Tuesday, August 7, 2012

XXXII - Exodus Chapter 2 - Birth of Moses

Exodus Chapter 2  -  The Birth of Moses

Adam, you're going to like Moses.  He's your kind of guy.

Pharaoh's plan to deal with the Hebrews had unfolded in three steps, increasing in desparation and intensity.  First, he enslaved them.  Next, he secretly tried to have the midwives destroy the boy babies.  Finally, he openly ordered all the newborn boys killed.  At each point he failed.

Exodus chapter 2, vs 1  -  A Levite man married a Levite lady.  God plans from even before the very beginning.  God selected the parents of Moses.  God knew it would take special parents to bring such a leader into the world and somehow protect that child from the tenticles of a vicious and powerful pharaoh.  The Levites, as we'll learn after the Israelites return to Canaan, will become the priestly tribe by assignment.  In vs 3 it says Moses's mother hid him for three months.  That would have been extremely difficult during this time when the law decreed by Pharaoh was being so aggressively carried out by Egyptians and turncoat Hebrews alike.  And after the three months, the baby would have been too big and too loud to hide, so she made made a waterproof basket and put Moses into it and placed him gently into the Nile.  His sister (probably Miriam) stayed close to the bank of the Nile to keep an eye on what happened with the basket.

Vss 5-->    As you read vss 5 and 6 you can see how God used a member of Pharaoh's own household as an agent to save the man who would bring Pharaoh to his knees and defeat him in every way.  As the princess looked at the crying baby she felt pity upon him.  The Spirit of God must have fallen on the heart of the young princess because it was her father who had sentenced these babies to death.  Ever alert, the boy's sister asked the princess if she wanted her to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby.  The princess agrees and the sister went and got the mother of Moses.  {I think the sister planted the idea in the mind of the princess, using just the right sense of urgency so as to make the princess hasten to answer, leaving as little time for the princess to think about it or seek wise council, which could have been disasterous.}  So his mother nursed Moses until he was weaned and then took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son.  She named him Moses (name means "to draw forth from the water").

Much time has passed.  Moses was raised in the palace of the Pharaoh and was like a prince, coming and going as he pleased throughout Egypt.  In this time of growing up, Moses learned the wisdom of the society that had built pyramids, practiced medicine, and understood mathmatics better than their early counterpart societies.  And, being raised in the palace of Pharaoh, he would have been raised mostly by maidservants who would have been predominately Hebrew women, sharing with him much Hebrew knowledge.  {Although it doesn't say, I always thought that His mother who nursed Moses, made herself available to the princess to be one of the maidservants, since the child was familiar with her.}  So Moses grew up, well versed in both Egyptian and Hebrew customs.

Vs 11 tells that one day after Moses grew up that he went out to where the Hebrew slaves were working.  He saw an Egyptian overseer beating a Hebrew slave (one of his own people.  Moses knew he was a Hebrew by blood.)  Vs 12 - He looked around to make sure no Egyptians saw him, and he killed the Egyptian overseer and hid him in the sand.  He actually let his feelings of compassion and revenge get the best of him and he murdered a man.  An Egyptian.  This is no small matter.  Evidently Moses didn't seem to worry a whole lot more about it, because it says in the next verse that "the next day" he went back out to where the Hebrews were working.  {It may have been an every day occurance that Moses went to where the Hebrews were. In the New Testament book of Hebrews (chap 11) it says that Moses prefered to be with the Hebrews among their toil, than in the comfort of the Egyptian palace.  I'm inclined to think that Moses was (by the Spirit) drawn to his people to be in their midst.  This also made Moses understand their plight much more clealy, preparing him for the important mission God has selected for him.}  But during that next day, Moses saw two Hebrews fighting among themselves, and he stepped in to stop it or perhaps mediate a peaceful solution.  Then in vs 14 one of the Hebrews mentioned to him about him killing that Egyptian man the day before.  And fear fell upon Moses.  {I feel a little sorry for Moses at this point.  The Hebrew  slave spoke to him disrespectfully.  I believe by this time he realized that he had been raised by both the Hebrews and the Egyptians.  Accepted by neither.  Although he lived in the pharaoh's palace, he had no real authority.  He was a man that didn't belong anywhere.  Think about that.}  He realized that what he did was known and perhaps very well known.  And he soon found out that his fears were warrented.  The news about him killing the Egyptian quickly spread as far as the Pharaoh himself.

Vss 15-22 - Moses had to flee as he heard that Pharaoh wanted to kill him.  God led him to Midian.  {I'm not certain where Midian is.  Some scholars think it is near Sudan, which would have taken Moses southeast.  Some scholars think it would have been northeasterly toward Canaan}  When Moses entered that territory near Midian, he came across a situation where some male shepherds were harrassing some girls.  Moses was always one to intervene when he saw unfairness taking place, so he chased off the shepherds.  This of course put him in favor with the girls he rescued and also with their father Reuel (later known as Jethro).  He went to work for Jethro as a shepherd and later married Jethro's daughter Zipporah.  Moses and Zipporah had a son and named him Gershon which means "I have become a foreigner in a foreign land".

Vss 23-25 - During the time Moses was in Midian working for Jethro, shepherding the flocks, the Pharaoh died, and it was safe to assume that Moses was all but forgotten about in Egypt.  But God's people were still being enslaved in Egypt and things for them only got worse, as the dreaded Rameses II has taken the throne.  And God heard the moaning of His children, and He has had enough.

Next post - God Commissions Moses

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