In most children’s bibles, the story of Moses appears in its expectedly “sanitized rendition” of a clean riverside and a waterproof bassinet. On a leisurely stroll to the river to bathe, Pharoah’s daughter finds the baby, pays for his welfare and frolics away with her giggling entourage back to the palace.
As I grew a bit in my faith and also as a parent, I came to recognize and better appreciate the sacrifice of Moses’ mother in placing Moses in the basket…and the providence of God (particularly) in providing for Moses to be nursed by his own mother while on the payroll of Pharoah’s daughter. (Go God!!) Today, however, as I read this passage again, I came to recognize an additional expression of Moses’ mother’s love that I had previous failed to fully appreciate.
This precious woman not only released her son once to save his life (Ex 2:1-4), but she did so a second time as well…to give him a great opportunity.
Then Pharoah’s daughter said to [Moses’ mother], ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. The child grew, and she brought him to Pharoah’s daughter and he became her son.(Exodus 2:9-10a, emphasis added).
Think about this for a moment. What pain this must have been for Moses’ mother! She not only dealt with the heart-wrenching experience of having to hide her son by the river to save his life…now she has to release him to another woman to be HER son to give him the best life possible. Could she have done differently? Perhaps today she would have hired an attorney and called a press conference. Perhaps today she would have slipped away under the cover of darkness and become a refugee in a foreign land. Still…reverberating in the back of her mind is this thought…”what kind of life would that be for him?”
So she takes him as a young boy and delivers him to Pharoah’s daughter to raise as her own. Now, I am not a mother…but I am married to one and, on top of that, was raised by one. I can say from experiencing them up close and personally, this was perhaps the most excruciating decision a mother could make. Still…it is precisely the decision required of every parent and even of every child of God. We do immensely difficult things for the benefit of others and against our own self-interest. We do so because we recognize that it is far more noble to love others sacrificially than to guard our own self-interest.
Now the applications are endless. Seriously, there are endless ways to apply this. I have a couple of personal applications in my mind now…for me…but what about you?
- Is it time to risk a friendship to share the gospel and maybe see a friend made so for eternity?
- Is it time to give up the “mom (or dad) as best friend” status in order to be the best parent?
- Is it time to risk rejection or failure to do what is ultimately of greater value?
The story of Moses’ mother was not placed here just to give a historical record. It serves as an example of noble living and it calls to us to live and do likewise.
How will you live this out today and the days ahead?