Exodus 1:10 – When the child grew up she [Pharaoh’s daughter] . . . took him as her son. She named him Moses, ‘because,’ she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’ ” (NRSV)
Moses was adopted. Against all odds and in a twist of irony, he was taken by the Pharaoh’s own daughter into the palace in Egypt and raised as an Egyptian prince. However, there were other twists to this story, especially when it came to the women who were involved in keeping Moses alive.
The Pharaoh was paranoid (we seem to find a lot of that in the Biblical leaders!), and he worried that the Hebrews would somehow become more numerous than the Egyptians, so he ordered them enslaved. Interestingly, the scripture tells us that the harder the Hebrew slaves worked, the more they propagated, so their numbers began to swell.
When the slavery didn’t contain them, the Pharaoh ordered the midwives to kill all the baby boys at the birthing stool. Since the two women believed in God and were faithful to God’s ways, they ignored the Pharaoh’s order and found a viable excuse for not following his directive.
Once again frustrated by the growing Hebrew population, the Pharaoh issued a decree that all Hebrew baby boys were to be thrown into the Nile. At that point, the mother of Moses placed him in a floating basket and set his sister to watch over him. The Pharaoh’s own daughter found the baby and took pity on him. In yet another ironic twist, the princess asked Moses’ sister to go find a nursemaid for the baby, and of course, she brought her mother who was then PAID to take care of her own son.
Maybe Pharaoh should have worried more about the females than the males because it is clear in this story that the females involved all were part of saving Moses’ life and setting the stage for the Exodus. Moses was raised initially in his own Hebrew environment, and when he was weaned learned the ways of the castle and Egyptian government. He would have been fluent in Egyptian languages and customs as well as knowing his own ethnic background. It was through that upbringing that he was able to manage – or rather, that God was able to work through him to set the Hebrew slaves free.
In the Christian church, we are adopted into the family of God with love and grace and support from our congregations. God claims us and names us as God’s own child. What marvelous and wonderful things has God called us to do for God? What gifts have we been given in our lives that would help us to accomplish and carry on the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ on this earth? It’s worth pondering!