Read - Exodus 1:6-11
Message - Alan Burke
The baby sitters nightmare, when the parents arrive home telling them that something has happened to their wee treasure and this part of the account of Exodus is just that, the baby sitters nightmare. Take what you have been told about how Moses’ mother arranged all of this because she knew Pharaoh’s daughter was compassionate, humane, tenderhearted and that Moses would be safe and put it in the bin if you can and think about what happens. The people of God faced bitter slavery by an evil man who was being used by Satan, he had commanded that all the male Hebrew boys be thrown into the nile, next remember Moses’ mother is a slave, beaten, downtrodden, facing hardships that are unimaginable and ask yourself this… would you hand over your three month old son to your enemy, who’s father had ordered that your child should be murdered. Would you? Even if the pharaohs daughter had been known to Moses’ mother which is unlikely since she was a slave, would anyone in their right mind put their hapless three month old in the hands of the daughter of such an evil barbarous man!
I hope by now you have left the Sunday school version behind and you get sheer terror that there would have been for Miriam as she watched on from the bank seeing this all unfold, the baby sitters worst nightmare. Yet God is at work in the midst of all that is going on. Pharaoh’s daughter sees the ark, sends her slave girl, then opens the ark, sees the baby boy crying before her eyes and she feels sorry for him, she is moved with compassion. She knew fine well that before her was a Hebrew baby, for no Egyptian woman would have had to hide their son in an ark in the Nile. Even if she had tried to convince herself that he was an Egyptian child, when she or one of her servants went to change him it would have been the inescapable truth as this baby would have been circumcised on the eighth day.
Miriam, his sister then does something that is amazingly brave, she goes to Pharaoh’s daughter, asking… “shall I get one of the Hebrew woman to nurse him for you”. I doubt that I would have had the courage to be brave enough to approach but this young child goes (7). Miriam made it sound like she was doing Pharaoh’s daughter a favour by finding a we nurse, but it was really for Moses’ benefit, it was all part of God’s plan for saving his people. And Moses was brought up by his mother. Two things I want us to notice here, firstly that word we’ve thought about a lot recently ‘providence’. God was and is at work, he was at work in moving the daughter of Pharaoh to compassion on that day as he is at work this day in all that goes on, for God is governing all his creatures, and all their actions governs, he is at work don’t forget that truth (Heb 1:3, Ps 103:19, Matt 10:29-31).
Secondly, Moses was adopted, taken by Pharaoh’s daughter as her son but Moses’ birth parents had a few years with him. They brought him up to know who he was, they taught him that he was a Hebrew, they taught him who the Lord God is, they would have prayed for him and they would have prayed with him, teaching him the truth of God. This was the preparation for Moses to go the the house of Pharaoh. It might have only been a few years, yet those years were formative in the life of Moses, he never forgot the lessons he learnt. There is a challenge to all of those who are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, there is a challenge to us here as the church. We have such a big part to play in the faith of our children, but often we make God fit around the rest of our life, we worship when its convenient, we live differently at home than at ‘church’ stuff and we give a higher priority to school and sport than God. Our children aren’t fools they see what is important to us, discipleship begins in the home.
Q61 What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, (Amos 8:5, Mal. 1:13) and the profaning the day by idleness, (Acts 20:7,9) or doing that which is in itself sinful, (Ezek. 23:38) or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations. (Jer. 17:24–26, Isa. 58:13)