Moses. A child whom the parents recognized as an extraordinary child when he was born. He came into the world at a time when there was an order that all male children born to Hebrew women should be killed at birth. Against all odds, he survived. Hiding him for three months was an act of faith. So also was the act of placing him on the river Nile in a small basket.
I am sure that Moses’ mother did not in her wildest dreams believe that Moses would be raised in Pharaoh’s palace. She was only hoping that someone, probably a Hebrew, would see the baby and have compassion on him. How the heart of Moses sister must have skipped a beat when the person who saw the baby was Pharaoh’s daughter! Ordinarily, this should have meant instant death for the baby but God had other plans.
When Pharaoh’s daughter saw the baby, she recognized the baby as a Hebrew child but had compassion on him (Exodus 2:6). This was the sign Moses’ sister needed to run up to Pharaoh’s daughter and tell her she knew someone who could nurse the baby. Thus, Moses’ mother became a paid nurse to take care of her own child!
Moses was a child whose life was preserved by the faith of his parents. We also learn that by faith, when Moses grew up, he refused to be recognized as Pharaoh’s child. (Heb 11:24) This act of faith denied him of the pleasures and privileges he would have enjoyed being recognized as a member of the royal family of Egypt.
When Moses was sent by God to Egypt, he went by faith. He had previously been a wanted man for killing an Egyptian oppressing an Israelite. Every time God gave Moses an instruction for Pharaoh, He delivered the message having faith in God’s ability to bring His word to pass. There is no doubt that Moses was a man of faith, a faith which I believe He inherited from his birth parents.
The account of scripture was clear about the humility of Moses. In his lifetime, he had the testimony of being more humble than anyone else on the surface of the earth (Numbers 12:3) This was not just mere commendation of Moses’ attitude but a testimony of his character by God Himself. At various times, people said bad things about Moses but it was never recorded that he grew angry or retaliated in any way. What a lesson to learn from Moses! As I write this, I remember the times I am not proud of- the times people said wrong things about me or did me wrong without cause and I retaliated with words capable of hurting them.
Oh, how I remember with sadness the times on the road when other drivers provoke me with their terrible driving and the words of anger flew out of my mouth before I could stop them! Oh, I have to learn from this man Moses, who even when criticized by his own brother and sister for marrying an Ethiopian woman, took it in stride and did not bother to defend himself. God had to intervene and meted out discipline to his sister for spearheading the attack on the person of Moses.
How do you handle criticism? Do you respond in anger and try to prove your innocence with much force? Do you dig up dirt on the other party and fling it at them to make yourself feel good? Learn from Moses. He went on doing the things God sent him to do. He was so busy for God, he did not have time to think about what was being said about him.
I believe Moses could keep his cool because he believed in God who is able to vindicate his children when they are being unjustly treated by others. This lines up with the teaching of Jesus, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matt 5:44)
Moses was a great leader and a man of vision. He had the vision that one day the Israelites would be free from the claws of Egyptian slavery. He did not only live to see this happen, he was the one to lead the people out of slavery into their God given freedom!
(To be continued)