The Deliverer Delivered

Exodus 2:1-10

How many times have you heard “I sure wouldn’t want to be bringing children into world today! As awful as things are getting, no way!” Even well-meaning Christians been known to share that sentiment. Certainly seem to be justified way of thinking for mom and dad in text. After all, what were chances baby would live to grow up? 50-50, maybe. What kind of future could he have, being born into slavery?

Something set this mom and dad apart from average neighbors – faith in God, carried out in action. Lots of people claim belief in God – would be hard-pressed to identify their god. Lots claim to have faith… but in what or who? Same should be true of Christ-followers today as was true of Moses’ parents – faith in true God that is obvious by choices made in daily life.

We know who Moses would be, have read rest of the story. One whom God would use to deliver his people from slavery in Egypt, serving as example of later Deliverer who releases his people from slavery in sin. Was born to a family of faith who then lived by faith. God’s hand obviously at work in pagan and believer alike, moving Pharaoh’s daughter to compassion and blessing Jochebed for her faithful obedience. Unlike later Deliverer, this one would need to be himself delivered from harm… more than once as will see later!

A. born to a family of faith v.1-2

NT tells us so – see Heb. 11:23

“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

“beautiful child” “healthy child” “fine child” = “God saw that it was good”

this no ordinary child, obvious even to parents that God had purpose for him; Stephen described him as “well-pleasing to God”, extraordinarily handsome

if centuries later God could make plain to Elisabeth identity of her own son and of Mary’s, could certainly have given Jochebed similar understanding about his purpose for Moses

from tribe later designated as priestly

both mother and father of tribe of Levi – God’s hand at work, selecting and preparing future mediator even down to who parents descended from

not a primitive people – knew what caused pregnancy

already had daughter and son, did not need another son to carry on family name; had child anyway, another evidence of faith

passed along heritage to children – Moses knew he was a Levite

remember who human author of Exodus is: Moses years later writing his own history… with detail and accuracy

B. placed in the river by faith v.3-4

“ark of bulrushes” “an ark of gopher wood” – only two places where (תּבה, tebah) used (Gen. 6-9, Ex. 2)

intentional connection – other Heb. words available for “basket”… that Moses used – making the point that just as God delivered Noah and family using ark of gopher wood, so God delivered Moses using ark of bulrushes

nothing random about circumstances of Moses’ deliverance – every aspect orchestrated by God according to his purpose

no reason to believe faith ran out

was faith that took away fear of edict – was kind of faith that had proper object: a higher authority than the king

confidence in true God that he both could and would overrule Pharaoh’s evil intentions – God had power and desire to protect and provide for those who trust in him

same faith would give confidence in God’s deliverance – if God guarded infant from harm during first 3 months, reasonable to think would continue

also reasonable to believe Amram and Jochebed knew history of their people – was oral history at that time, passed down from one generation to next

key part of that history: covenants God made with particular individuals and promises connected with them, one in particular – read Gen. 15:13-16

probable that at least some of Hebrew children remembered that promise and could do math: was Moses the one in fourth generation who would lead his people back to Canaan?

demonstrated by action

made the basket – done purposefully, painstakingly: intended to keep baby from harm, not hide some sinister intent

surely does not appear to be action of someone who is hopeless, desperate, out of options, and had given up on God

placed the baby – probably swaddled baby so couldn’t toss and turn, tip himself out into the water and become lunch for waiting crocodile

chose the place – another indication of Jochebed having a specific plan other than consigning Moses to fate – in the reeds by the bank

current in river approx. 4 mph – would have taken small ark like that on quite a journey in just short time

appointed the watcher

final detail of Jochebed’s plan of action – has all earmarks of purposeful expectation: did she know something?

as if mom knew what would happen next: done with hiding the child, wants him to be found by particular individual

unlikely to put young child (7-12 yrs.) where she could see brother murdered – mom was expecting good outcome

C. God moves Pharaoh’s daughter v.5-6

remember last edict of Pharaoh

“Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river” – included his daughter

put herself at risk

were witnesses – maids – would be loyal to princess but only to a point; given right incentive, her actions no longer secret

baby’s identity obvious – instantly recognized as someone potentially very dangerous – in midst of all swirling questions, compassion rose to surface

her response natural but contrary to edict – father expected princess to throw baby into river without aid of his little boat

would princess be the one who turned tide of evil? Pharaoh bested by Hebrew midwives, now by own daughter, little hope evil plan would succeed

probably not first time to river

why Jochebed chose that location – later on a regular habit of Pharaoh (7:15), princess probably had favorite spot

meant she had probably seen other babies die – yes, argument from silence, but no record princess intervened any other time

this time – different – had compassion – can we possibly believe all this happened by chance? must see hand of Divine Providence superintending all details of Moses’ deliverance

and….the princess took advice of slave girl – one Pharaoh allowed to live persuaded his own daughter and frustrate his plan; river intended by Pharaoh to destroy Hebrew children the means of deliverance of God’s future servant

D. God blesses Moses’ mother v.7-9

gave sister words to say – rare child who would have kept composure in these circumstances, asked right question – further evidence of God at work

gave Pharaoh’s daughter ears to hear – best solution given God’s plan, by no means the only one… Egyptian nursemaid e.g.

gave mother unexpected opportunity

mom could raise/nurture own son – continuing day by day to instill in Moses his Hebrew identity and rich heritage

could be a stay-at-home mom – your wages – had no guarantees going in would turn out this way: Jochebed getting paid to do what she would have done simply out of love

truly God present and active in all these details, turning Pharaoh’s evil design on its head – royal resources from highest level used to prepare and equip one who would deliver people Pharaoh tried to destroy

E. God delivers his deliverer v.10

gave significant future

future continually in doubt so long as Moses identified with his people – no guarantees he would survive or prosper under Pharaoh’s brutality

great hope for illustrious future so long as part of Pharaoh’s household; even more so given future God had planned for him

gave strong foundation

started with birth mom, continued under direction of princess – in all of this, seems Moses had some understanding of his God-ordained destiny

adoption – “he became her son”

pictures 2 things: first, means God used to prepare his servant for future ministry – from beginning, God had Moses’ adoption in mind, an essential part of Moses’ equipping for later ministry

second, element of redemption of all elect – remember, “​Now all these things happened to them as examples” (1 Cor. 10:11)

yes, certainly was practical reason for Moses’ adoption – gave him access to best of everything necessary for intellectual and physical development: “Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.”

equally important: Moses’ adoption pictures our own experience – when we come to Christ in faith, are adopted out of slavery into family of the King with access to best of everything necessary for spiritual development

Just as God showed love for Hebrew children, preparing deliverer for them, has sent deliverer for all his children: Lord Jesus, ultimate demonstration of God’s love. Through faith in him, will be delivered from slavery in sin, adopted into King’s family and given true freedom in Christ.

 

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