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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

February 15, 2017

Exodus 2:1-14

  1. Introduction: At the beginning of Exodus a new Pharaoh arrives on the scene that has no knowledge of the Hebrews or why they are so favored in the land. This pharaoh decided that the Egyptians should deal harshly with the Hebrews. There was no record of the Hebrew people being a problem to the Egyptians, but this Pharaoh saw their numbers as a threat. The Pharaoh just assumed that the Hebrews would do what he would do if he had those kind of numbers. Power hungry people are always paranoid of others. This paranoid Pharaoh constructs a fear campaign against the Hebrews that ultimately causes the Hebrews to be enslaved. He enslaved the people so that all they know is labor but no reward. This is designed to crush the people's spirit. Systematic continual poverty is demoralizing and degrading. While enslaved the Hebrews still multiplied in number as opposed to shrinking in number. When Pharaoh sees that his harsh treatment has not diminished the numbers of the Hebrews he then commences a program of genocide. This genocide would target the Hebrew boys at birth. Pharaoh instructed the Hebrew midwives to kill the baby boys when they were born, but the midwives decided that this was something they could not do. Pharaoh then decides to have the baby boys thrown into the Nile River.

  2. Verses 1-4. Divine intervention. Pharaoh has ordered all the male babies to be killed. This is a tactic that has been used throughout time, and is still used today. In this chapter we learn about the mother of Moses. We don't get her name at this point, but we know that she and her husband are of the same tribe of Levi. She has a baby and he is beautiful. She loves this baby and loves him so much that she is unable to just throw him away. What real mother could just throw their child away? In the course of time, it became impossible to hide the child. Probably due to the type of crying a young child is capable of doing. She has to think of something. If she keeps him in her house the authorities will find out and take the child themselves. She is divinely inspired to do what she can and hope for the best. What does this ingenuous mother do? This mother creates a waterproof basket and places the child in the river. She places him in the slowest part of the river hoping for something to happen. She did all that she could for her child. And beloved there will be sometimes that you can only do what you can do, and just hope for the best. I have had to learn that. You will not be able to control every situation, but you should just do all that you can and leave the rest to God. This is where I say God provided divine protection. The Nile River is so dangerous that baby should have not survived. From the rapids, crocodiles, mosquitos, heat, and other hazards, the baby could have perished any number of ways. But on that day, God provided divine protection. Divine protection is often about God protecting us from things that we knew of and things we were not aware of. You and I praise God for stuff we know almost took us out or almost harmed us, but what about the things we didn't see that God kept from hurting us. We need to give God praise for the stuff we didn't even know that almost took us out of here. God was protecting that child from seen and unseen dangers. The text tells us that his sister watched from a distance.

  3. Verses 5-6. Divine Provision. God can provide for us with things that we never even knew were on the list of things God could provide. You and I need to understand that God is able to work things out for us in ways we never even imagined. The text tells us that Pharaoh's daughter went to the Nile to bathe at just the right moment that the baby was floating by in the basket. Beloved this is divine providence. God planned for this woman to be at that place at that time, knowing she would not be able to resist this baby. Do you see what God is doing here? He will use the heart of an Egyptian girl to help deliver the Hebrews from the Egyptians. Everybody in the enemy's camp isn't like the enemy. God has supernaturally provided a safe place right in Pharaoh's house for the next deliverer. Pharaoh is trying to kill the boys, but God will cause him to now subsidize the child rearing of the very one who will overthrow him. Supernatural provision is when God provides for you in ways that you never would have expected. This is why you can't limit God. This mother did what she could and God provided in a way that she would have never imagined. Pharaoh's daughter gets the baby, but is not sure what to do, but she knows she is not going to kill the child. Pharaoh's wishes for the Hebrew babies are not the same as his daughter’s.

