Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Moses and Jada

I could not help but think of Jada in my morning devotions today. I read from the first two chapters of the book of Exodus, which describe the childhood of Moses, who would grow up to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. At this time, the Hebrews were in Egypt, and multiplying in number. Pharaoh feels threatened, so he asks the midwives to kill all the baby boys. The midwives fear God more than Pharaoh and refuse. Then he issues a decree that all baby boys are to be tossed into the Nile.

It is in this context that Moses is born. Would the future leader of the Hebrews be killed before he reached adulthood? Is the promise God gave to Abraham, to bless him with a multitude of descendents, in jeopardy? Into this precarious position comes God to the rescue, with the help of three women. First, Moses’ mom wraps him up tight and stows him in a basket in the Nile; ironically, she is doing what Pharaoh commanded, but takes extra care to make sure her son survives. Second, Moses’ sister watches from a distance, standing guard in a sense over her endangered baby brother. Third, Pharaoh’s daughter, having found Moses in the basket, listens to Moses’ sister’s suggestion to make sure he is cared for rather than tossed away; talk about ironies, that the daughter of the ruler who decreed that all baby boys would be abandoned and left for dead is herself taking in one of them. In the end, Pharaoh’s attempts are thwarted, and God’s plans are carried through.

I could not help but think of another baby who was abandoned, and yet also by a mother who took extra care to make sure her child survived. About a year ago, our daughter was that abandoned baby, left on the doorstep of someone’s house in the middle of the night. And God, working through unknown people, got that baby to an orphanage, where she was taken care of until we could come and become her parents. That we would have a daughter that we have come to love as our own would seem to be a small thing compared to God keeping safe the future ruler of the Hebrews and one of the great heroes of the faith. But it is a big thing to us, and a big thing to God. Sometimes I wonder about the 101 things that had to go right for her to get to us. But while I ought to wonder, in terms of being filled with wonder, I ought not to wonder, in terms of worrying that it might not have happened. For just as God intervened, foiling Pharaoh and working through three women, so He did on our behalf. And when God intervenes, there’s no need for worry. Just wonder.

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