A River Rescue
Now a man of the tribe 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 bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen.
For context, read all of Exodus 2
Can you imagine being a Hebrew mother during Pharaoh’s decree to kill all of the baby boys? The midwives had already stood courageously and did not kill the baby boys as directed. This time, Pharaoh tells all of the Hebrew people to throw every newborn son they have into the Nile River. Hebrew women must have been so anxious throughout their pregnancies. If they gave birth to a boy, it must have been devastating. What a helpless, hopeless feeling.
And yet one Hebrew woman, Moses’s mother, acted in defiance of this decree. When she saw that she had given birth to a beautiful baby boy, she kept him hidden for as long as she could. When he was about three months, she did indeed put him in the Nile as commanded. But she did not throw him to his death. She put him in a basket and set him to float among the reeds of the Nile. His sister, Miriam, kept watch over him at a distance.
When Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the river to bathe, she found the basket with baby Moses inside and she was moved with compassion for him. His sister saw her opportunity! She ran to Pharaoh’s daughter and asked if she would need a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for her. Pharaoh’s daughter agreed to pay Moses’s mother to nurse him until he was grown. His mother was reunited with her baby boy! Once he was grown, his mother took him to live with Pharaoh’s daughter as her son. It must have been heart-wrenching to give him up. Yet what a gift that she had been able to nurse her own baby and that he would grow to become a man.
And what a man he would become. The man who would lead God’s people out of Egypt and toward freedom. The man who would give the law and instruct Israel in how to worship the LORD as He intends. The man God would use to set His people free.
But the WORD about women in today’s story is that before the LORD used a man to save His people, He used women to save His people. He used a mother’s love to give Moses’s mother the courage it would take to defy Pharaoh and hide her son. He gave her the strength it must have taken to hand him back to Pharaoh’s daughter when he was older. He gave Miriam the wisdom and quick-thinking to approach Pharaoh’s daughter with a plan that would allow Moses’s own mother to feed him as a baby. A plan that would ensure his protection as he grew. A plan that placed him in a position to uniquely understand life in the Egyptian court and to be educated in an Egyptian culture. Finally, God softened the heart of an Egyptian princess. Her decision to adopt a Hebrew baby boy was also in defiance of the king. But that didn’t stop her. She raised a foreign child who would grow up to be a mighty leader of His people.
Sisters, God still uses women to save His people. We just have to be willing to listen and to act.
How can God use women today to save His people?
Lord, I want to be a woman that You can use. Show me how I can make a difference for Your kingdom today. Amen.