February 5, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?’ ‘Yes, go,’ she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.’ So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water.’”—Exodus 2:5–10 (NIV)
Have you ever looked at a situation and thought, That worked out better than I could have imagined! Maybe you were called into your boss’ office and, while you thought you were going to be reprimanded, you were actually given a nice raise! Sometimes, things end up working out way better than the circumstance would seem to indicate—and that’s exactly what happened to everyone involved in today’s passage.
First, let’s start with Moses’ mother Jochebed. Here, we see her keeping her son hidden from the Egyptians who sought to drown him in the river. Her love, faith, and courage saved him from a cruel death and preserved him to accomplish amazing things. And not only that, but after Moses was found by the Pharaoh’s daughter (who many scholars now believe was Sobekneferu, the daughter of Pharaoh Amenemhet III), she was given the opportunity to bond with her son as his wet nurse for anywhere between three and five years!
Now, let’s move to Moses’ adopted mother. It seems strange that Pharaoh’s daughter would decide to bathe publically in the Nile, the same place where all the Hebrew babies were drowned. She obviously would have had a place to bathe in the palace that was more than suitable. So, what’s the deal? Well, this is almost certainly related to Hapi, the god of the Nile who was also the god of fertility. Having no children, she would have bathed and prayed in this river for child, and when she found such a “fine child” (Exodus 2:2 NIV), she not only “felt sorry for him” (Exodus 2:6 NIV), but also no doubt considered him an answer to her prayers.
Finally, we have Moses himself, the child who went from having a death sentence on his head before he was even born to being a prince of Egypt on the road to accomplishing a purpose beyond what either his birth mother or adopted mother could have ever dreamed of!
Now, I want to point out to you the most important aspect of this chapter: All these circumstances that worked out better than anyone involved could have imagined were designed by God for His great purposes and plans. Jochebed’s decision to hide her son and then send him in the basket down the Nile was ordained by God. Pharaoh’s daughter being there at that moment was orchestrated by God. Moses’ salvation was part of God’s plan! And in the same way, God uses every moment, instance, circumstance, and situation—the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and the triumphs and the tragedies—in our lives for our good and His glory!
So, pray for His will every day for your kids, friends, and loved ones. Pray to walk in obedience, integrity, and Christ-like living. Pray so you may be prepared to accomplish His purposes and plans, and that you may be equipped to endure they valleys as well as the mountaintops.
Pause: What does this passage teach you about God and His plans?
Practice: Get in the habit of praying according to His will, asking for His will to be done, and asking that He reveals all He desires for you to know, see, experience, and do in order to accomplish His purposes and plans.
Pray: Father, Your will be done in me, in my life, and in this world. Have Your way in me, and use me to accomplish all that You see fit. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.