A Baby in a Basket (Advent 11, 2020)

At this point in Biblical history, Pharaohs come and go.  God’s plan still rules.  God even has a sense of humor about it.  Human power structures are only tools that God can use for His own purposes whenever He wants.

Look at the rich irony in today’s reflection.  Pharaoh was ticked off about the Hebrew people being successful even in slavery!  He was ticked because they were succeeding outside of his control.  In a power-hungry way, what was Pharaoh’s solution?  Kill the Hebrew babies.  If he couldn’t stop them from reproducing, he’d kill off what they produced.  So Pharaoh tried to have the Hebrew midwives kill the Hebrew boys at birth, and when that didn’t work, he issued an edict “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.” (Exodus 1:22)

So Moses went into the Nile…in a basket.

Exodus 2:3 But when [Moses’ mother] could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.  4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

Baby in the Nile in a basket, enter Pharaoh’s own daughter who decides to adopt him. 

Exodus 2:5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it.   6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

Do any of you, my readers, have daughters?  I read this story of Pharaoh’s daughter and smile.  I begin to imagine the conversation if Pharaoh had one with her.  “Look what I found, Daddy.  Can I keep him?”  And in doing so, Pharaoh’s daughter is an unspoken hero for preserving the very one who would powerfully deliver the Hebrew people out of Egypt some day in the future (likely under another king)…all while her father was hoping to kill off the success of the Hebrews.

Back to our story:  Exodus 2:7 Then [Moses’] sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” 8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 

Does God chuckle?  One can only wonder.  Not only does Pharaoh’s daughter adopt and save the future leader of the Hebrews, she pays Moses’ mother to nurse him, and then gives Moses a royal education in Pharaoh’s own household.

Exodus 2:10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

Oh, she did far more than draw him out. 
She was an instrument of God’s Divine Intervention.

Questions for further thought:

  • How did God use this situation to thwart human abuses of power? 
  • Moreover, how did this Divine Intervention pave the way for future deliverance? 
  • In what ways do our current situations in worldwide politics display that humans can imagine all kinds of abuses of power, but God is still in control? 
  • How might God be using the very weird 2020 to thwart human plotting the same way He did at Babel and the same way He did with Moses? 
  • Where is the real battle happening?  Read Ephesians 6:10-13 for insight. 
  • Why can we trust God even with 2020?

Let’s pray, Almighty God, holy and righteous Father, we praise You and thank You that You are sovereign over everything. We praise You and thank You that this world is firmly under Your control, that You know exactly what’s going on, that no amount of COVID, no amount of human wrangling, no amount of human abuses of power, no amount of planning, plotting, scheming, conspiring, defrauding, etc. can change the outcome that You have planned.

We praise You and thank You that we fight with weapons that are spiritual and that You are the leader of this cause in the spiritual realm.. for good to win over evil, for light to overcome the darkness, and for the truth to prevail in all circumstances.

We praise You, Lord, that You use even bad choices, bad edicts, bad laws, and rigged situations and utilize them to produce good. You can overcome it all because You are God. Thank You for the way that You have preserved Your people throughout history. We are confident, Lord, that You will preserve us all the way to the day of Your return! We thank You Jesus because You promised to come back and take us to be with You where You are! We thank You that there are places in heaven for those who follow You, and who love You, Lord. We thank You for this season of Advent– a time to turn our hearts towards You, a time to recognize who we are, what we’ve been, what we’re becoming. We ask that You would forgive us for the many sins we have committed against You. Please show mercy to us not because we deserve it but because You are good, You are holy, You are righteous, and You are love! We praise You Lord Jesus! Amen.

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Advent 2020 began Sunday, November 29th and continues to Thursday, December 24th as we celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and look forward to His Second Coming.  “Divine Intervention” is this year’s devotional study. By signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page you can receive these daily devotionals. Or they will be reposted on SeminaryGal’s Facebook page as well.

Together we will see how God has been actively involved all along as Divine Intervention for a hurting world and nations in tumult– Intervention for you and for me when our status as sinners required nothing short of a miracle.

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Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows: 

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series God’s Christmas list explored what might be on God’s Christmas list, learning what He wants from us. It began December 1, 2019.
  • Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 9, 2020

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