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As I read Exodus, the attention is usually on Moses and his being used by God to lead the Israelites to safety. Often overlooked are the actions of Moses’ parents. There is not a lot written regarding Moses’ parents, just a little in Exodus and more in Hebrews. See Exodus 2:1 and Hebrews 11:23. Though I cannot fill in the missing parts to their lives as it would be arguments from silence, I have a few questions.
First off, how in the world did his mother hide him for three months? What convinced her that she could no longer successfully hide him? Finally, how did she find the courage to place her child in a basket in the water? The first two questions won’t find answers on this side of heaven, but the book of Hebrews reveals the truth about my last query. The Hebrew writer mentioned them in the great hall of faith chapter.
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict (Hebrews 11:23).
This chapter implies that people remembered Moses’ parents for their faith. Their faith was active, not those who say they are Christians, but their lives aren’t much different from those who aren’t. Their dedication to God propelled them to hide their son and then turn him loose in a river. Think about what that means. For those of you who have children, place yourself in their situation.
I can’t begin to imagine what would go through my head if I were Moses’ mom and the thought first entered my mind to put my son in a basket in the river. My gut instinct tells me that my faith would not have passed the test. These thoughts are why I have great respect for Moses’ parents and, in particular, his mother. This woman already had other children to look after while she was pregnant with Moses. Exodus gives us a look into the kind of life this family must have led as slaves in Egypt; it was hard (Exodus 1:11-14).
During an already challenging time comes a proclamation from the king to make the Israelites’ lives a little more interesting. The king ordered the midwives to kill baby boys but let the daughters live. When the midwives did not obey because they feared God more, the king told his people to cast out every son born to a Hebrew. Being a pregnant slave with a family to look after could not have been an easy task, and yet, Moses’ mother and father were still putting their trust in God. Why?
I doubt it was because they knew that there was an upcoming election and they were going to vote for their candidate of choice. That kind of reasoning suggests that if they can get the right person in the office, their lives would change to their liking. Rather than putting their trust in the current leader, or the next one, they did something otherworldly. Their confidence was in God, and they followed Him regardless of their country’s onerous proclamations.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
You see [Abraham’s] faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:14, 18, 22-23, 26).
Fast forward a few thousand years, and here we are, right on the cusp of another election. As I look at the strife in our country, I am disheartened by how far we have strayed from God. We are by no means at the same place where Moses’ parents were, but we are on the edge of watching more of our assumed freedoms crumble. Before marriage and children, going through a tough time was much easier because I only cared for myself. The addition of a family drastically changed my thinking.
Now I have others to care for and protect. At times I can feel helpless when I look at all the chaos in our country. I even feel anxious about what the future of our country will look like for my children. Then I read this stunning story of a woman who placed her son in a basket and set it to sail in a river, trusting God to either take care of him on this earth or take him from it. Either way, she knew God was in complete control over this little life He had blessed her with, and she trusted His care. The rest is history.
Sometimes it is easier to complain about what is taking place in our country than to have faith in God and His working out His plans. Yes, His sovereign permissions may involve strife and difficulties for America, and things could get nasty, but I challenge you to not put your faith in a person or in people who are like you and me—sinful. Our faith has to be in God and His ability to use all things, even bad things, for His glory.
Moses’ parents did not start up a “Make Egypt Great Again” campaign. There was nothing big or glamorous about what they did, at least not in our eyes. They humbly and submissively put their trust in the only One who was going to be able to take care of them. As election time draws closer and closer, and the possibility of losing more freedoms in the future, who do you place your trust in during this difficult time?