Moses: Provisions Prepared in Advance

Text: Exodus 1

Is anyone else guilty of skipping over chapter 1 to go straight to chapter 2 when the birth of Moses occurs? I know it's not just me. I didn't really read chapter 1 until about a year ago when I was drawn to 2 characters in particular during a She Reads Truth study on women in the Bible. If we're not careful, we'll write this chapter off and miss something so profound as far as application to our lives...  It's chapter 1 that sets the tone for the story of Moses AND for your story!

I'm still working on the delivery and setup of this series, so for this post, we'll go back and forth from explaining what's going on in the text to the application/importance. Y'all just bare with me!

Imagine: Fresh off Joseph's victory, the newly named, literal "children of Israel (Jacob)" have made Egypt their home, to the point that they had overpopulated the land (verses 1-7)
  • Notice that they arrived to Egypt in desperation for relief, but were actually foreigners. The children of Israel were sent to Egypt for preservation because God had allowed all of the turmoil to happen to Joseph, knowing that it would be the foundation upon which God would need to deliver up a leader for His people to be led to the Promised Land.
    • Don't question your situation. You NEVER know how God will weave all of the seemingly broken pieces together. Joseph was the beloved son of Israel AKA Jacob. Though, separated from his dad for a large duration of his life due to wrongful persecution, God still had a calling on his life, and Joseph's situation led to a perpetual salvation of the descendants of his family, forever his dad's namesake, and because of his leadership in Egypt, established the Hebrew people in the country that they would later be delivered out of. Your persecution CAN yield progress and purpose! There are already preconceived provisions in place! Just abide in God because He has a plan.
Verse 8 tells us that all the success Joseph had by being 2nd in command to Pharaoh was forgotten by the new king of Egypt. The respect that the former Pharaoh had for Joseph and his family was null and void. Verses 9-11 explain how, out of fear, the new king organizes the Egyptians together to take them into bondage as slaves out of fear that the Hebrew people would become so large and mighty, overtaking them.

  • You can't worry about man. We as humans, in our flesh, are so finicky. What's popular one day, is long forgotten the next, and vice versa. You have to understand though, like the Hebrews, when God has ordained something for His purpose, it doesn't matter who changes in the human realm, God still is in control and has a plan. The Egyptians forgot about Joseph and his legacy that brought the children of Israel to Egypt in the first place, but God never did. The Hebrews became slaves to the Egyptians, but God never forgot about His plan to deliver them. I am a living witness- you WILL find yourself in situations where your back is against the wall, and your character that once carried you to high places has been forgotten; people who you "ruled and reigned" with, will be long gone. People may turn their back and forget that they vowed to support you and stand by you, but God never will. Even when you feel "in bondage" to the struggles of this life, you have to believe God knows and is working; He has a plan. I know, I know... it's so easy to lose sight of what's going to come. I'm sure the Hebrews thought their lives were over as soon as they were enslaved. They probably couldn't imagine that God would raise up a Hebrew boy to be the catalyst for their salvation. and that's fine; God doesn't call us to be Him or think for Him. He's the Potter and we are the clay; Be still and let him mold you. His deliverance plan is always in action!
  • The new Pharaoh acted out of fear. He knew the power that the Hebrews had, particularly in numbers. There will be people who see the power of God on your life and the calling/gifts He has given you, and they WILL be intimidated. They will not be able to support you, so the best they'll be able to do is to attack and discredit you to make themselves look or feel better.... try to put you in bondage to a lie or convince you that you're not worth anything; defeat and enslavement are better. Don't believe it! No matter what you see around you, you HAVE to believe that God is working from up above. We can't see how He sees. Don't panic; don't fear, just because of what you see. When people treat you how the new Pharaoh treated the Hebrews, rest assure that there's a power that rests on your life that even your enemies can see. Be honored by their jealousy and intimidation; keep pressing on for God.
    • Your enemies cannot win when God is on your side. See verse 12. The Bible says, "But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel." That's how God works! (See also: Genesis 50:20) When God brings you to a battle, no matter how it seems, your enemies WILL not prosper. Look at the Egyptians! They tried the best they could to break the Hebrews down, but the more they attacked, the greater the Hebrews grew. What a perfect picture of a battle between us and our enemies. God is on our side, so we know we're on the winning side! Your enemies will keep trying, but they CANNOT stop your growth, if you give it to God. I love the end of verse 12- "And they were grieved because of the children of Israel."
      • My mom is a character lol... I can remember as a kid, being SO ANGRY at her from time to time because she wouldn't let me have my way, and I would make it known that I was angry... I mean, stomping up stairs, politely slamming the door so I wouldn't get beat lol, you name it, and she would always come up to my room, hug me, and tell me she loved me or something. I hated it. Like, I'm going out of my way to let you know that I am upset by you, and you just gon' love me? So you're unphased, even after all my antics to phase you? How rude. I'd put all of my energy into being mad, and she would go about her life smiling and unaffected. That's how I imagine the Egyptians and the Hebrews here. No matter what the Egyptians tried, they couldn't phase the Hebrews.

