Wednesday, November 14, 2007

God has a passion for His chosen people. At times His zeal is so overt and so undisguised that those paying attention are stunned, humiliated or brought to tears. Like a bolt of lightening on a bright, clear and cloudless day so is the quick action of God at His appointed time on behalf of His people. The movement of God is irresistible and unstoppable once He sets His will into action.

After hundreds of years and many generations, God, for reasons known only to Him, began to move. A Levite man married a Levite woman. This of course was not the first time such a thing had taken place and would certainly not be the last. A man married a woman. There is nothing more natural or common than this union. They got together as it were and she became pregnant. Again…this was not an earth shattering event by any standard. While God has a plan for every event, He had something unique mapped out for this one. It obviously had nothing to do with any merit of this young couple; His grace is never a result of anything other than His pleasure. We just know that He decided to work in a spectacular way through this young married couple. For in this young mothers womb rested one of God’s greatest Prophets. I don’t think he ended up with a last name…no…I think he only needed one, Moses.

Remember the decree of Pharaoh the King of Egypt. Every newborn Hebrew male was to be killed either by infanticide (or abortion)…or thrown in the Nile river. I wonder what Pharaoh would have thought about a Hebrew girl hiding her newborn son for three months? I wonder what payment such defiance of him would bring. Would her husband be beaten to death? Would they have raped her before they beat her to death or would they have just killed her out in the open? Would they have killed the parents before they dashed the baby boy down or before they rang his neck…or what they have allowed them to watch their son be brutalized before their own punishment?

This act of defiance must certainly have been inspired by God. God will lead His people into danger, make no mistake. You see…our lives are not our own. His people are His possession and we long for His leading because we, at the end of the day, trust Him. So if we live or die we live or die for His glory and for His renown.

For three stressful months the boy grew in secret…but this secret was no longer safe. Little infants at that age can really belt out some noise and she could not longer risk the life of the entire family. So, for some reason she “came up with” a plan to preserve the boy’s life. A basket was made which she took and with what must have been utter desperation, she placed this cherished son into the basket…and placed him in the reeds. (btw…do you have the picture in your mind that this basket was sent floating down the river? That’s what I used to picture. But the Scripture doesn't seem to paint it that way…the way all the translations I’ve looked at seem to present it is that the basket was placed at the edge of the river in “tall grass” or “reeds”. I don’t think the baby Moses was sent floating down the river.)

I have a suspension that this slave woman had a connection with Pharaohs daughter. Perhaps she had served her, even at an impersonal distance. I wonder if she had not heard the Princess indicate her personal feelings about the brutality of her father. I wonder if she spoke of her desire to save the babies. I wonder what made the Levite mother so sure that her little plan would work. Remember…she placed the baby in a basket on the bank of THE RIVER NILE. The instruction of Pharaoh was to drown such a baby boy IN THE RIVER NILE. The Scriptures don’t explain the “why” of her actions…we just know that she did this and sent the older sister of Moses to watch at a distance to see what would happen.

When the servants of Pharaohs daughter brought the child to her attention she immediately had compassion on the little one and claimed him as her own. Suddenly Moses’ little sister came forward and spoke plainly with the Princes. This also indicates the possibility that Pharaohs daughter had awareness of and trust in this Hebrew slave family. The little girl offered to get one of the Hebrew women, her mother to take the baby and nurse him…and Pharaoh’s daughter said “yes”. When Moses’ earthly mother came, Pharaoh’s daughter instructed her to nurse and care for the child. In an act of not-so-common kindness, Pharaoh’s daughter even told the Hebrew mother that she would be paid for nursing this boy. And so she took Moses home with the protection of Pharaohs little Princess guaranteed. What a sweet deal.

Do not mistake my suspicion that this Hebrew women had worked for Pharaohs daughter in one way or another previously for me doubting God’s hand in these things. The Providence of God is usually fulfilled in common day to day scenarios. It would not have been natural for this Hebrew mother to take such a wild chance with her son, or the little girl approaching and speaking directly with the Princess if the Princess did not know her or the arrangement ultimately being made that Moses would be nursed in his home of origin. God works like this…He establishes relationships, interactions and sets series of what seem to be ordinary events into motion with results coming to fruition many years down the road.

Do you live your life with this perspective? That there is a grand scheme in motion and you are living in the midst of God’s activities? That the job you take is part of a plan and the people you meet, the skills you learn and the advice you get are all part of a massive picture? Even your screw ups, sins and failings work together for good…even if you can’t comprehend it…and even if you don’t receive “the good” that is promised in this lifetime.

God had been at work prior to Moses being placed in that basket. The dominos of Gods’ will had been falling since Adam and continued to fall long after Moses. They are still falling. Do not forget that. You must see yourself in the epic you are in…Christ is building His Kingdom. This is what He had in mind ultimately with this situation surrounding the enslaved Hebrews and the baby Moses and that is still His plan.

Are you aware?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 niv

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