top of page
  • Writer's pictureDebbie Barcus & Laura Neal

October 2, 2022: The Birth of Moses- Exodus 2: 1-10

The theme for the next few lessons is about how the family of Jacob grows, first into the tribes of Israel and then into the nation of Israel. Our last lesson ended with the blessing given by Jacob to Judah regarding his lineage; that the Messiah would come from his descendants. God used the jealousy of Jacob’s sons toward Joseph to preserve his family through famine. Joseph became second in command to Pharaoh and had the wisdom and authority to rescue his unworthy brothers and keep them safe in Egypt. In Joseph’s own words,

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

In fact, God had shared with Abraham that his family would be in a strange land for 400 years.

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. (Genesis 15:13-14)

An interesting conversation is recorded in scripture in which God speaks with himself regarding the situation in Sodom and Gomorrah.

17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;

18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.(Genesis 18-17-19)

Joseph’s dying words at the end of the book of Genesis confirm the truth that God spoke about sharing information with Abraham. Apparently, he had taught his household well about the promises of God because Joseph instructed his children to be sure and take his bones with them when God delivers them to the promised land. The birth of Moses, his protection as a child, his position of influence, his desert experience, and his miraculous leadership are all part of God fulfilling his promises to Abraham. Through their experience of slavery in Egypt, God prepared a mighty nation for unmatched blessings and honor.

And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

There arose a Pharaoh in Egypt that didn’t know or care about Joseph or how he had helped the Egyptians survive a seven-year famine. As this new Pharoah takes stock of his empire, he notices that the family of Israel is many and mighty. Most commentators estimate that the family of Jacob had grown to around 2 million people by this time. Pharoah is concerned that the Hebrews might fight against Egypt or side with Egypt’s enemies, should there be trouble. Pharoah sets up taskmasters to afflict the children of Abraham and turned them into slaves of the Egyptians. Pharaoh was threatened because God’s chosen people were blessed. His cruelty toward them, including the murder of their male children, was unprovoked and unfair. However, as long as the people of God lived comfortably in Egypt, they saw no need to return to the land God had given them through Abraham. They were content, and perhaps even considered themselves to be citizens of Egypt instead of strangers in the land. The suffering God allowed to come through the hand of Pharaoh, which Pharaoh undoubtedly meant for evil, was used by God for good; to bring them into the land of promise and to bless them beyond all expectation.

And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

Moses is not the oldest in this family. He is younger than his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam. Moses' parents, Amram and Jochebed defied Pharoah’s law by hiding him, then relied on God to rescue the infant Moses by building an ark, a conveyance on water, that they placed in the Nile river. These godly parents acted in faith to protect their son. Sister Miriam followed closely alongside to watch over the baby.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.(Hebrews 11:23) .

And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.

Notice that Pharaoh's daughter had compassion and that she recognized the desperation of the Hebrew people that would cause the baby to be in this situation. God had a plan in place for the deliverance of Moses and the deliverance of his people.

Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the women took the child, and nursed it.

Conveniently, Miriam is ready to offer help to Pharaoh's daughter. Jochebed stepped out on faith building an ark, placing Moses completely into the protection of God, and now will get paid to raise her son without fear of him being taken away or cast into the Nile to die. God has turned everything around in a blessedly ironic and loving way. God uses the simple to confound the wise. God will always bless and sustain His people, often by using their enemies to do so. Again, Pharaoh's edict was meant for the destruction of the Israelites, but God used it to bring God’s deliverer into Pharaoh's very own household to be nourished and instructed.

And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

The Egyptians worshiped Hapi, the water god of the Nile River. They would pray to him for fertility. Pharaoh's daughter, by naming the baby Moses, was saying he was a gift from that deity. Ironically, that same river would be turned to blood by God through Moses. Also, the one and only true God would part the waters of the Red Sea for Moses, allowing the entire nation of Israel to pass over on dry land, demonstrating that He and He alone created and has dominance over all of creation. She drew him out of the water, but even the waves of the sea obey the voice of God.

But that is not the end of the story.

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. (Hebrews 11: 24-29) .

If anyone had a reason to become complacent in Egypt, it was the Hebrew Moses. His people were enslaved, but He was in line to rule. He was rich and powerful, admired and respected. But by faith, Moses surrendered all that he was, to become all that God wanted him to be. Moses is given instructions from God to command Pharoah to let God’s people go. Who else would have been permitted to speak to the ruler of Egypt in such a manner? God used the suffering surrounding his birth to put him in a position of influence. He used his humbling retreat to the desert after he murdered an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew slave, to teach him to hear his voice and to show him the path through the desert. God uses Moses’ staff, a symbol of his position as a lowly shepherd, to turn water into blood, to produce plagues that weakened their enemies, and to part the Red Sea. He uses Moses' voice to instruct the people on the instructions for the first Passover, which would be a mighty picture of the redemption we have in Jesus. Moses descends from the family of Levi, His brother Aaron’s family was entrusted with the priesthood and with instructing the people about God’s law. Moses is a type, or, foreshadowing, of Christ. He delivers his people from bondage into liberty. Moses records an important promise from God about the Messiah.

The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;(Deut 18:15).

Jesus said that if they had believed Moses, they would have recognized Him.

Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:49-47).

The first five books of the Bible were compiled by Moses. The song of Moses will be sung in the New Heaven and New Earth that God is preparing for his people.

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints(Rev 15:3)

In other words, “look what God can do!” God fulfilled his purpose and used Moses to overcome the mightiest nation on Earth at that time. He used the betrayal of Joseph’s brothers, the Israelite's compromise of staying in a land they didn’t belong, the evil heart of Pharaoh, the painful process Moses' parents endured of surrendering their son to God, and Moses’ embarrassment and retreat into the desert to overcome the enemy and prove to the world that He was God without a shadow of a doubt.

Ok, one more, Moses appears at the mount of transfiguration to cheer on Jesus as He faces the greatest battle and greatest victory of all time, the cross. The ultimate example of mankind giving their worst, and God using it for his glory.

And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. (Mark 9:4).

Younger Christian’s perspective:

What are you praying for God to take away, that is actually being used by God to bring you joy and blessing and himself glory? What do we miss out on when we refuse to surrender what is most precious to us to a God who loves us beyond measure? I pray that I can have my eyes opened to see what God is doing and that he will allow me to be a part of the plan. There is no greater honor.

Thank you for studying with us! God bless!



Want lessons in your inbox?

Click here to join our email list! One email per week. 

bottom of page