So, unfortunately, as a last resort, the Egyptians decide that if they can't change how many Hebrews are alive, they'd focus on killing any newborn babies because that would stop the perpetuity of the children of Israel. The king calls all of the Hebrew midwives together and tells them to kill any newborn boys that are born to Hebrews. How awful! I know, for many of us, we're so familiar with this part of the text that we just zoom by it, but have you ever put yourself in the position of the Hebrews, particularly the mothers, to think about this affected them? Imagine knowing that you've just conceived a child, happily, but know that you will go through carrying it for 9 months and bonding with it, and there was a 50/50 chance that your child would be killed as soon as you give birth? I'm sure that to'e up the Hebrews! They were probably thinking they were victorious against the attacks of the Egyptians until this word was spread around. That's how trials work- oftentimes, from our perspective, they get worse before they get better. That's a trick of the enemy. The devil doesn't have that much power of you, but if he can sow doubt and discouragement in your life, you'll defeat your ownself, without his help. Don't give in! I find myself having to rebuke and proactively pray over the spirit of doubt and discouragement daily! The truth of the matter is, God sees it all, so what looks worse to you, is right on time with the plan according to God. The victory will still be given despite what you feel are blips in the journey. You don't determine your victory; God already has. How you view it is honestly, irrelevant!

Verse 15 names 2 women, Shiphrah and Puah, who were Hebrew midwives. Pharaoh tells them the new rule regarding killing newborn baby boys. Imagine, being Hebrew, yet tasked with the job of killing your OWN people. I mean, the 12 children of Israel had died pretty recently... so all of the Hebrews were still pretty close in a genetic, familial sense, so these women were being tasked with killing their actual family members. It's one thing to be persecuted by strangers, but to know that your family is the one carrying out the injustices towards you? WOW. That's so intense and so tragic! But I love verse 17, "But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive." Verse 20 tells us, "Therefore God dealt well with the midwives..." God blessed them :) God WILL honor you for honoring HIM in the midst of wrong. Believe that!

  • God is a way maker! I mean, He really is! He will always provide a "ram in the bush"- a delivering vehicle just in the nick of time! This is why we have to be leery of trying to fix our situations on our own because God has it taken care of; He doesn't need our help. God allowed the Hebrews to go through the pain of knowing that the Egyptians feared them so much that the citizens who they once lived co-existingly with now were willing to kill them by way of genocide (which I'm sure was a wake up call), but God preserved them by establishing godly women in those positions whose fear of God was greater than fear for Egypt, because you know what? It's because of these women that we have a MOSES in our Bible. Their boldness to save the lives of Hebrew boys led to the birth of a leader who would deliver the Hebrews from this very bondage. You never know what your obedience will give way to! Your obedience can yield mighty miracles and deliverance!
    • You know what also sticks out? The Bible gives the names of these 2 women, but we don't know their status in the community of the Hebrews. We don't know how many babies they saved, or if they told the other Hebrews what they were doing. God allows us, as the readers, to know for the sake of showing that we won't always be privy to the exact methods that He uses to save and deliver us in our trials. We can look at Shiphrah and Puah and say, "Wow. How amazing! God raised them up for this very specific time!" 
      • While it stinks that the Egyptians turned on the Hebrews and wanted to kill them, think about how the story would have been if they lived peaceably in Egypt forever? Would there have been a need for these midwives? Would there have been a need for Moses? Do you think the Hebrews would've ever felt the need to leave Egypt so strongly? Would they have had an interest in the Promised Land, or would they have stayed complacent in Egypt? We have to understand that our trials are so uncomfortable; again, I'm raising my hand and speaking directly to me, BUT, God knows what He's doing, in a way that only He knows. Some of the toughest things we go through are PAINFULLY NECESSARY because they bring forth such a great fruit. Sometimes God has to take us through these painful situations where we see the fire turned up so highly against us and we feel so helpless and hopeless so that we 1) lean on and cling to God, and no one else 2) resist complacency and 3) embrace progress because He has better. The Hebrews were only called to Egypt for an appointed season, but that wasn't their home. They weren't meant to forever be visitors in a land that was never theirs. God had already established a land to them, that He promised specifically for them with an overflow and abundance of blessings. As great as Egypt may have been, it couldn't have compared to God's plan for His people. GOD'S PLAN WILL NEVER BE FOR YOU TO SETTLE FOR EGYPT INSTEAD OF THE PROMISED LAND!
Before there was baby Moses and the threat on his life, God had orchestrated a preconceived provision through these Hebrew midwives and the events that led to this new rule to kill the baby boys. Moses' story, like ours, didn't start at birth. God was already making a way before he arrived on Earth. We have to understand Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." God doesn't just start working out your situation when you see it. He's been steadily making a way and weaving together all of the pieces for some time now. What you see happening to you in this instance IS NOT and DID NOT catch God by surprise. Just as He knows what's going on now, He already made a provision for victory before this, and continues to fight on your behalf to guide you safely out of the storm, to be used for His purpose and for Him to get the glory. Isn't that what He did for Moses? He'll do the same for me and you.

Preaching To Myself... "Just Keep Trusting!"

O God, You are awesome! Your Word will forever ring true! The Bible is so powerful and potent! God, you know what you're doing in our lives. You don't need our help. Help us to just rest in Your brilliance for our lives. You already have a plan and it's PERFECT; a land of promise that will yield an infinite amount of fruit if we just surrender our will in exchange for Yours. Teach us, God. Help us to cling to you in every season and rest completely in your arms and actions. Strengthen us by removing any seeds or roots of doubt and discouragement. Hold our hands, God. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Travis Greene- Made a Way
Dallyn Vail Bayles- You Know Better Than I