can go for the Guinness Book of World Records? Anyway, guess what – there is a chapter 2 in Exodus and we have finally made the trek to get there.
If you recall 430 years passed that the Israelites were in Egypt – and due to a change in leadership, the Pharaoh did not remember what Joseph did for his country generations ago. The Israelites started multiplying, and their many offspring became a threat to Egypt. The Pharaoh’s solution was to kill all the boys – something like that would also happen when Jesus was born – definitely a plot of satan to destroy the line that would lead to the salvation of the world. The midwives refused to go along with Pharaoh’s program so Pharaoh decreed that any male sons would be put into the river and drowned. Well, the best laid plans of Pharaohs will not succeed, for this plan will ultimately lead to the redemption of the nation Israel.
So, now Chapter 2 – many years will be condensed in this chapter.
An Israelite woman bore a son, and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him three months. But, and this is exciting, she could not hide him longer than three months (remember 3 days in tomb, etc). she built an ark of bulrushes, daubed it with asphalt and pitch and put him in the ark, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.
First of all, there is no logic in that, for there were soldiers stationed at the river’s edge to kill any child put in the water, so it is not “logical” how she preserved his life by putting the baby in an ark, in the river. But then, God’s plans are foolishness to us – this woman is a very resourceful woman – she will manipulate things so that she gets paid for raising her son, and she instills the teachings of the Israelites in him.
Verse 3 But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.
I find the concept of arks very interesting – they all serve the purpose of preserving life. There is Noah’s ark, this ark, and then later we will see the ark of the covenant -where man can meet God at the mercy seat. All of the arks are a picture of Jesus Christ, for all deal with death, life and salvation.
What is interesting is that Noah’s ark and this ark for the boy is covered with pitch. Pitch was what was used in the making of mummies, and speaks of death – yet death will preserve life – just like Jesus’ death preserves our life. The asphalt (also in some translations called slime) was the same substance that was used for the tower of Babel’s construction, it speaks of man’s efforts, which are imperfect attempts at imitating God. It is also interesting that God closed Noah into the ark, and Moses’ mother closed Moses into his ark. Both arks preserved life from drowning, both arks lead to the preservation of the line from Adam to Jesus.
So Moses is laid in this ark and his sister (Miriam – who we will meet later) stood by the river to see what would happen to this child. We all know that there are no accidents in God’s kingdom, so it is exciting what happens next.
Verse 5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside, and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
Against her father’s orders, she has compassion on a Hebrew boy child who her father had ordered to be slain. Only God could instigate something as wildly wonderful as this!
The baby’s sister (Miriam) asked Pharaoh’s daughter if she should go and find a wet nurse for the baby. Well the wet nurse is none other than the boy’s mother.
Verse 9 Then 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.
She was paid to nurse the child, and given permission to let him live. Praise God for that.
Verse 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
Moses has had training from his mother regarding the Israelite history and culture, now he will be trained in Pharaoh’s court – and learn all the “knowledge” of that day and age. He will be in a position to straddle both kingdoms – and ultimately will make his choice. Moses could have chosen to live a life of luxury, to be a member of Pharaoh’s court, a son of Pharaoh, but Moses will make a different choice. I love how God gives us that option. We too make a similar choice when we choose Christ – for we choose to give up the kingdom of this world for a far greater kingdom.
But, before God can really use Moses, Moses will have to cool his heels in the wilderness (as many of us have had our wilderness experiences). He will have to be refined, and learn to be a shepherd first of sheep, then later of the Israelites. Moses will soon make a rash move that will cost him exile, but God will redeem that, and Moses will begin to act for God, instead of out of his rashness. But Moses will later on, miles down the road make another rash act that will cost him entry into the promised land.
But more about this tomorrow. My husband needs the computer tonight. I hope you have a blessed evening!
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