The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. 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. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him (Exodus 2:2-4).
Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water” (Exodus 2:7-10).
In the book of Exodus, chapter one, we can find the account of a woman of faith and God’s hand of grace working together in a beautiful way. Jochebed, a young Hebrew mother had just given birth to a baby boy. Her son was born to her at a uniquely difficult time and place in the history of the Hebrew people.
The pharaoh, king of Egypt, had issued a command that the Hebrew people were to throw their baby boys born to them in the river. They were commanded by the government to kill their own little boys.
Jochebed, along with her husband in an act of faith, hid their baby boy for three months. (Hebrews 11:23). Then, after it became difficult to continue to hide her little boy, she got a basket and took steps to make it waterproof. Then she placed her baby boy in the river.
Be mindful that Jochebed was by no means giving up her son to die. She, in faith, placed her son in the hands of God as she placed him into the river.
From Exodus chapter one and into chapter two we see that God used a number of people to preserve the life of the God-ordained deliverer of Israel.
In chapter one, two midwives, Shiprah and Puah, courageously defied the orders of the pharaoh and refused to kill the Hebrew baby boys. He had ordered them to kill the boys immediately after they were born, yet they bravely decided that they were not going to do this.
The Word of God tells us in chapter 1:17, “But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.” In the midst of their courageous actions to serve and follow God, they probably saved the life of a little baby boy named Moses.
They demonstrated the kind of faith and courage all believers are called to walk in. And every believer would be wise to ask themselves, “Do I follow Christ with the same kind of courage that Shiprah and Puah demonstrated?”
In chapter two, we see that God also used Moses' sister, Miriam. When the pharaoh’s daughter and those with her discovered Moses in the basket in the river, a miracle took place. Miriam, probably observing the pharaoh’s daughter’s compassionate reaction to the crying baby, very wisely speaks up with a wonderful suggestion.
Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child's mother (Exodus 2:7-8).
What a wonderful work of grace God wrought, probably in answer to a prayer of Jochebed. She may very well have prayed a prayer such as “Lord, I refuse to throw our beautiful baby boy that you gave us into the river. Instead, I place him in your hands. And Lord, somehow, keep our little boy safe and bring him back to us. Even though Amram and I don’t have much money, if you bring him back, we will trust you to provide. And Lord, somehow, use him for your glory.”
And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water,” (Exodus 2:9-10).
Praise God! Only God could orchestrate a series of events so beautifully and artistically.
God used a young mother with a heart of faith, who trusted Him and defied the wicked orders of a ruthless king. And not only did Jochedbed receive her baby boy back, but God also arranged for her to get paid by the government to raise her baby for a while!
And as it turned out, pharaoh fed, clothed, and housed the deliverer of Israel for a time right in his own house. This is the deliverer God would use to deliver the children of Israel out of slavery and out of Egypt.
Like this wonderful account of what happened to Jochebed and Moses, we too are called to trust God and follow him in all circumstances.
In the midst of life, with all of its storms and challenges, every believer is called to put their faith to work. We often are called to believe God to do the impossible.
As Jochebed learned, we are wise to learn that the God we serve can do the impossible – whenever we need Him to.
An important truth and insight to be drawn from this part of Moses' life is this simple yet profound truth: The just shall live by faith – in all circumstances.