Hello Friend, it is good to have you here with us today. We are Heralds of Hope, and we believe every book in the Bible is inspired by God and will give us a better understanding of Him and His plan for us. This belief leads us to prioritize Scripture in all we do. This starts inside at a personal level; then it works its way out in many of our day-to-day choices. We thank God for His Word and the influence it has in our lives, and we want to see that influence become bigger and bigger.
Let’s give our attention to Pastor J. Mark for today’s teaching.
Some people are like chameleons; these reptiles have the ability to change their color to blend in with their surroundings no matter where they are. If they are sitting on the bark of the tree, they are almost invisible on the bark of the tree. If they are sitting on a rock, they look like part of that rock. Some people are like that. They change their appearance or their beliefs to blend in with their surroundings, with the people around them. They don’t want to be noticed or called out for their positions. We call them compromisers.
Others DARE TO DO RIGHT! No matter what it may cost them, they take a stand for truth and righteousness, and they don’t back down. Most people admire a person who knows what to do and does it regardless of the cost.
Exodus 2:1-10 is a beautiful Scripture portion, because it tells us about a godly couple who dared to do right, even in the face of great personal cost. The threats of the ungodly king of Egypt could not turn aside this Hebrew couple. The man was of the tribe of Levi, and so was his wife. That was the priestly tribe, the tribe from which God later chose the high priest of His people.
1. And there went a man of the house of Levi and took to wife a daughter of Levi.
2. And the woman conceived and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.
3. And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.
4. And his sister stood far off, to see what would be done to him.
5. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along, by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.
6. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and behold, the baby wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, this is one of the Hebrews’ children.
7. Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?
8. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.
9. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee wages. And the woman took the child and nursed it.
10. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.”
In these verses, we see how this mother laid her PLANS to do what she knew was right. I am impressed with the great courage of some women. This mother of Moses is a wonderful example. Her plans were laid out very well.
There was first: The Secret
In the previous chapter, we learned that the king of Egypt, the Pharaoh, had issued a decree that all of the baby boys born to the Hebrew families were to be thrown into the Nile River. He was afraid that the Hebrew people would become too numerous and threaten his kingdom.
Our text introduces us to a godly couple who were both of the tribe of Levi. This tribe later became the priestly tribe of the people of Israel. The wife, Jochebed, gave birth to a son after this decree of the king to cast all of the baby boys into the river. When she gave birth to this baby, she saw that he was a very lovely child. God had blessed them with a beautiful baby. Like any godly mother, she did not listen to the king. She did not throw her baby boy into the river for the crocodiles. She dared to do what was right.
So, she hid him. That must have been quite a challenge. If you have children or grandchildren, you know how hard it can be to keep an infant quiet! Crying is the only way he knows to express his needs. But somehow, Moses’ mother managed to keep him quiet and hidden until he was three months old. She would not do what she knew was wrong. She had a sense of morality, a sense of what was right and proper, and she would not go against that moral sensibility.
I admire her, don’t you? I admire her for being concerned for her baby boy, even at the risk of her own life. She could not know what God was going to do with this baby boy when he grew up. She could not see down those many years that he would be the one to whom God could give His law—the Torah. But she dared to do right no matter what it might cost her personally, and she saved her boy baby alive. The secret was – she hid him from the king and his enforcers.
Another part of her plan was: The Scheme
She decided to obey the king but to do it in a way that would save her boy. You read that she prepared for him an ark, or a little basket, of bulrushes. She wove this little basket boat very carefully with her own hands. She coated it with some waterproof material so that it was a river-worthy little craft. She fixed it comfortably for her three-month-old baby boy.
Imagine her laboring with her own hands to make this boat, knowing full well that she could not be sure of the outcome. I imagine many prayers ascended to God as she wove those rushes into that little basket. A fragile ark of bulrushes could be crushed by one snap of a crocodile’s jaws. But she had full faith in God’s ability because she dared to do right. So, she completed her project with diligence and made every possible preparation for his survival.
Then she took this baby boy of hers and put him in the river, as the king said she was supposed to do. Well, not quite like the king said. But nonetheless, she did put him into the river in this little boat. As part of the plan, she set her daughter, Miriam, by the river to watch so that nothing would harm him. She gave her daughter clear instructions about how to carry out her plans when the baby was ultimately discovered. Because she dared to do right, she was willing to risk her own life to fulfill her plan.
