Exodus 2

When men are plotting the ruin of God’s people, God is planning His peoples’ salvation.
One apparently marked for obscurity and poverty may be destined to rise before the world to show God’s power.
Even enemies may be used to carry out God’s purposes.

1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.

4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

5 ¶ And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.

6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.

7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.

9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, 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.

10 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.

11 ¶ And it came to pass in those days, 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.

12 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.

13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?

14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.

15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.

17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?

19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.

20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.

21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.

23 ¶ And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

Exodus 2:1-10 – Moses Preserved by Pharaoh’s Daughter

When matters had reached their worst in respect to Israel’s condition, God was preparing a deliverer. The child was more than ordinarily beautiful, Acts 7:20. His parents hid him by faith, Hebrews 11:23. Perhaps they had received a special revelation of his great future, on the strength of which they became strong to resist the royal command. They launched the ark, not on the Nile only, but on God’s Providence. He would be captain, steersman, and convoy of the tiny bark. Miriam stood to watch. There was no fear of fatal consequences, only the quiet expectancy that God would do something worthy of Himself. They reckoned on God’s faithfulness, and they were amply rewarded, when the daughter of their greatest foe became the babe’s patroness. See Psalm 76:10. —Through the Bible Day by Day

The mother of Moses laid the ark in the flags by the river’s brink. Ay, but before doing so she laid it on the heart of God! She could not have laid it so courageously upon the Nile, if she had not first devoutly laid it upon the care and love of God. We are often surprised at the outward calmness of men who are called upon to do unpleasant and most trying deeds; but could we have seen them in secret we should have known the moral preparation which they underwent before coming out to be seen of men. Be right in the sanctuary if you would be right in the market-place. Be steadfast in prayer if you would be calm in affliction. Start your race from the throne of God itself, if you would run well, and win the prize. (Joseph Parker)

Exodus 2:11-25 – Moses Slays an Egyptian and Flees to Midian

   Amid all the allurements of Pharaoh’s court, the heart of Moses beat true to his own people. Neither the treasures of Egypt, nor the pleasures of sin; the attraction of human love, nor the glamour of the world’s smile, could turn him aside from his own folk. A light shone for him over the humble huts of Goshen, before which that of Pharaoh’s palaces paled. Some glimmering knowledge of the promised Christ appears to have been present to his mind; and he esteemed that hope to be greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. Hebrews 11:26.
   He had, however, much to learn. By strength no man can prevail. The battle is not to the strong, nor the race to the swift. The salvation of Israel from their untold miseries must be due, from first to last, to the outstretched hand of their Almighty Protector. Hence the failure of Moses’ first attempt. Instead of looking “this way and that” (v. 12), he must look upward. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Exodus 2:12 – He Slew the Egyptian.

   This was creature-strength, wrought on by creature-passion, and ending in creature-failure. Moses stood on an eminence, and reached down to these poor brethren of his with a passing spasm of pity. He was very careful to look this way and that, go as not to invalidate his own position at court. And fear for himself carried him swiftly from the scene of his people’s woes. It was a brief effort to do the Divine work of redemption in his own energy. Long years must pass, during which God would drain away drop by drop his strength, his resolution, and his very desire to be an emancipator; that when he had become nothing, God through him might effect his almighty will.
   We sometimes smite the Egyptian within.—We rise up against some tyrant passion, and strike two or three vigorous blows. Our efforts to rid ourselves of its thrall originate and are prosecuted in our own resolve. At first the conflict seems easily our own; finally the dead weight of all the Egyptians within is more than a match for us.
   We often smite the Egyptian without.—We make an assault on some giant evil—drink, gambling, impurity. It seems at first as though we should carry the position by our sudden and impetuous rush. But Egypt conquers in the end, and we flee.
   No: we need to learn for the inward and outward conflict the lesson that forty years in Midian taught Moses, that only the Spirit of God in man can overcome the spirit of the world. By disappointment and repeated failure, by the silence of the desert, we are taught that we are nothing—then God becomes our all in all: and all things become possible to us as we believe. —Our Daily Homily