God’s Promise Unfolds

“When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank” (Exodus 2:3).

Moses’s mother’s name was not mentioned in this scripture, but I paused to reflect on her journey to bringing Moses into the world. Let us assume that God promised her a male child, who would one day deliver his people out of slavery. During the time of his conception, Pharaoh gave the command that all male children should be thrown into the River Nile. Jewish women may have had historical practices, that helped them confirm the sex of their children before birth. Fear and worry filled Moses’s mother as she imagined her newborn baby drowning in the river. ‘God, your promised me a child of promise, but he may not live past a few days with Pharaoh’s threats.’

Moses was born and his mother nursed him daily. She bonded with this baby and is sure that she has to hide him from the Egyptians. Every cry from Moses would have filled her with fear and regret. ‘Hush my baby, please don’t cry, lest they come and take you from me.’ She managed to hide him for three months, but she could not sustain the constant fear and anxiety. In her prayer time, perhaps she heard God telling her to build him a basket and place him in the river. After all, she wasn’t disobeying Pharaoh’s command. She was simply making the process as humane as possible.

She cried as she lowered the basket and then ran into her tent to weep. She could not watch as her son floated down the river. His sister however, could not take her eyes off the basket and followed it closely for as long as she could see. “Oh no, Pharaoh’s daughter has discovered the basket. She will definitely take my brother to her father and have him killed.” To Miriam’s surprise, Pharaoh’s daughter gently lifted Moses from the basket and cuddled him in her arms. Her eyes were filled with love and compassion and she desired to keep this child for herself. Miriam is relieved and one of the servants saw her in the distance.

Miriam runs to meet the servant who asked about her mother’s whereabouts, as Pharaoh’s daughter needed a nurse. Moses’s mother could not believe how this story has unfolded. She was reunited with Moses, as she was allowed to nurse him until his time of weaning. Pharaoh’s daughter had agreed to adopt and raise her son. Not only was her son not killed, but he was now the son of royalty. She was not sure how the rest of the story would unfold, but she was comforted by God’s amazing grace and mercy. She sang for joy at this miracle and wondered what she had done to deserve such a blessing.

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22).


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