Can you imagine being a pregnant Hebrew living in Egypt during the time of Moses? Not only did the Egyptians “ruthlessly [make] the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service”, but also we read in the first chapter of Exodus that they have enacted a policy which ensures the death of your child, if he is a boy.
Don’t gloss over this. What does it mean to have a “bitter” life? It means that you hate to wake up every morning. There isn’t much hope. There’s no hope of retirement on the horizon. No weekends off. No pay. No life of your own. This kind of life becomes bitter. The sunrise doesn’t bring you joy—it ticks you off. Your sense of humor, if you’ve even got one becomes dark and sarcastic. Your heart becomes cold and calloused. And every day it only deepens. They are enslaved with no hope of this just being a rainy day. This is life.
If there was any hope to be had—any sunshine on the horizon—it might have been having a son. A young man that can perpetuate your family name, perhaps someday he’ll taste freedom. But that hope would now be dashed. Pregnancy became a time of fear instead of joyous hope. This is a horrendous situation and it seems completely contrary to the promises that God made to them in Genesis 12:1-3. They don’t have rest, rule, or relationship. And there is no indication that their situation is due to their own rebellion.
Maybe you are feeling as if your situation is similar to the Hebrew people during their Egyptian slavery. Perhaps it is more than a feeling—it is possible that your situation is all too similar to theirs. Where can you look to find hope in such a dire circumstance? One place to turn is the story of God’s protection of baby Moses. In this story, we see the seeds of hope that would be fully realized in Jesus Christ and will be actualized in the new heaven and the new earth. I see 4 things in the story of God’s protection of baby Moses that can help us today.
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