So Moses is floating down the river to a life unknown. How did he get there? What circumstances led him to this defining moment? Who could imagine that the life of this baby would eventually serve as the great liberator of his people? The Bible devotes 1/8th of its pages to the story of Moses’ time. Yet as I read of these powerful pages, I want to dissect each chapter. The story is painful yet provides hope.
The details are vivid. Mother and daughter assembling a humble papyrus basket coated with tar and pitch. What conversations transpired during this? How many other people were a part of it? The depression, the grief, the fear the faith, all the various emotions that encompassed this time were held in silence because they were in hiding. The journey of grief and loss does not come with a timetable. One never knows what will trigger it yet, they had no choice they had to move forward. They had to trust that God had a plan. Without fan-fare they released what they held dear and waited for God’s supernatural intervention.
What are you holding on to? Do you have a dream that you have recently experienced slip away? Maybe you have a child whom you are hoping will turn his heart back toward the Lord? What is it that you feel so compelled to hold on to that you are paralyzed with fear to let go of?
Releasing what one holds dear is agonizing yet provides freedom. Loving with open hands as my friend Cindy likes to remind me. If one is releasing something physically, the posture of the hand must remain open? This mother when she released her child extended to him a life of opportunity and position. She couldn’t have known that at the time, yet she walked in obedience and God honored her faithfulness. When she released him into the open water, she had to push him out into the reeds. Then she had to let go. She pushed him into the river of unknown and she released him with open hands.
I have been reading about the life of Moses. Starting prior to his birth. It is surreal to me that even before he was born, his destiny was in the hands of God and those who feared Him. The hope of restoration and reconciliation rested in the birth of an unwanted child. The Hebrew people endured the threat of death and destruction everyday. The bondage of slavery was real. They were not in control of anything including the well being of their own children. Children born into a life of turmoil if they were given life at all. The fate of the male children rested in the hands of the midwives. The king had commanded that all Hebrew male children were to be put to death upon delivery. Exodus 1:17- But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live. When questioned by the King, the midwives responded that Hebrew women are not like Egyptian woman, for they are vigorous , and they give birth before the midwife can get to them. So God was good to the midwives and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. And it came about because the midwives feared God, that He established households for them.
It wasn’t like the threat of death and destruction ended there. Good job midwives, here are families of your own to care for, now you are blessed. No the adversity just intensified. They were still being asked to do kill and destroy innocent lives. Yet they held strong to their faith and fear of God above all else. What quiet and intense strength they must have had. It seems like God had abandoned his people and left them to die a slow and painful existence yet you see his provincial hand upon these lives. How do you see beyond the years of slavery? These midwives had faith to believe that God would not abandon them. They had an inner drive that enabled them to think beyond themselves to future generations. The face of adversity brought strength in numbers.
This sets the stage for the birth of Moses. A man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. Jochebed, the birth Mother of Moses is a hero. To become pregnant with the understanding that if this child is a male, he will die unless she does something. I love that it says when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for 3 months. 3 excruciating months. I honestly question where my sanity would be.
A few years ago I watched a Mother give up a child whom she brought into this world. It was a painful and difficult journey but she came to the place where she wanted to give this child something more. She knew that because of her own circumstances she could not parent this little one, yet she still brought her into this world. She will always be this child’s mother and forever this child will remember her. Life had been so hard on this young Mom, she was scarred both physically and emotionally. She just wanted someone to love her and be proud of her. She gave the ultimate gift, she gave someone else an opportunity to love and parent her child.
When I read the story of Moses I see a woman who bravely gave away a child so that He could have life. One that she hid for 3 months before releasing him into a basket to a new home and a new future. My dear friends are awaiting adopting a beautiful little girl from China. They are eagerly anticipating her arrival. They long to give her a home where she can have a different life. I am contending in prayer with them for her arrival, yet my heart can’t help but grieve for this mother who brought this beautiful little girl into the world. No less significant or important in this little ones life. One could not happen without the other.