Summary: If we're going to rebound from failure, we must appreciate the past, be faithful in the present, and trust God for the future.
Several years ago, Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Bob Patterson described one of his pitches, which the Cincinnati Reds' Barry Larkin hit for a game-winning home run: “It was a cross between a screwball and a change-up. It was a screw-up.” (Wall Street Journal, 7/9/96; Leadership, Vol. 17, no.3; www.Preaching Today.com)
That describes our lives sometimes, but what do we do when we screw-up? What do we do when we fail? What do we do when life doesn’t go as we planned?
Exodus 2:1-10 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. 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.” (NIV)
Moses grew up a very privileged individual. Certainly, these were difficult days for the Hebrews, but Moses had a birth mother who had a strong faith in God.
Hebrews 11:23 says, “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” (NIV)
Then, when they could hide him no more, they put him in a basket and placed it in the Nile River. I agree with Warren Wiersbe who said, “It took real faith to put the child in the river, the very place where the young boys were being destroyed!” (Warren Wiersbe, Expository Outlines on the Old Testament)
To be sure, Moses’ mother was not stupid in her faith. She obeyed the letter of the law which demanded that every Hebrew boy be thrown into the Nile River (Exodus 1:22), but she did everything she could do to insure the child’s safety. She lined the basket with tar and pitch so it would float. She put it among the reeds so it wouldn’t be carried away by the current, and she put it in a place where she knew Pharaoh’s daughter would discover it.