Think back to the day you saw your child for the first time. You looked into that tiny face how long? Fifteen minutes, Twenty minutes…half an hour before you counted all the fingers and toes? You tried to figure out who the baby looked most like as you focused on the nose, the ears, the eyes…the hands and feet. O and the virtually indescribable feeling only a mother who just gave birth has…the rush of relief mixed with hope, love and joy tempered with a smidge of fear. Exhaustion overcome by expectation and the excitement of the sheer magnitude of experiencing this miracle of life.
Now imagine a law has just gone into effect that this very baby had to be put to death…thrown into a river and drowned. That at any moment he could be stripped from your arms and there was nothing you could do about it. This is exactly what Moses’ mother was facing.
Exodus 1:22“Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: ‘Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.’
My ‘mother’s heart’ leads me to imagine her pacing and praying…while fear, sadness, and worry mesh with the unconditional love a mother has for her child. With tears streaming, bouncing and rocking the baby boy “Look at him! How can we throw him into the Nile? I cannot do it! I won’t do it!” The only conclusion: to keep him, care for him and to hide him for as long as she can.
When hiding him became impossible she mustered all she had, stepped out on faith, and did the only thing she knew would keep him alive a little longer. With hope and trepidation in her heart and a prayer on her lips she began working on the basket that would protect him. And as his big sister kept watch the mother slipped her young son among the reeds along the banks of the great river.
Exodus 2:1-4 "Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 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. 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 Nile. His sister, stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. "
What happens next is clearly the hand of God. The baby is plucked from the waters edge not by your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill Egyptian. It was Pharaoh’s daughter! And who just happened to be there…standing in the shadows…with a suggestion for a nurse but the baby’s own sister. The Bible does not mention protocol or whether this little Hebrew girl was afraid to approach the princess. However, she seized her God-given opportunity and not only provided care for her baby brother but a blessing for the entire family!
Can you imagine the excitement as Miriam ran to find her mother and tell her what happened? “The princess has found the baby and she wants to keep him for her own! She needs someone to take care of him, and she told me to find a nurse! Hurry, Mother, hurry...RUN!”
Now imagine Jocohebed’s reaction. Can you see her clapping her hands, putting down what she was doing, jumping up and down a heart full of praise and worship as she heads out the door to meet the person who has rescued her son? Realization dawning that in just a short time she will once again be with the son she thought she had lost forever.
God used this mother’s courageous act of saving and hiding her baby to begin the plan of rescuing His people. She had no idea at that time what God was doing but He was definitely at work! He really doesn’t need that much from us to accomplish His plan does he?
When faced with a situation that seems humanly impossible to overcome instead of focusing on the predicament we should concentrate on God and His power, trusting Him for the way out. That is all He needs from us.
Revelation 3:7b-8 “What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”