Who would’ve thought a helpless baby hidden in a basket along the edge of the Nile River would someday lead God’s people out of bondage in Egypt? Before I interview Moses, here’s the backstory.
“And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty, and the land was filled with them.”
A king who hadn’t known Joseph came to power. The Israelites had become so numerous, he feared they might join with enemy nations and fight against Egypt, so he made them slaves. He ordered the Hebrew midwives to kill the male babies but, fearing God, they did not obey. Then Pharaoh gave an order that every baby boy should be cast into the Nile.
A woman named Jocobed hid her newborn son for three months. Unable to hide him longer, she made a basket of bulrushes, coating it with tar and pitch, placed the baby inside, and put it among the reeds along the riverbank.
When the daughter of Pharaoh came to bathe, she saw the basket and sent one of her maids to get it. The crying baby roused her compassion. “This is one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said.
Moses’ sister Miriam, who had watched to see what would happen to the baby, offered to find a nurse among the Hebrew women. Pharaoh’s daughter agreed. The woman Miriam brought just happened to be her own mother.
Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.”
And that’s how it happened that Jocobed received payment to nurse her own son. You can’t make this stuff up!
“And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water” (Exodus 2:10).
If this were a made-for-TV movie, ominous music would begin playing.
“And it came to pass…when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.”
The next day he encountered two Hebrews who were fighting and tried to intervene. One said, “Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian?”
His deed was known. When Pharaoh heard it, he wanted to kill him. Moses fled to Midian where, for the next forty years, he lived a commonplace life—marrying, fathering two sons, and tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro. Let’s begin the interview with an extraordinary event that happened in the desert.
Moses, what can you tell me about that burning bush encounter?
How random was that? I was just minding my own business—in the desert, tending sheep. Suddenly this bush burst into flames! But it didn’t burn up! Then I heard God speaking. He said, “I’ve heard my people in bondage crying for deliverance. I’m sending you to set them free.”
What did you say?
I said, who, me? I offered a few excuses, starting with: who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the children out of Egypt? The Lord said go. I will be with you. I will tell you what to say. I will tell you what to do. He sent my brother Aaron with me.
I heard about your confrontations with Pharaoh and the ten plagues preceding the great exodus from Egypt. When Pharaoh and his army pursued, did you see a way of escape?
The situation looked impossible—the army behind us and the Red Sea before us. And then God did the most amazing thing. The waters piled up, making a path through the sea. The wind blew all night drying the ground for us to pass through. When we reached safety on the other side, the waters came together again, swallowing the entire army.
After such an incredible display of God’s power, I’d expect the people to follow faithfully without doubting or complaining. How did things go?
Almost immediately they began complaining. We’re hungry. We were better off in Egypt.
Did you ever grow weary leading this complaining mob?
What do you think? The Lord kept encouraging me. I understood their complaints weren’t against me and Aaron but against the Lord.
When you reached the land God had promised Abraham, you sent a team of scouts to explore the land. What happened next?
They brought an amazing report about a luscious land flowing with milk and honey. But the inhabitants seemed like giants compared to us. Only two men—Joshua and Caleb—thought we could enter and take possession of the land. The other ten disagreed, and their negative report filled all our people with fear. They refused to move forward, and the Lord let us wander in the wilderness for forty years.
How did you manage to persevere?
I had a calling from God. He gave clear instructions. And he never abandoned me.
Hebrews says of Moses: “he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible” (11:27 The Amplified Bible).
Through one man’s unflinching obedience, God led his people out of bondage and established them in the land he had promised to Abraham long ago (read the Book of Exodus for more).
God is always faithful. And he always honors faithfulness.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these interviews with Bible friends. Don’t be surprised if one day, while you’re minding your own business, God steps out and presents an idea so far-fetched that you couldn’t possibly believe it—except it came from God.
And you respond, “Who, me?”
What do you have to go on? Only the testimony of many chosen ones before you. “I had a calling from God. He gave clear instructions. And he never abandoned me.”
I can’t speak for you—but that’s good enough for me.
What did a helpless baby have to offer? Not much. But that baby grew to be a man who fully trusted God and through his power accomplished great things. What do you have to offer? Only your devotion. God accepts that, adds his power, and turns ordinary into spectacular.
Please tell me about an unlikely mission the Lord called you to and how he led you to accomplish it. And please share this with your friends.
(Scriptures from KJV unless noted)
© Dianne Barker 2020