Summary: Well, it’s Mother’s Day, and while it’s a day to honour our mothers, and I hope you are all remembering your mom today. This is church and I think it’s important to honour the one who gave us our mom’s. A mother is one of the few things every human being
Let’s begin this morning with the mother of Moses by reading from Exodus chapter 2:1-10.
The first thing I want you to notice is that both the father and mother are Levites. Now we know that the Levites are the priestly line of the people of Israel, and though we don’t typically think of Moses as a Priest, we can keep in mind that he does come from that blood line and of course as we will see, his brother Aaron becomes high Priest later on.
Now last week the midwives were heroes as they stood up against Pharoah, who ordered them to kill the male babies as they were born. Just a little aside, isn’t it interesting that the government even today condones the killing of babies through the legalization of abortion. Maybe it looks like a more humane way of doing it, but the result is the same isn’t it?
Anyway, Pharoah moved to stage two by telling his own people to kill the male babies, so now the Jewish people were stuck and apparently many babies would have been thrown into the Nile River as he ordered.
However, as we saw in the Children’s video last week, Moses’ mother hid Moses under the bed for three months, because she saw that he was a fine child. Now I don’t think that means if he would have been ugly she would have let him be taken. But I think like the mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist and a few others in the Bible, she probably sensed from God that he was a special child that God would use.
That word “fine”, which is translated as many different words in our English Bibles, is a very broadly used word that generally means good or pleasant. But the actual flavour of the word has to do with welfare, in other words the good of others. So somehow she saw that he was going to bring welfare to others.
So she hid him for 3 months, then of course he probably started crawling around a bit and it would have been increasingly difficult to hide him. So in verse three she makes this basket, waterproofs it, puts Moses in it, and launches it from the reeds in a quiet little corner of the Nile River.
Now notice the irony there. Pharoah had ordered all the boys to be thrown in the Nile so they would be drowned. But here Moses mother puts him in the Nile to be saved. Cleverly then we read that she sent his sister (who would just be a child herself) to watch and see what happens. This was wise because no doubt when the baby was found, the people would be looking around to see if the mother was nearby. But a little girl would attract little attention.
So Pharoah’s daughter a princess, is bathing in the river with her entourage, saw the basket and sent one of her slave girls to fetch it. She saw that it was a handsome Hebrew boy and it says she felt sorry for it as she saw Moses crying in the basket. As far as we know this princess was not yet a mother but thankfully she had the gift that God gives to most if not all women, that motherly instinct to love and care for all children.
Most of us guys look at a new born baby, especially if isn’t ours, and we maybe don’t say it but are thinking, especially when we see the contents of that first diaper, that isn’t that cute. And you don’t see many men throwing showers because one of their buddy’s wives had a baby. Maybe they go golfing and smoke a cigar but that’s more because it gives them an excuse to go do something with the boys while the women ooh and ah over the baby.
We might shake the guys hand, have a cigar and then get talking about sports, saying things like “I guess you won’t be doing much golfing anymore huh?” But women can seem to look at any baby and see something that I think most of us men don’t see.
So thankfully it was Pharoah’s daughter and not some guy that found Moses floating in the river. Now I don’t know how old Moses’ sister Miriam was, and we don’t know if her mother told her what to do, but somehow God directed one or both of them to instruct the sister what to say to the princess.
Obviously the princess and her slaves wouldn’t be able to nurse the baby and they didn’t have formula back them, so the sister cleverly asks the princess if she can go get a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for her. A very helpful suggestion from this little girl and the princess agrees, telling her to go do so.