At this point, Joseph and his brothers, in fact the entire generation, had died and the Israelites were firmly planted in Egypt. The growth of the Hebrew population became a point of concern to the new Pharaoh and he decided to try to control the people by enslaving them. This plan was unsuccessful, so he then moved to decreeing that all the Hebrew baby boys be killed. This is where Moses’ story begins.
Can you imagine how Moses’ mother must have felt? I can imagine her fervent prayers for her child as she placed him in a basket in the reeds of the Nile, her heart gripped with fear. God heard her prayers and answered them; Moses’ life was spared and his mother was allowed to care for him until he was weaned. At that point, she presented him to Pharaoh’s daughter who raised him as her own son.
There are so many details of this story that I wish we knew. What was it like for Moses to grow up in Pharaoh’s household? How did Pharaoh handle the fact that his daughter was raising a Hebrew child? Was his birth mother allowed to be part of his life at all?
Fast forward a few years and Moses sees a fellow Hebrew being mistreated by an Egyptian and in the heat of the moment he kills the Egyptian and buries him in the sand. He is now a murderer. Word spreads quickly, and the next day when Moses tries to intervene in a fight between two Hebrews he sees what an outsider he is with his own people. Pharaoh finds out about the murder and tries to kill Moses, so Moses runs.
I love that God saw fit to give us Moses’ whole story. The Bible could have just started Moses’ story with the burning bush (next week’s story), but I think God wanted us to see the whole picture. Moses was a murderer and yet God saw what he could become. Moses came with a lot of baggage, but God was willing to work with him and bring out the man that He had created him to be, not the man that he was. Praise God He still does that today!
The Bible is not full of perfect stories about perfect people who always do the right thing. It’s full of stories about people who struggle, who fail - sometimes miserably, but who are available for God to use. I believe God gave us the Bible to give us hope; hope that we can change, hope that His plans for us are good regardless of our situation, and hope that He cares for us no matter what. I need to be reminded of that hope every single day.
My prayer for each of you as you read through these stories is that you will see the God of incredible hope and cling to Him today. He has a plan for you, regardless of what you see right now.
Director of Small Group Ministry
New Hope Church