The faith of Moses' parents
Exodus Chapter 1 tells of the suffering of the Hebrew people in Egypt under a Pharaoh who ruthlessly oppressed them. The Hebrew people had moved to Egypt nearly four hundred years earlier, and during that time they had increased in number until the land was filled with them (Exodus 1:7). Because of their growing numbers, Pharaoh saw them as a threat, so he subjected them to slave labor and commanded every male baby to be thrown into the River Nile.
So when Moses was born, his parents had a decision to make -- would they obey Pharaoh’s order and throw their baby into the Nile to die or risk their own lives to save their little son? They surely had a fear of Pharaoh and his power over them and their family. But they also feared and reverenced God and they believed His promises. Ultimately, they had faith in God that overcame their fear of Pharaoh, and the writer of Hebrews declares: 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 (11:23).
Because of their faith, Moses’ parents chose to disregard the danger to their own lives in order to save their baby. The Hebrews passage says it is because they saw he was a beautiful child. The Greek word for "beautiful" in Hebrews is “asteios”, the same term used in Acts 7:20, “At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God's sight.” Both apparently refer back to Exodus 2:2 where the equivalent Hebrew term is used. Moses’ mother conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months.
According to these passages, God saw Moses as a beautiful baby, and his parents, having faith in God, were of the same mind. Aren't all babies beautiful in the sight of God and in the eyes of their parents? All babies are the miraculously precious creation of our loving and gracious God. They are all created in His image (Genesis 1:27), and meant to be beautiful in the eyes of their parents. God is intimately familiar with each child of His creation even before birth. David wrote, in Psalm 139, For you formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb.
I give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (13-14).
And God told Jeramiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;” (Jeremiah 1:5).
Furthermore, God’s Word reveals that all children are a blessing, Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward (Psalm 127:3).
Legally, Moses’ parents were required to throw Him in the Nile River when he was born, but morally they were committed to honor God and obey His commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). By faith they honored and obeyed God! As a result, the Nile River did not become the place of baby Moses’ death but the means of his salvation (read what happened in Exodus 2:3-10), and ultimately God used Moses to bring about the deliverance of His people.
Because of the faith of his parents, Moses lived to fulfill God’s calling and lead his people out of slavery in Egypt and deliver them to the freedom of the Promised Land. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that faith is a gift of God. Are you exercising the faith God has given you? What fears have you overcome by faith? How is God using the fruits of your faith to bless the lives of others?
Leave a Reply.
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.