August 8, 2015
The birth story of Moses is a remarkable illustration of the protection and provision of God. Israel had grown in great numbers in the Egypt since Joseph’s death. The Pharaoh, for whom Joseph was the right hand, had also long passed and now generations later, the man who was Pharaoh, was gripped with paranoia. He feared that the population of Israel had grown so large that if an enemy attacked Egypt, the men of Israel could side with their enemies and he would be overthrown. To defend against his fear, he enslaved Israel, thinking their labour would diminish their number. It did not. The population continued to grow, so Pharaoh declared that all Jewish male children were to be destroyed at birth, figuring only then he could control the population of fighting men, who might one day rise up against him.
It was during this dangerous time that Moses was born. The moment Moses was delivered, and his mother discovered he was a male child, she made plans for his protection. She placed him in a basket and floated him down the river. She commissioned Moses’ older sister Miriam, to discreetly follow the basket and see what became of him. Moses floated down the river until he was entangled in some reeds. There, Moses was discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter, who decided to keep him. We all know this story well, but it beautifully illustrates God’s wonderful protection. Moses’ mother acted in faith to preserve her son, and God watched over him. But the next part of the story is my favorite.
After Pharaoh’s daughter discovered Moses, Miriam boldly approaches her and asks, “Shall I go and get you nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” Pharaoh’s daughter says, “Yes” and Miriam goes and retrieves Moses’ own mother to be his nursemaid. When Moses’ mother arrives, Pharaoh’s daughter commissions her to the task and says, “Take this child and nurse it for me and I will give you your wages.” Moses’ own mother was paid to care for him! How is that for provision? The conclusion of this part of the story is that Moses’ own mother was paid to raise him, and when he was older, she released him to Pharaoh’s daughter to be raised as a prince of Egypt.
Even in the most difficult times, God will not only protect us, but provide for us as well. If we will trust Him, He will watch over us. He will protect our children and provide for their care, using us, their parents as their source of nourishment and instruction. God will then, through us, and the generations that follow, use us too, like Moses, to deliver our nation. That is protection and provision.