Like anyone else in the world, God’s people today frequently find themselves in the midst of changes and feelings of being out of control. As long as they look at their circumstances from any perspective other than God’s, they will also fall victim to such internal calamities as discouragement, despair, worry, anger, bitterness and resentment.
On one occasion of great change in old Egypt, a new Pharaoh coming to power (see Exodus 1), the people of God found themselves suddenly faced with a hostile power that was determined to control them or even wipe them out entirely.
“… A new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. ‘Look,’ he said to his people, ‘the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.’ So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor…. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly…. Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: ‘Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.’” (Exodus 1:11-14, 22 NIV). An evil plan from an evil man, meant to thwart the purposes of the Most High…. When will we ever learn?
The one thing that does NOT change is God. His love and power cannot be conquered. Time cannot erode them, whittling them to false hope. Nor is the promise of them for us ever forgotten by the One from Whom they flow. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV). “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8 NIV). “I will declare that Your love stands firm forever, that You established Your faithfulness in heaven itself.” (Psalm 89:2 NIV).
Now, even though the worldly powers-that-were in Egypt were weaving a web meant to snare and destroy the people with whom the Lord had established a special covenant, God was also at work behind the scenes. He was moving in the lives of those the world had branded unimportant. And He did it specifically through a mother.
“Now a man of the house 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 to him” (Exodus 2:1-4 NIV).
Through this woman, God secured two provisions essential to this nation that would be the line through which the Messiah would come. These things that He provided are the highest achievements of motherhood and define what it means to truly be a “mother”. The first provision was in the guarding of the life that God had entrusted to her in her son. In granting her a child, the Lord was giving her a part in the shaping of the future.
She could have shirked that responsibility, walked away from it, made excuses as to why she could not fulfill it in a time when it was very possible that she also could have been killed for harboring her son. But she didn’t turn from the responsibility. She shielded him as long as she could and then, in placing him in the floating basket on the Nile River, trusted God to protect him when she could no longer do so, and then had her daughter stand nearby so she could still watch over him. And because she did all these things, her little baby boy was “given back” to her when she is “hired” to be nanny to her own son as he grows up in the house of the princess who pulled him out of the river.
“Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, ‘Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?’ ‘Yes, go,’ she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.’ So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water’” (Exodus 2:5-10 NIV).
So, in addition to the awesome task of guarding the future in the guarding of her son, she was also given the privilege of fulfilling another facet of her motherly calling by being a vessel through which God brings about His second great provision: the establishment and handing down of a godly legacy. The Scriptures do not actually say what she may have specifically taught her son, but we have a tremendous clue given us when we read later that, “One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where HIS OWN PEOPLE were and watched them at their hard labor” (Exodus 2:11 NIV – emphasis mine). He knew where he came from. And in knowing it, both a courage and a loyalty were stirred up within him to respond to the injustice that he saw taking place.
While the way Moses initially responded to what was going on in the world around him was a human way of dealing with problems resulting, of course, in failure, the foundation that his mother had laid within his heart would get dusted off again in later years and be the very ground upon which God Himself would build His great work of deliverance for His people from bondage and oppression.
Today is no different in this respect. It is true that cultures change and that societies shift in their values and morals. It is even true that things that seem immutable can be gone in a flash: skyscrapers collapse, cities are nearly wiped off the face of the planet by wave and wind, governments are toppled and replaced. Even here in America, things can change in an instant. But God is even now preparing for the future and is at work behind the scenes as He always has been. Today He has given the keys of the future to the hands of mothers. So let us thank God for His provision of godly mothers and let us pray for them that they might be instruments in His hand to guard the future and to hand down of a legacy of hope and holiness through Jesus Christ.
Great anointed article,Pastor Thom!!!
Very enlighting and full of Godly Wisdom and Truth.
I was Blessed greatly!!!
Happy Mother's Day to your beautiful wife!!!
With Christian love greetings,