Friday: Trusting the Lord: Exodus 2:1-10

Sermon: The Birth of Moses

Scripture: Exodus 2:1-10

In this week’s lessons, we look at the details of Moses’ birth, and remember that God is providentially directing the events of Moses’ life for His glory, just as He does in ours.

Theme: Trusting the Lord

We focus, as the story itself does, on the providential circumstances surrounding the birth of Moses. But should we think that Moses’ parents were the only believing parents in Israel in that day? It would be hard to imagine that. There must have been other believing parents, even if most of the people had gotten far from God. And some of them must have had children, too. And as far as we know, God did not intervene to save the other children. Does that mean that God’s providence wasn’t operating? No, God was operating in the circumstances of their lives just as much as He was operating in the circumstances of this family that had Moses. You see, what happened to them was no less dear to God than what happened with Amram and Jochebed, even though the children in these other families died. That means that we have to trust God in all circumstances, not just the nice ones. Job knew this and he said, “Even though he slay me, yet will I fear him" (Job 13:15). That is a believing response. 

The second point has to do with the nature of faith. It’s hard to know the exact content of the faith of Moses’ parents in this day, because we’re not told much about it in the second chapter of Exodus. We know they had faith because they are praised for their faith in Hebrews. The point that seems significant to me is that their faith did not lead to inaction, but rather to thoughtful action which God blessed. What I mean is that to have faith is not to do nothing, but rather to do much. People who have faith in God always do much. They do everything they possibly can. Faith led them to defy the king’s order and to hide their son for three months. And then when he couldn’t be hidden any longer, the mother made that little papyrus basket and put her baby in it, and put him in the reeds by the river, and put Miriam up there to see what was going to happen. 

They did all of that because they had faith. They couldn’t save their child, but what they could do, they did. And those who have faith do the same thing. William Carey, a man of faith and a great missionary said, “Expect great things of God, attempt great things for God." He did it himself, and so have all who have achieved great faith victories. So I ask the question, “What can you do for God?" You need to ask yourself that. What can you attempt in your circumstances? There certainly are important things to be done. 

The third point of application is that great events come from small beginnings. Nothing could be less portentous than this story. Here was an impoverished, enslaved people, and among them a very poor family, the mother giving birth to a child in the time of unusual oppression, and perhaps expecting at any moment the death of her baby. And yet God intervened to use that small baby, born to that poor family in that oppressed time and race, to be the great emancipator and the lawgiver. There is a great parallel there to the birth of Jesus Christ, also born to a poor family in an oppressed period when they were, perhaps, the closest thing to slaves under the heel of the Roman Empire. But God sent Jesus to be the deliverer.

Ours may be a day of small things. I’m sure you felt, as you’ve tried to do something for God from time to time, that they are the smallest of all things. But you and I don’t know that. When we begin the work for God, who knows what God is going to do from that small, weak, insignificant beginning that you make? In the case of Moses’ mother, God raised up that child and he became the greatest leader the world has ever had, other than Jesus Christ. Who knows what God will accomplish from your small beginning? 

The last point is this matter of the remnant. On the whole, these weren’t great days for Israel. It would be hard probably to find any days in the life of the nation that you’d really call great, except perhaps under David and Solomon. But you see, in spite of the fact that the Jews often were in terrible conditions, God nevertheless, at all periods of their history, preserved a remnant from the time of Abraham right on through—not always many, but nevertheless a remnant! And He worked through those people to do what God Himself wanted to get done. God looks back on that history, and He is not disappointed by what was accomplished. They may appear to us not to have been great days, but in those days God was doing exactly what He wanted and was working out His plan.

Get into the habit of learning to think like God. If you get into the habit of looking for the remnant, you’re going to find it. They will not be the people the world is generally looking to for doing important things. It says in the Bible that the people God uses are the foolish, the weak, and the despised. And the reason He does that is because it’s through them that He can display His wisdom and reveal His righteousness. So look for people like that. And then when you’ve found them, get alongside them and work with them to see what God will do.

Study Questions:

  1. How did the faith of Moses’ parents express itself?
  2. How does Moses’ life demonstrate the point of God doing great things through small beginnings? What other biblical examples can you think of?

Reflection: How can you better put your faith into action?

For Further Study: Download for free and listen to Philip Ryken’s message, “The Birth of a Savior.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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