Everything Builds You Up …
“Then Pharaoh (of Egypt) gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.” (Ex 1:22 NIV).
It was not a democratic government, neither were there any human or civil rights movements; it was a veto, a decree — rock-solid and not debatable! I wouldn’t get pregnant if I lived in this time, but a Hebrew couple — Amram and Yochebed — took their chances and made a baby. There were no options of genetic modification or pregnancy scans, so they had to wait nine whole months to know if their baby would live, or not.
Births and gloom don’t go together… but it’s a boy. It’s like losing a bet on all your life savings. A stillbirth is a terrible, horrible thing, but this must feel like a different level of pain. In a matter of days, he’ll be taken, and killed — perhaps while Amram and Yochebed watched.
They never named him.
Three months later and they couldn’t hide this baby any longer, he had now begun to chuckle and cry, like every healthy baby. In a matter of days, he’ll be taken, and drowned in River Nile perhaps while his parents watched.
With nothing to lose, they hatched a plan. “We’ll take him to the Nile anyway!” The River Nile is famous for its length, and its crocodiles. No one could see them executing this plan, yet someone had to stick around to report how it ended. Miriam — the boy’s sister — was that person.
Every other day, Pharaoh’s daughter bathed at the bank of The Nile and on this day, she heard a baby cry, and she loved him; she named him Moses (meaning: I drew him out of the water). That moment, Miriam so happened to be passing by ‘unlooking’ at first… then she asked “Will you like me to get you a nanny to nurse him?”
Pharaoh’s daughter paid a nanny to nurse Moses in Pharaoh’s palace. Her name was Yochebed. Yochebed got paid to nurse her own son, by the same household that should have killed him.
Like Amram and Yochebed — make your plans, commit them to God, and take your chances! (Prov. 16:3, 9 & 33).
Moses knew his roots! His paid nanny, or mum — must have drummed that into his head, nursing him. He could have grown up thankful that he escaped the slavery his people endured; but he grew up an angry and uncomfortable man — angry about the injustice, agony and oppression his people suffered. One day he killed an Egyptian oppressing a Hebrew, and when Pharaoh heard, he knew something was up; “what have we raised?” he must have asked, so he tried to kill Moses. Again.
Moses became a fugitive at forty years old. He knew from what he fled, but not into what he fled!
Somewhere in Midian, Father Jethro sent his seven beautiful daughters to the well, but they were bullied by some shepherds because, it’s a man’s world. Unbeknownst to them, a handsome and princely-built young man sat in the corner, tired of running from a government that raised him. Again, he couldn’t stand injustice and oppression; so he fought off these unruly, disrespectful shepherds and watered the ladies’ flock. Luckily, he didn’t kill anyone this time; but he must have asked for their names, phone numbers, Instagram, twitter and Facebook handles for a follow-back. Especially one named Zipporah. Long story short, Moses was invited into Jethro’s home, offered a job as a shepherd, and continued to impress the entire Jethro clan with his polished upbringing and sense of responsibility.
He married Zipporah. Yoruba boys must have a link to Moses.
Meanwhile, back in Egypt, Pharaoh died and Ramesses succeeded him; the oppressive situation deteriorated and became so unbearable the Hebrews cried to their God. God heard and remembered he had plans for them, but He needed a deliverer, a leader, someone who empathized with their situation.
Moses! He didn’t need to audition because, perfect fit.
Nollywood couldn’t have made this stuff up: a fugitive, sought to be killed by Pharaoh’s government, returning freely to the same government house to negotiate a possible peace treaty that could fast degenerate to a hostage situation (and it did); and who was he up against? — Ramesses whom he grew to know as “brother” in Pharaoh’s palace!
This is where we all clap slowly for this genius script.
Is this why this Moses guy survived the murderous decree at his birth? Could this be why he was raised in the palace — to know the customs, laws, practices — an inside man? Did God plant this hatred for injustice in him, so he would be ready to lead his people out of it? This must be why he escaped death from Pharaoh twice and survived on nothing in the deserts fleeing Egypt.
Everything builds you up for a role God needs you to fill, at some point.