Thursday, October 8, 2009

10/8 Exodus 2:1-10

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

10/8 Exodus 2:1-10
1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. 5 Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said. 7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?" 8 "Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother. 9 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, [b] saying, "I drew him out of the water."

Calvin abridged: Aaron was three years old when Moses was born, but mention is made only of Moses; this is because then it was illegal for the Hebrew slaves to keep alive their male children. We see the terror that was afflicting the Israelites in that parents were willing to part with their own children for their survival. However, Moses’ parents’ timidity can’t easily be excused. His mother made the ark with great care, but she thought it was really to bury her child in it. Her efforts would have been ridiculous and without benefit if God had not surprisingly appeared from heaven as the author of their preservation. She despaired of God’s providence, but they didn’t live in peaceful times, and suffered terrible agonies as slaves. Hebrews 11:23 gives praise to the parents for their efforts, even though the father did little to help with the ark. But God, who generally “chooses the weak things of the world” strengthened this woman, and Moses’ sister as well. 2- “When she saw that he was a fine child”- God had adorned Moses with beauty in order to influence his parents to preserve him. Often when God sees his people slow to perform their duty, he encourages them by allurements, though his parents’ faith also prompted them to hide him. God ordinarily leads his people in the darkness like the blind, when they are wavering in ignorance and weakness of heart. So God sustained their faith, motivating them by the handsomeness of Moses. 4- “His sister stood at a distance”- It appears that Moses’ sister, Miriam, was put in place by her parents to watch for Moses’ demise more than to provide for the safety of their child. But in the darkness of sorrow and despair some sparks of faith still survive, and Moses’ mother did not abandon all care of him. But God miraculously stretched forth his hand for the child’s preservation. For there can be no question that his secret providence brought the king’s daughter to the river, and He gave her courage to have the baby nursed. He was controlling the whole matter. Scoffers would say that all of this happened by accident, because they are blind to the clear works of God, and think the human race is governed by mere chance. But we must faithfully hold that while God rules all people by his providence, he honors the elect with his peculiar care, and is watchful of their deliverance and support. It is absurd to think with Epicurus that the world is just a chance collision of atoms. Truly God drew out Moses, who was to be the future redeemer of his people, as from the grave, in order that he might show that the safety of the Church was like a creation out of nothing. And to top it all off, the mother not only got to nurse her son, but was paid for it. 10- “and the child grew”- The grief of the parents was renewed, when they had to give Moses up. It is doubtful Moses could stay pure in the corrupting Egyptian court. Yet Moses maintained his integrity and uprightness.

Thought: Moses is a type of Christ here. He was put in the “ark” as Christ was put in the grave. But he was resurrected by the princess of Egypt who lifted him up out of death to the highest place. As Moses was placed into the river to escape Pharaoh, so Christ went to Egypt to escape Herod. This also applies to us. God lifts us up when we are “sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore.” As Moses was drawn out of the water- so God draws us to Himself.

Prayer: Thank you for your providence and your salvation so evident in the story of Moses birth and the story of Christ’s birth.

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