I am quite confident that, even though she couldn’t see down through the years to what God was going to do with her little boy, she trusted him to God. She had it all laid out well so that she could commit what she did to God. That is a pattern for every godly mother today.
When you do right, you can commit the outcome to God. She did, and you can. When you do right, you can commit the outcome to God, and He will see that His purposes will come to pass.
Now let’s look at the third part of the plan: The System
She put this ark of bulrushes containing the baby in the reeds along the river’s edge. She knew where Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe. So, she put the basket where it could not be missed when this princess came to take her daily bath. And it was not missed! As the princess and her maidens walked along the riverside, she saw the little boat among the reeds and sent one of her maidens to retrieve it. That was all that was needed.
The little boy’s sister was on hand at the right time. When they opened the ark, Pharaoh’s daughter’s heart was moved with compassion and pity because the baby was crying. Immediately recognized that this was one of the Hebrew’s sons. Then the little boy’s sister knew exactly what to say. She asked Pharaoh’s daughter if she would like her to find a nurse among the Hebrew women. Nothing could be more logical than that this sister would go and get the child’s mother, which she did. Pharaoh’s daughter most likely did not know that this was the baby’s own mother.
When you dare to do right, God often sees to it that it comes out right. But even if it doesn’t turn out right according to our plans, God always rewards those who do what is right. So, Moses’ sister took him home to his mother. Now he was no longer illegal, and no one needed to be afraid of his discovery.
His mother nursed him until he was weaned. Then she took him to Pharaoh’s court, and he became the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. You might think that she would be quite heartbroken in giving up her son. But had she not planned it this way, she would have given him up in the jaws of the crocodiles in the Nile River. Now he was the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and would get an Egyptian education at no expense to the family.
I am sure that her mother-heart was quite satisfied because God had intervened and helped her. She had dared to do right. Would not God now protect her son in the presence of the Pharaoh and all the learning of the Egyptians? Yes, you see, these parents trusted God and dared to do right. You never lose by doing right; you can trust God.
When you and I dare to do what is right, we never know what the outcome will be. Sometimes, God spares life like he did here and with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace. Other times, physical life is lost, like John the Baptist and James, who were killed by King Herod.
What we learn here is the importance of doing what is right regardless of the outcome. When Jochebed made her plans, she was only doing what any mother would do; giving her best to make sure her son would survive and thrive. She used her skills and her motherly intellect to make the best possible plans to ensure that her son would have a chance. She was willing and ready to sacrifice her own life so that her son could live.
We face similar situations today. We can’t control the outcome of our plans, but we can do our best with the intellect and the resources God has given us. Moses’ mother could have thrown up her hands and said, “what’s the use?” She could’ve given into despair, but she didn’t do that. And neither should you and me.
Whatever difficulty you and I may be facing, God has a plan. But that plan will never come to fruition if you and I refuse to do what is right. Like Jochebed, we can’t control the outcome, but we can control our choices and our commitment to what is right and true. So, let’s be like Jochebed and dare to do right!
Thanks, J. Mark, for this teaching from Exodus, and thank you for joining us. It is a privilege to study God’s Word and grow in our understanding together. Now let’s take what we’ve heard and allow it to affect our lives. As James tells us, we are to be “doers of the word and not hearers only.” If we just hear the Word, it’s like seeing ourselves in a mirror, then going away, and forgetting what we just saw. Don’t let that happen; allow God’s Word to change you from the inside out.
We bless you as you walk with Jesus and put His teaching into practice. If you have any questions or if you would like today’s teaching, please contact us, and ask for it by title or passage. We also have a study guide available designed to help you learn more from each of these lessons in Exodus. It is called the Hope Herald, and if you would like one, we would be happy to send one to you.
Here are a few ways you can reach us. The quickest and easiest way is through email. Our email is [email protected]. If you don’t have email, you could send us a letter, send it to Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Another way you can contact us is through our website. Our website is heraldsofhope.org. While you are there, please look on our website for this teaching and other similar teaching. There you will also find other resources available from Heralds of Hope. Again, the website is www.heraldsofhope.org. We thank you again for joining us for today’s program. I encourage you to join us again next week as we continue our journey through Exodus. We look forward to being with you then and will leave you with this thought from II Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
This episode is an exposition of Exodus 2:1-10 by J. Otis Yoder, re-recorded by J. Mark Horst, with an opening and closing by Arlin Horst.