Hey, wait a minute. One of those isn’t supposed to be there, is it?

I hit another gem of encouragement when reading in the Old Testament. It’s lifted my head in times of discouragement and may serve to quell one or more anxieties you face. It began with recalling that—when reading God’s Word—we aren’t dealing with “stories”, but historical snapshots of real people and God’s interactions with them.

Some of the individuals we read of in Scripture can seem larger than life, exercising a level of faith we may long to experience. Their hope and trust in God, no matter how dire the situations in which they found themselves, can humble and inspire us.

But it was the potential disappointment of a set of parents in the Old Testament that God recently used to comfort my heart.

And increase my worship!

* * *

Their names: Amram and Jochebed—the parents of Moses.

Whether you know who Moses was through watching a movie or reading the Bible (or are unfamiliar with this historical figure), you’re in safe company.

A short bio on Moses would reveal he was the man through whom God chose to display His power and free the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. He met with God face to face, talking with Him as a friend would. Moses led the new and sometimes rebellious nation of Israel (the Hebrews) through thick and thin, and was given the Ten Commandments directly from the hand of God.

Although imperfect, Moses was a humble man who performed multiple miracles. He is considered one of the “greats” of Scripture.

 * * *

Parents are understandably proud of their children when they have worthwhile accomplishments. You’ve likely seen bumper stickers such as:

“Air Force Dad” or

“My daughter is an Honor Student at …”

But can you imagine being the parent of someone who accomplished what Moses did?

* * *

One day in prayer, I was reminding God how long I’d been waiting to see a “Yes” answer to a specific request. It hadn’t just been days, weeks, or months—but years. It was, quite honestly, disappointing. Instantly (and seemingly out of nowhere), came this thought:

Moses’ parents… did you ever stop to think they may not have lived to see what I chose to do through him?

 Of course, I never had…

* * *

Amram and Jochebed were descendants of Jacob, or Israel. Not only had the Egyptians enslaved their people group, but they were worked mercilessly. Yet the more the Egyptians attempted to weaken the Israelites with hard labor, the more they multiplied and spread out.

The Hebrews became a strength of fearful proportions.

The children of Israel found themselves reeling under increasingly brutal and bitter blows dealt them through Egypt’s ruler, Pharaoh. When Moses was born to Amram and Jochebed, the genocide of all male babies born to the Hebrews was occurring through Pharaoh’s command for the Egyptians to seize and throw them into the Nile river. (Exodus 1:22-23).

Scripture is silent as to how many months or years the horrific practice of throwing these baby boys into the Nile went on. Yet happen it did.

God’s people were suffering. And they were undoubtedly praying, in tears and with fervor, for deliverance.

* * *

Moses’ mother successfully hid him for three months after his birth.  When that could work no longer, he was placed in a tightly-woven, waterproof basket among the reeds by the bank of the Nile and his sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen.

Unlike one commentator who believes this incident has been glorified and purports it to have been an act of cowardice and faithlessness on the part of Moses’ parents, there is good reason to believe God directed their thinking all along the way.

Moses’ basket was placed at the time and location in which Pharaoh’s daughter might see it when she came down to bathe at the Nile.

Which, as God caused to happen, she did.

* * *

Moses was rescued by Pharaoh’s compassionate daughter. And Jochabed was hired to take and nurse the baby until he was old enough to be returned to the Egyptian royal to live as her own son.

* * *

The parents of Moses appear to have had substantial faith and hope in God. They risked their lives by hiding their baby and later associating themselves with him.

While Moses was living in Pharaoh’s household, it seems natural that—if still living—Amram and Jochebed would pray he would not only grow to know and love the God of Israel, but become influential in freeing the Hebrews from slavery.

Speculation aside, we do know time rolled on.

Ten years went by.

Then Thirty.

Thirty-five.

Forty.

Were his parents hoping and praying all those years that God would use Moses in a powerful way? Did they battle discouragement in the daily grind because they were not seeing those prayers come to fruition?

Imagine Amram and Jochebed hearing, after forty years of faith and hope, the report of Moses murdering an Egyptian man, it becoming known, and that he was now running for his life. (Exodus 2:11-15)

Any “In” Moses had with Pharaoh was shot. The benefits of him having been raised in the power house of Egypt appeared to have evaporated. Worse yet (perhaps in His family of origin’s thinking), Moses ended up living in the middle of a desert, married to a foreigner, and herding sheep that didn’t belong to him.

And everyone kept getting older:  Moses’ parents (if still living); his siblings; himself.

He would be an additional forty years herding sheep in “Nowhereville”.

* * *

As God prompted me to consider, Moses’ parents (and/or siblings) may have gone to bed night after night, year after year, in disappointment and heartache over the way things had turned out with Moses.

* * *

How often, what we “see” happening—or not happening—can be disappointing and even discouraging. Through human eyes, Moses appeared to have been a failure. But God…

GOD placed His chosen servant to grow up intimately knowing every nuance of Egypt’s power base and politics.

GOD moved Moses to the desert where he would, over a forty-year span, gain the savvy needed to lead a nation and its livestock through wilderness wastelands.

GOD was patiently building humility into the man.

GOD was forming an imperfect, yet great leader through what appeared to be an epic failure at life.

GOD controlled the time-table for His people’s deliverance (as He always does).

Doesn’t this encourage your sometimes anxious heart? How might it affect your prayer life and worship of God?

* * *

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9)

 * * *

God does all things perfectly (Psalm 18:30). His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). He alone is God and He loves us, regardless of whether we see Him working in the manner or timeframe we ask (Romans 8:28).

Scripture doesn’t instruct us to understand God, but to trust Him. And He is worthy of our trust and worship… every day.

 * * *

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13)

 

[For further consideration, see HopeRedefined]

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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