  4. Verses 7-10. Divine promotion. Divine promotion is when God takes you from the bottom to the top in record time. At the beginning of our story, Moses mother is a slave thinking her son will soon perish. Now she is about to be promoted. Pharaoh's daughter does not know what to do with this child, but Moses sister is nearby and wisely ask the Pharaoh's daughter if she would want her to go get a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for her until he is weened. Pharaoh's daughter thinks that is a wonderful idea, and ends up paying Moses mother to take care of her own child. She gets to keep her baby for a little longer and get paid in the process. Pharaoh has no idea this is going on. He thinks he has figured out how to thwart the Hebrews, but unbeknownst to him, he is paying for the child that will be his destruction. God has provided a solution in Pharaoh's house. The same venue for destruction has now become the avenue for the Hebrews deliverance. Sometimes god will use the very person or thing that was meant to destroy you to deliver you. In verse 10 we find out that Moses gets his name from his Egyptian adopted mother. Moses meaning “drew him out of the water.” So Moses lives under Pharaoh's house until he is a grown man. We don't have much knowledge of what happened to him, except that he probably received a royal education and standard royal upbringing.

  5. Verses 11-12. We are fast-forwarded several years, and Moses is a grown man. Moses has come to know he is a Hebrew and has developed a love for his people. He has seen their harsh treatment and is now old enough to want to do something about their treatment. But beloved there is a right and a wrong way to do something. Moses will see an injustice, but he will handle it the wrong way. There are ways to fix problems, and then there are ways that seem like the solution, but don't really fix the problems. Moses sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, and decides to solve the problem. The only problem is that he used the wrong method. The text says that Moses looked for an opportunity to kill the offending Egyptian when nobody was looking. Notice the text says he glanced this way and that way. This is to highlight that he knew it was wrong, but thought it was okay if no one saw him. Moses choose an unethical method to solve the problem. The problem with unethical methods is that they make you no different than your oppressor. This is not the right thing to do, but he thinks it is a good thing to do. This was not a situation of self-defense, or protecting oneself or your home. Moses knew it was the wrong way to handle it. Two wrongs don't make a right. God doesn't want Moses to fix the problem in the dark, using back door methods. God will use Moses to fix the problem on the public stage for all to see in high definition with signs and wonders. Moses's tries to take things into his hands, not realizing that God will use his zeal in a more powerful public way. God will use Moses to punish the Egyptians, but not this way. This unethical method will ruin Moses's ability to influence people later. Moses integrity will be tarnished and it will hinder him from leading others in the next few verses. Not only does Moses use an unethical method, he resorts to violence. Moses kills this man for beating another man, He didn't just beat the man he killed him. His violent method repaid the offense greater than the offense. Violence is usually motivated by rage, and rage is hard to contain. Moses killed this man, and now he is looking worse than the Egyptian. One of the greatest things that happened in the Civil Rights movement and one of the things that captured the nation and caused many to have compassion for the plight of black America was what happened on the Pettus Bridge. On that day in Selma you had two groups of people, one non-violent and one violent. The world saw the violent group and began to side with the nonviolent group. The stark contrast of the violent state troopers and the non-violent protestors had never been seen so clearly. It was in black in white on TV, but it was in high definition color in the world's heart. There has to be a difference between what right looks like and what wrongs looks like. Moses was looking like the oppressor with his violent and unethical methods.

  6. Verses 13-14. The next day Moses sees two Hebrews fighting and he ask the one in the wrong not to hit his fellow Hebrew. Moses sees an Egyptian hitting a Hebrew and he kills that man. Now that he sees a Hebrew doing the same, he wants to talk it out and reason with him. Moses has two standards. He has one standard for an Egyptian and another for a Hebrew. And beloved in our world problems cannot be solved when we have two different sets of standards for folks. We can't treat one group better than the other or one group worse than the other. We can't call radical Islamic people terrorists, and not call radical white nationalist (KKK) terrorists as well. You can't have a punishment for people of color that is different for people who are not of color. You can't have two standards. That is not how God does it. Moses finds this out, and his fellow Hebrew calls him out on his double standards.

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