Psalm 25:1 (NIV) “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.”
Psalm 56:4 (NIV) “In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
I had to ask myself a tough question as I read the words of Exodus chapter 2. In the first few verses, the story is told of Jochebed, the mother of Moses, hiding her 3 month old son in a basket in the reeds by the riverbank. I began to ask myself questions as I read the words. Would I have the courage to do something like that? Would I trust God with my baby’s life?
Have you ever wondered why she put her son in a basket and laid him alongside a river? This happened during the time the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt (Exodus 1:8 – 14). Pharaoh was afraid of the Hebrew’s (Israelites) growing number so he commanded the mid-wives to kill all male babies birthed by the Hebrew women. The mid-wives didn’t follow Pharaoh’s order. They feared God more than Pharaoh and because of this reverential fear, the Hebrew population grew even more.
Jochebed was one of the women who gave birth to a boy during this time. She hid Moses in her home for 3 months until she could no longer hide him. Can you imagine what is going through her mind during those 3 months? I can only dare to imagine.
I wonder what her thoughts would have been as she held him while nursing. Perhaps something like this: “My son, what a wonderful gift from God, there is no way I can let you die. There has to be a way to keep you alive. Oh God! What do I do? Where can I hide him.”
Jochebed made a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch (Exodus 2:3). She placed the child in the basket and laid him in the reeds along the riverbank of the Nile and trusted God to keep him alive. Can you just imagine the scene? Could you have watched as your baby lay in the reeds? I’m not so sure I could have done that. Jochebed sent Miriam, Moses’ sister, to stand at a distance and watch .
Now I don’t know about you…but I am pretty sure I would not have been able to go through with this plan. True, Jochebed thought this was the only possible way to keep the boy alive. But think of the risk she was taking. I’m sure there were animals by the river. When I think about that, I think about snakes. YUK. I am not a big fan of snakes. That thought just gives me the creeps. Perhaps she remembered the stories that were handed down about Abraham and Isaac. God protected Isaac, so surely God would keep her baby alive. Her courage and faith allowed God to show up in a big way. His will for Moses’s life was being set into motion in the midst of the reeds and she didn’t even realize it.
What could God’s will possibly be for Moses in this situation? I am certain Jochebed was scared and felt utterly hopeless. But she trusted God, and what she couldn’t see in that moment she trusted God to work in her current circumstance.
Soon after Jochebed placed Moses in the reeds, Pharaoh’s daughter came to the river for a bath. She noticed the basket in the reeds and ordered her maid-servant to bring it to her. When she opened it, she saw Moses. He was crying so she took pity on him. She assumed he was a Hebrew baby. Her assumptions were correct. When Miriam approached the the woman, she asked if she could go find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for her. Pharaoh’s daughter said “Yes” and Miriam returned to her mother and shared the good news. The woman named the boy “Moses” and hired Jochebed to nurse him. What joy Jochebed must have experienced in that moment. Her son was alive and she could raise him and be the primary influence in his life.
In the midst of horrible circumstances, Jochebed was able to take advantage of the opportunity God had given her. Jochebed’s act of courage and faith was the beginning of God’s plan to place a Hebrew in the house of Pharaoh and ultimately rescue His people from Egypt.
So what about you? When your current circumstances look bleak, do you become paralyzed by fear because the situation looks humanly impossible? Or do you, trust God to reveal His plan for that situation in His timing?
You can trust God with every little detail of your life. He will bring light out of the darkest situations if you keep your focus on Him and remember He has a plan…and He is at work in every circumstance.