It’s time to dig into another book of the Bible to study, and I’m feeling pulled to Exodus. I look forward to hearing God’s voice as I turn to one of my favorite books in the Old Testament.
The book opens with the Israelites being fruitful and multiplying, which becomes a threat to the new King of Egypt. I would love to stop here and make the correlation between the Israelites, God’s people, and the Church, also God’s people. I’d love to talk about the threat we become to the enemy when we are “being fruitful and multiplying” (and I’m referring to evangelizing…bringing people to Christ. Just so we’re clear about that). But I can’t stop here. God is speaking something else to me, so I have to keep moving.
So the king begins to oppress the Israelites by putting slavemasters over them, but the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the bigger threat they became. What was the king so afraid of?
“Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” Exodus 1:10
So the king took drastic measures. He ordered the Hebrew midwives to begin killing any male babies born to the Israelites, which the midwives did not do. So he gave the charge to his own people.
“Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: ‘Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.’” Exodus 1:22
Why the boys and not the girls? From the oppressor’s perspective, it makes complete sense. Boys become men. Men are warriors, created and built to fight for what is theirs. They are fierce, competitive, strong and brave, created to lead. With this in mind, it is understandable why the king of Egypt wanted to rid himself of the males of the people he was oppressing.
But while this king understood men, he greatly underestimated women. Many people do.
When Moses’ mother gave birth to him, she managed to hide the fact that a male had been born for 3 months. When she could hide it no longer, she made a basket, put him in it and put him in the reeds along the Nile river. Pharoh’s daughter bathed in the Nile, and found the baby in the basket.
And here is where I begin to smile.
Moses’ sister had been watching to see what would happened to the baby. When Pharaoh’s daughter found him, she knew he was “one of the Hebrew babies” (2:6). So, the sister asked her if she should go find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby. You can see the plan coming together now. Of course, she went and found the baby’s mother and brought her to Pharaoh’s daughter, who then told her “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” (2:9)
Not only did this Hebrew woman save her male baby from the clutches of Pharaoh and his evil decree, but she ended up being commanded to nurse the baby (which probably would have lasted around 2 years), and was paid for it! By Pharaoh! After she finished nursing him, she gave him back to the Pharaoh’s daughter, and he was raised in Pharaoh’s household. Because of these women, Moses was spared the fate of so many other Hebrew babies.
Women. Fiercly protective of their children. Resourceful and intelligent. Quietly dangerous to the schemes of evil.
Pharaoh feared what the Israelite men could do, and rightly so. His fear should have been bigger than that.
As we know, Moses grew up and became the man who would be used by God to make the Pharaoh’s biggest fear a reality. He would lead God’s people out of Egypt.
A lesson for the enemy…Fear God’s men, but never underestimate the threat of His women.