Exodus Chapter 2 Verses 1-10
2:1 “And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3 And when she could not 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. 4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. 5 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. 6 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. 7 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? 8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. 9 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 woman took the child,
and nursed it. 10 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.”
Now the king’s commandment was that all the male babies were to be cast into the river. However, the mother of Moses chose to disobey the commandment for three months until the child could no longer be hidden. Then she made an ark of bulrushes and daubed it with slime and with pitch so that it could float in the shallow water of the river. We are not told why she did this, but she was apparently
trusting in the Lord for the child’s safety. The providence of God is very much manifest in the events that followed the casting of the child in the ark into the river. The mother had indeed obeyed the letter of the king’s commandment as she cast the baby into the river. God in his providence, not only saved the young child from death, but also put a stop to the king’s command to murder the young children.
At this point the daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river to wash herself at the river, while her maidens walked along by the river’s side. Pharaoh’s daughter spied the ark and send a maiden to fetch it. When she had opened the ark she spied the child and at this precise moment the babe wept. Pharaoh’s daughter, unlike her father, had compassion on the baby and noted that it was one of the
Hebrew’s children. The baby’s sister came down from her observation post and came to Pharaoh’s daughter and asked her saying: “Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?” To this Pharaoh’s daughter agreed. “And the maid went and called the child's mother. 9 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 woman took the child, and nursed it.” Thus, Moses was nursed by his own mother and raised by Pharaoh’s daughter.
We learn several things from the above narrative:
1. Pharaoh’s wicked command to cast the male babies into the river was stopped by the compassion of his own daughter.
2. Moses mother’s trust in the Lord for her child’s safety was rewarded by the Lord.
3. Moses mother ended up nursing her own child that Pharaoh’s daughter took out of the river and was paid wages to do so.
4. This was the second time that Pharaoh’s wicked design to kill the male babies of the Hebrews and make their daughters sex slaves was thwarted.
5. This chain of events set in motion that the Hebrew child that was raised in Pharaoh’s house would be the one who God would ultimately use to deliver the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
Some have compared Moses being placed in the ark and coming up out of the waters of the river to the death and resurrection of Christ. I do not disagree with that analogy, but I see the ark itself as a type of Christ and Moses as typical of God’s elect children. It was the ark that went down into the waters of the river and Moses was in the ark. This is akin to Christ going down into the waters of
death and we, like Moses, were in Christ when he died on the cross. Likewise, we were in Christ when he arose on the 3rd day. We, like Moses, who was under the king’s judgment, were under the judgment of God and were delivered from that judgment by Christ’s death and resurrection.
:11 “And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of
the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? 14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian:
and he sat down by a well.”
Heb. 11:23 “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. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the
reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”
Acts 7:22 “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by
his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he showed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29 Then fled Moses at this
saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.”
By comparing the three passages of scripture above, we can learn a lot about Moses and his thoughts and actions at the time that Moses slew the Egyptian:
1. Moses, having been brought up in Pharaoh’s house was schooled in all the ways of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds. From a standpoint of the flesh, it could be said that Moses had it made. He was the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter and was legally heir to Pharaoh. He was a learned man and mighty both in words and in deeds. Due to the riches of Pharaoh’s
household, Moses could have partaken of all the pleasures of sin. It certainly was not inconceivable that Moses could have one day become king of Egypt himself. Yet, Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. This is a great lesson for all of us as God’s children. “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for
he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Likewise, we should esteem the reproach of Christ to be far greater riches than enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. Christ richly rewards his faithful children with his felt presence; his many deliverances; his direction in life; his comfort, rest, and peace; the riches of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom found in his word; and his fellowship.
2. Moses thought that the children of God would understand that God by his hand would deliver Israel. This suggests that God had showed him that God would by his hand deliver Israel. However, Moses was not ready to be an instrument in the deliverance of Israel. No doubt Moses thought that he was ready to deliver Israel. After all he was highly educated. He had political pull.
He had many human skills through his training in Egypt and in the household of Pharaoh. What Moses did not understand at this time is that none of those things would be of any use to him as an instrument that God would use in delivering Israel. Moses was ready to go in his mind, but he was far from being ready to go as a servant of the Lord. Moses would need forty years in the backside of the desert keeping his
father-in-laws flocks before he would even be minimally ready to begin the task of delivering Israel. It has been my personal experience and also what I have observed of God’s people in their service to God, that we are the most willing and the least able when we first begin our trek in serving God. Our fleshly pride tells us that we are ready to do great things in the Kingdom of God. However, we must first become
followers before we can become leaders. Each of us has much training that we need to undergo before we are prepared for leadership in the household of faith.
Shortly after I was ordained to the office of elder in the Primitive Baptist faith, I felt like I was called as an evangelist. Moreover, when the Lord blessed me in the work to constitute a church in Denton, Texas, I felt even more strongly that I was called to be an evangelist. Then for the next 25 years I served as a pastor only and did no work outside of the local church in the way of evangelism.
At this point I began to think that I was mistaken about a call to be an evangelist, but rather that God had called me to be a pastor. What I did not realize at the time was that I had to learn how to be a pastor before I was prepared to train other men to become pastors, which is one of the chief responsibilities of an evangelist. I was ready to go early on in my ministry, but did not realize I had much training
to do before I was truly ready for the work.
3. Moses went out to his brethren to see how they fared and looked on their burdens. He spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew servant. Moses finally saw the injustice done to those who were slaves to men. Moses, no doubt, knew that these were his people as he was nursed by his natural mother and he was of the same race as they were. Moses acted in anger as he slew the Egyptian who
had smitten the Hebrew servant. He thought that no one saw what he had done and hid the Egyptian man in the sand. However, our sins find us out. Moses by slaying the Egyptian was just as guilty of injustice as the Egyptian had been. Actually Moses sin was a more grievous sin than the Egyptian’s sin. Moses sin was found out and Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh. The above illustrates the sovereignty of God in
his selections of who he will have to serve him. Moses was a murderer and yet God chose him to deliver Israel. This illustrates both God’s sovereignty and God’s grace and mercy. All but one that God has chosen for service is sinner, saved by grace, and chosen by the sovereign will of God. The one exception is Jesus who knew and had no sin.
4. For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he showed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a
judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? By the above statement from one of his brethren Moses saw himself as being rejected as a leader who would lead them out of Egyptian bondage. This helps explain why Moses later asked God to give him signs that he might show unto Israel that God had sent him. Moreover, the above teaches us that rejection by one or more of God’s people does
not mean that God has rejected us or our efforts even though we may think so.
Moses fled from Egypt based on the above saying, knowing that his evil deed was known unto men and that Pharaoh would seek his life. Moses had not yet learned that he was not ready to lead the children of Israel nor had he learned to trust in the Lord. These are all lessons that he will learn later.
5. “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Moses action here was an example of
faith used in the 11th chapter of Hebrews. If Moses had not had and demonstrated faith in God, he would not have refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, nor would he have chosen to rather suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Moses had much room to grow in faith as do all of us. Yet, Moses demonstrated that faith early on as he made the
choice to esteem the reproach of Christ as greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. Likewise when we choose to become disciples of Christ rather than to continue a sinful path of life, we are also demonstrating faith in God. It is in the walk of faith that we grow in faith and become better servants unto God.