Wednesday, July 21, 2021

2021.07.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 1:22–2:10

Read Exodus 1:22–2:10

Questions from the Scripture text: Who commands whom in Exodus 1:22? What are they to do with sons? What are they to do with daughters? From what people are the man and woman in Exodus 2:1? What do they do? What is the subsequent result in Exodus 2:2? What does she see about the child? What does she do with him? What happens after three months (Exodus 2:3)? What does she then take, and what does she do to it? Whom does she put in it? Where does she lay it? Who stands where (Exodus 2:4)? Why? Who comes down to do what where in Exodus 2:5? Who are walking along the riverside? Who sees the ark? Whom does she send to do what? What does Pharaoh’s daughter do in Exodus 2:6? What does she see? What does the baby do? How does Pharaoh’s daughter respond? What does she say? Who initiates in Exodus 2:7? What does she offer to get? How does Pharaoh’s daughter respond in Exodus 2:8? Whom does the sister/maiden get? What does Pharaoh’s daughter command the baby’s mother to do (Exodus 2:9)? What will she give her for it? What does the woman do? Instead of dying, what does the child do (Exodus 2:10)? Then where does his mother bring him? What does he become? What name does Pharaoh’s daughter finally give him at this point? Why?

We have previously noticed that the 430 years of Exodus 12:40–41 and Galatians 3:16–17 began not with the rise of the new Pharaoh and enslavement, but with the promise made to Abraham, who was a sojourner in the land, and whose descendants were also aliens until the time of Joshua. This is reinforced by the fact that the Hebrew of Exodus 2:1 refers to Jochebed as “the” daughter of Levi (cf. Exodus 6:18–20). Jacob was Moses’s great-grandfather. This history is much faster-paced and more intense than many realize.

And this intensity is both because of how the Lord is hastening to bring the promised seed (cf. Genesis 3:15) and because of how determined the Serpent is to exterminate that seed. Having failed to enlist Shiphrah and Puah, Pharaoh now gives his entire people the Satanic charge of extermination—a genocidal quest that we later see in Haman, Herod, Rome, Islam, the Roman Catholic Church, and more recently in Totalitarian Statism, with more believers being exterminated in the last century than in all the prior history of the church combined.

In a foretaste of what the Lord has done most gloriously in Christ, He uses one from Pharaoh’s own household (and at genuine risk to her own life, verbalizing in Exodus 2:6 that she recognizes this is a Hebrew child!) to preserve a redeemer for the murder-threatened Israelites. In fact, by the end of the passage, his mother is being paid to nurse him and to bring him up in the faith that would hold strong against all of the Egyptian indoctrination that Exodus 2:10 initiates (cf. Hebrews 11:23–26). 

The grand lesson is how completely the Lord sovereignly rules over all Satanic attack. The irony of the passage is very sweet. But the more detailed lesson is how those who trust in such a God as this are emboldened by that faith to defy seemingly undefeatable power. 

Amram and Jochebed hide their baby for three months (Exodus 2:2). Then, when it becomes too challenging, they hide him from being cast into the Nile in the last place one might be expected to do so—the Nile itself. The reeds camouflage the basket, and the sound (should he make any) of a wailing infant boy would have a ready (though too evil and too familiar) explanation. The word for the basket is only elsewhere used of the ark of Noah. The Lord knows how to save His elect from any danger!

The sister (perhaps Miriam, though the passage does not explicitly say so) was probably to retrieve the basket in the evening if she was able. But the divine thwarting of whatever the parents’ plan is a much greater thwarting of Pharaoh’s. Here is the deliverance of not only a baby, but an entire nation, from Pharaoh. And here is the deliverance of not only a baby, but of all believers in Christ throughout the ages, from Satan.

So let us not underestimate what the Lord will do through parents’ courage in ordinary faithfulness against extraordinary threats.

And let us also note how much may be done, by the almighty work of God’s Spirit, in even the youngest of covenant children. Hebrews 11:23 tells us that “by faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden.” By whose faith did Moses do this? Not by his own, but by his parents’ faith. One of the ordinary ways that God, Who alone gives faith, is pleased to give that faith is by means of believing parents. Moses’s parents had faith. Moses’s parents hid him. Moses’s parents were not afraid of the king’s command.

We do not know how long Jochebed nursed Moses physically. It was probably three years; it could have been as many as five or six. But we can be sure that the daughter of Levi and her husband (himself a grandson of Levi) were nursing Moses spiritually that entire time. They knew what trials would await his soul, when he was turned over to Pharaoh’s house (cf. Acts 7:21–22). 

We don’t know exactly what trials await our children’s souls. But we know our covenant God, Who is pleased to work faith and spiritual life in them, even from youngest infancy, in a way that will stand and grow throughout the remaining trials of their lives. Let us nurse them spiritually, with faithfulness and diligence, until the providence of the King of kings takes them from us into the trials and tasks that await them.

Finally, let us remember that as with Job or Haman, and especially with Christ, our Redeemer is using the devil’s own attacks to do marvelous, perfect good. We may see much such attacking in our lifetime, but every bit of it that we see will have its part in the Lord gathering in His elect, building His church, and perfecting them unto His glory and their perfectly blessed enjoyment of Him forever. May God grant unto us the faith not to fear the king, so that we and our children may be marvelously saved by the King of kings, and marvelously used by the King of kings in His saving plans for others.

What place do persecuted Christians have in your thoughts and prayers? Of what attacks on your own self/children/church are you tempted to be fearful? What is God doing through them? How are you making use of the limited time opportunity to participate in the spiritual nurture of children in your own home and congregation?

Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge” or TPH407 “Let Our Choir New Anthems Raise”

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