01.4 Moses 1, Day 4

Blessings: given by God, not earned by man

One of the questions today opens the door to a very difficult and troubling subject.  It is one that is a stumbling block to many causing a separation between them and God.  God blessed Jochebed’s courageous faith.  Moses was saved.  Miriam wasn’t struck down for approaching an Egyptian princess.  Jochebe was even given the privilege of getting paid to nurse her own child.  But what about the other mothers of Hebrew boys?

Were those mothers and fathers less courageous?  What of the ones who refused to throw their own child into the Nile and paid the price at the hands of Pharaoh’s guards?  What of the mothers and fathers living in the tents or huts around Amram and Jochebed?  What would they have felt knowing a boy was living for 3 months as their neighbor while their own child had drowned? And what about the infants themselves?

There is a small voice we can hear that wants us to hold God culpable for the wickedness of mankind.  Why did he not stop this?  Why would He allow innocent babies then and today to be murdered?  What did Jochebed do that other mothers did not to “earn” the blessing?

But we must look at it in another light.  Is a parent a bad parent if they live in an area where gang violence takes the life of their child?  Is a leader of a nation a bad leader if they send soldiers into battle against tyrannical and terrorist forces?  Is a local mayor bad for allowing police and fire-fighters to put their life on the line each day?  When bad things happen we don’t lash out at leaders.  We acknowledge the bad for what it is and the righteous fighting against it as heroes.

God, in his love for us, mankind, has given us freedom.  He gave us the gift of being able to choose:  Do we want to follow Him and live in a perfect relationship with Him? Or do we want to follow ourselves and our own wants and desires and to be our own god?  Since Adam and Eve we have had the choice and have made the wrong choice again and again.  That is called sin.  God is not bad for giving us that choice – He is good and loving and gracious.  A parent is not bad for allowing her children to choose to love her and obey her – they are her children not slaves.  Unfortunately, choice can and does take us down the wrong path.  Through sin, evil flourishes in this world.  Through sin bad, horrible, unthinkable things happen.

For the mothers and fathers of Hebrew boys other than Amram and Jochebe it would have been very difficult to see.  But, in their day, in their neighborhood, in their midst, God was answering their prayers.  This is not the path God chose.  We chose it.  But that also does not mean our action in any way reduced God’s power and plan.  The fact that we have chosen (and continue to choose) the wrong path makes it harder on us, but God is God and His promises are always faithful and true.  While the atrocities of man are horrific and there is no comfort found in the loss of innocent lives, God’s plan and promise to bring His people home to Him for all eternity is unchanging.  The blessing is not one that we earn. Jochebe did not earn the blessing of Moses being saved.  She opened her arms of faith and received the gift of the blessing of God.

We should do the same.  The blessing, the one bestowed on all the Isrealites in Egypt through Moses, was a blessing of being set free of bondage and returned to the promised land.  In the same way we are are offered the blessing that by the grace of God, His son paid the price of our sin so we could return to a perfect and eternal relationship with Him.


My Answers:

9. Amram, Jochebe, Aaron, Miriam

a. Faith, God’s provision to keep him hidden and they were not afraid of the king’s edict because faith
b. Promised land: Gen 12:1, Gen 15:7; Increase number Gen 17:6, He would be their God, Gen 17:7;
c. Trusted God but put in papyrus basket coated in tar and pitch, placed in reeds at bath time, Miriam on guard duty
d. Moses survived, not eaten, not killed, not drowned, Pharaoh’s daughter disobeyed, paid to have him raised, took as her son
e. Financially with business changes



01.3 Moses 1, Day 3

Annihilation (a-NILE-ation)

When pharaoh’s plans were unsuccessful he didn’t turn back and change; he made things worse.  He forced the Israelite parents to kill their own children by throwing them into the Nile.

The people cried out to God.  They cried out to the torment and pain they felt.  They cried out for the innocent lives.  But they did not cry out in despair, they cried out to God in hope.

That is what separates the people of God from all others.  That is the special blessing of the prayers of Christians today.  As in those days, wicked people today do wicked things and force others to perform unthinkable cruelties.  We are right to recognize that wickedness for what it is.  We should not turn a blind eye to it or leave it to others to deal with just because it isn’t immediately affecting our daily lives.  But our focus must not be only on the problems, we must seek to look beyond to God’s ultimate promises.  We should cry out to God, the one in charge, the only one truly with the power to make lasting peace, eternal peace with Him.

But we must cry out in hope and confidence, not in despair.  Faith is in the difference in that approach.  Faith is knowing that God will keep all His promises and, while it may not be in the timing we would want, His plans to bring His people to Him will prevail.

I love the way Paul stated it in his letter to the church of Corinth as they were suffering in persecution: we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

My Answers:

a. Order that all born Hebrew boys must be thrown in the Nile
b. Wife’s stomach problems have not been resolved and continue to hurt her

Gen: Prophecy, 400 yrs enslaved, nation they serve will be punished and they come out great possessns
Is: God is Israel’s savior, they will pass through waters, rivers, fir, but enemies will pay, because love you
John: Have peace.  In the world you will have trouble but take heart I have overcome the world
2Cor: He comforts us so we can comfort others, rcv death sentence but taught to rely only on God

a. There was an end, a positive outcome.  They cried out to God in hope not just despair.  God was, is and will be in control.
b. 2 Cor 4:18 – look not at the problems all around you – they are temporary but the good things to come are eternal

01.2 Moses 1, Day 2

King’s plans, God’s plans

The Israelites arrived in Egypt when Joseph was in the midst of saving that world from a devastating famine.  Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had a plan.  His plan was to reward Joseph by honoring his family.  He gave them land and work.  He allowed them to continue to live as a separate people and worship God.

But that Pharaoh died.  Joseph died.  Time passed and the plans of Pharaoh changed.  I love the way it is worded in the NIV in Exodus 1:10, “come we must deal shrewdly”.  What an interesting choice.

Shrews are animals that live throughout the world.  Very small, the size of a mouse, a shrew is closely related to a mole.  They have very poor vision.  They are extremely territorial driving away all rivals.  They live their lives mostly in hiding in leaf litter and deep vegetation.  They have voracious appetites consuming 80-90% of their body weight each day.

The contrast between the plans of earthly men of power, the earthly pharaohs and kings, and God, the King of Kings, is drastic.  God doesn’t die.  God’s plans do not change. God is large, bigger than the universe.  God is all seeing and all knowing.  God is welcoming and inviting, desiring to bring all into His house.  God not only lives in the light, He is the light.  God provides for us all that we need.

Nothing against shrews, but, I think, as we continue to study the bible, we are called to live our lives becoming more holy each day rather than more shrewdly.

My Answers:

3. They had been welcomed guests during the great famine because of the way God, through Joseph, had saved Egypt

a. They were numerous, if war breaks out they will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country
b. Oppress them with forced labor
c. (1) The more oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread (2) The Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly
d. Birth control: Hebrew midwives commanded to kill all boy babies born, letting only the girls live

a. Death and the wrath of the king of Egypt, punishment for themselves and family.  They feared God
b. Protected them from Pharaoh and  was kind to them, the people increased and He gave the midwives families of their own