By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. Hebrews 11, verse 23.
“No ordinary child:” we like to think those words can describe any child, and indeed they do. Yet another translation lists this phrase as “because they saw he was a fine child.” Moses was a fine child. From the start, he was unique, set aside for unique work, a unique life. He was no ordinary child.
Something told Moses’ parents (Amram and Yochebed) that their boy was special. It was something called faith in God. They knew what was happening around them. They knew the king’s decree, to kill every newborn boy because the Israelites had grown too numerous and were a threat to the security of the throne. The family, descended from Jacob’s son, Levi, believed in El Shaddai, the great God Almighty. They had come to believe He would deliver them from the slavery their Egyptian “hosts” had put them into. Hadn’t Levi’s brother, Joseph, prophesied, many years before, that God would deliver the Israelites in their time of need?
Something told Amram and Yochebed that their son might just be the man to do that. They had to save him because God had put it on their hearts that he was a fine child, no ordinary child, a unique child with a unique future ahead of him. So they hid him. Can you imagine doing that, let alone doing that for three months? Here you are, a slave toiling in the most powerful nation on earth (ruled by a tyrannical, royal despot) and you consciously, secretly violate the edict of that king. You know the penalty for disobedience is immediate death for you and everyone in your family, but you disobey anyway. People had seen Yochebed pregnant; how would they explain her sudden weight loss without a baby (or even a body to bury)? How did she feed young Moses? How did she care for him when he cried and she was working, making bricks in the mud pits of Goshen?
How did all this happen? Amram and Yochebed believed in God Almighty, and El Shaddai provided for them. God provided calm for their hearts and food for their table. God gave them peace deep inside to overcome the threat of violence against them. And God provided cover for young Moses, keeping him safe until the time came for his mother to place him in a basket so he could be found by Pharaoh’s daughter.
I wonder what Amram called the young boy. He wasn’t named “Moses” until the Princess of Egypt plucked him from the Nile. His original name was is lost to history: we know of him as Moses today, nearly four thousand years after he lived. If you think about it, it’s a miracle we even know about him, or about his siblings, his parents, or even their parents before them. Because of the Bible, we know the name of Moses’ ancestors going all the way back to Adam. You can’t say that about most of the people who have ever lived; you can’t even say that about that Pharaoh. We know what he ordered, but can’t tell you for sure which Pharaoh he actually was. But we can give you hundreds of details about Moses.
Moses was born for a unique life.
My granddaughter spent a few days with us this week. I got to hold her, and play with her, and have some Pops & Emma time together. I love that little girl, just like I do all my kids and grandkids. I think they’re extraordinary, and even fine. Yet God has never put it on my heart that they will deliver their people from slavery. God has never identified to me that one of them will do something that will be recorded for the rest of human history. My grandkids are no ordinary kids, at least to me. God provides for them, too, in ways they’re far too young to understand. History has yet to be written about what lives they lead. I simply pray they choose to know God because He already knows them in full. And they are no ordinary people. But they aren’t Moses.
For further reading: Exodus 1:16-2:2
Lord, than You for your servant, Moses. Thank You for recording things for us to know about him.