How Faithful Women Played a Role in the Life of Young Moses
Updated: Jan 1
“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”
Moses’s life is discussed in Hebrews 11. Our focus today will be on the events leading up to his birth, right after his birth, and his childhood. After Joseph’s death and the death of that particular generation, changes started to occur. The children of Israel became fruitful, and this was a cause of great concern to the Egyptians. The new Pharaoh instructed his people to put the Israelites under bondage. Otherwise, if they continued to grow and multiply, the Israelites might overthrow them if they decided to join forces with the Egyptian’s enemies during a war. And so, the Israelites began to have great burdens placed upon them as they worked to build Pharaoh’s cities.
Note the wording of Exodus 1:12 “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” How were the Israelites so successful during this time of great affliction? First of all, they knew who they were. They knew the promises that were made unto Abraham. They knew they could rely on God. Trials allow us to become humble and reach out for God’s help to overcome them. We know that the children of Israel cried out for deliverance multiple times. They had faith that one day they would receive an answer to their prayers.
Pharaoh may have thought that placing the children of Israel under bondage would cause them to lose hope and possibly die out with time. When he saw that was not the case, he commanded the Hebrew midwives, Shiprah and Puah, to kill all baby boys at childbirth. However, Shiprah and Puah feared God. They knew the Abrahamic covenant must be fulfilled. And why would they kill innocent children for an evil purpose? They had faith that if they continued in righteousness, all would be well. Their courage in standing up for their beliefs eventually lead to Pharaoh changing his decree. Instead of having the midwives kill all baby boys, the Israelite families would have to cast their sons into the river. Shiprah and Puah received their recompense from God, “God dealt well with the midwives…because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses” (Exodus 1:20-21).
And so the way was prepared for Moses to be born and raised under different conditions. Moses was a descendent of Levi. His parents were Amram and Jochebed. Later, we learn that his siblings were Miriam and Aaron. Jochebed was not afraid of Pharaoh’s decree. She decided to hide and nurture Moses for three months until she realized that he no longer could be hid. Jochebed made an ark of bulrushes, placed Moses inside, and hid the ark among the reeds by the river. Miriam, his sister, witnessed the events that took place. She may have been asked by her mother to watch over Moses or felt in her heart, just as her mother may have, that Moses was special and something would come out of this. Did she know that Pharaoh’s daughter would come by? I am not sure. But thankfully, Miriam was in tune with the Spirit of God and was at the right time and place to play an important role in Moses’s change of circumstances.
I also don’t know all the details as to why Pharaoh’s daughter decided that she wanted to raise this particular baby boy. We learn in Exodus 2:1 that she had compassion on him and that she recognized he was Hebrew. Of all people, she knew the law. Miriam intervened and gave Pharaoh’s daughter an idea to have a Hebrew woman nurse the child for her. She agreed to this proposition, and Miriam is able to bring Jochebed. Jochebed has the opportunity to raise her own son and get paid for it! Moses’s training by his own mother is pivotal in the events that we will discuss in the next blog post.
All of these women helped shape the future of Israel by not being afraid of Pharaoh’s commandments. Their faith was rewarded through Moses as time went on. As for Pharaoh’s daughter, she unknowingly aided in the process when she allowed Moses to be raised by his own mother until he was old enough to be brought back to her and become her own son. What examples can you think of in your own life when God prepared the way through other individuals for you to help them out or their posterity down the road?
This is the second to last post of Hebrews 11 Part 2. There is still enough time to download the current study guide. The following posts are included in this series: