Mother’s Day – Families mean Everything

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Reading: Exodus 2: 1-10

Imagine how you might feel if you are expecting a baby and you have just heard that if it is a boy it will be killed.

I am not aware of this happening in any part of our world at the moment, but there are thousands, maybe millions of parents around the world at this moment……. wondering if their child will be killed through violence or die through disease or starvation. We are blessed in the West not generally to have this sort of fear. Our shared fear for our families is the corona virus.

Our children are very precious to us whether we live in a safe & prosperous country or one where there are hardships and violence. When we have a child the bond between us is immense. And if we are the child the bond with our parents is usually strong. And this can apply whether we are blood children or adopted.

Children are precious! Families are important!

Families mean Everything

So today we have an account of a young Jewish / Hebrew family with at least one girl child and a new born baby boy, living in extreme anxiety. The Father is a Levite, possibly a priest from a line of priests. They are a God – fearing family living in Egypt.

Many, many, years ago their ancestors had left their own land in search of food. God had sent one of their own, Joseph, to prepare the way and gain the favour of the Egyptian Pharaoh.

They had lived well, but over the years the Pharaohs had come and gone, the Hebrew people had grown in no. & their privileged position as welcomed guests, had changed to becoming slaves. At this point in our story, this new Pharaoh is very concerned that these Hebrews are growing so numerous and strong that they might start a rebellion.

So Pharaoh had given a notice to the Hebrew midwives that every boy child should be killed. But the midwives had far too much respect for God and didn’t do what the king of Egypt ordered and let the boys live telling Pharaoh that “Hebrew women are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” and so the people increased and became even more numerous.

Then Pharaoh insisted that “Every Hebrew boy that is born must be thrown into the Nile, but every girl could live.”

What should our family do? The soldiers regularly visited homes to arrest and to kill. Neither they nor their child was safe.

Some of our asylum-seeking friends at the Coventry Hill Hotel have been living in this same sort of fear. Some have made the decision to become Christians and in the country of their birth both they and their families had become at risk.

Most people who are born into fundamental Muslim countries are not allowed by their state to become Christians and if they do the punishment is either beating imprisonment or death. Each knock at the door, each sideways glance from their secret police strikes terror. Many have lost not only their jobs but their Christian friends and they have run for their lives to countries of safety. Many have left their families behind and they are not only concerned for their safety because of their governments, but now for their health, because of the Coronavirus. Iran is the 4th most infected country.

Families mean Everything

Our Hebrew Family is very concerned for their baby boy. What should they do? They feel that he is a special baby!

When he reaches 3 months Mum decides to put the child into a basket made of papyrus reeds waterproofed with tar and pitch and posts her older daughter Miriam to keep watch.

Pharaoh’s daughter sees the basket among the reeds & sends her maid to get it. When she opened it, she saw the baby boy crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This must be one of the Hebrew children,” she realises.

What should she do? She is compassionate- but Dad won’t be pleased if she rescues the child.

We are sometimes faced by something which seems to be the right thing to do – but we hesitate weighing things up, thinking about the opinions of others or the consequences for ourselves. What should she do?

She doesn’t have to make a decision. A small child born of Godly parents makes the decision for her, and approaches the princess.

Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” she asks.

“Yes, the princess replied. So the girl goes and calls the baby’s mother.

“Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took HER baby home and nursed him.

How cool is this! I’m sure that God was behind all of this. It was all part of His big plan.

Firstly, He takes His people out of famine to Egypt

and now using a baby and a small child His plan unfolds to rescue them from slavery and to get them back into their homeland.

And in the process God even gets the baby back with his mother who gets paid for the privilege! Wow!

Families mean Everything

This is God at work! …………The God that works in our lives too!

This can give us comfort in our current situation!

 Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. The princess named him Moses

Now I don’t really get this part.

If I was his Mum I think I would have been leaving well alone, not taking my baby back to Pharaoh’s daughter but I guess there are parts of this story we aren’t told. There must have been some contacts in between by either the princess or her attendants to give the money to Mum. I suppose that the Princess was getting progress reports.

Was the child Miriam involved in any of this? We don’t know.

But certainly we can see God involved!

The boy is now going to live in Pharaoh’s Palace. We don’t know how old he is now but for several years he has been brought up, as a HEBREW child, hearing the history of the people; their joys and their pains; the way that God intervened to bless, to correct and to guide.

He has been brought up to revere God. To understand personally how God took him from a very dangerous situation back into his own family and into a more financially secure and privileged position.

Now Moses is going into the Egyptian palace to learn leadership skills. God is training Him to become the person who will lead the Jewish people out of slavery and into the Promised land. There will still be many challenges both for him and the people, but God will use these challenges to shape him, just as God uses our challenges to shape us.

A little aside now ……… As a small child, maybe aged 6, I didn’t usually go to Sunday school because my family regularly went out on a Sunday.

For some reason we didn’t go out one Sunday so I was able to go to Sunday school with my friends and I heard this story. I can remember it very clearly. The points that stood out for me was that God was in charge of situations even if they were very bad and that He could even use a little child like me to help him

Today’s story is about a family facing adversity, – the possible death of their child.

It might even have meant death for them if they had been caught concealing him.

But this is a God-fearing family with each member playing their part. It is wonderful to see that even a young child can play a major role in a rescue operation.

Families mean Everything

This is Mother’s day but it only this because there are families. To those of us who God has given the privilege of children have the responsibility to bring them up well for Him. It is not easy. My children have gone, and are going through, some very tough times. Sometimes we see God clearly at work in their lives and they see it too. Other times we don’t. Keeping Faith is a long haul journey.

The last verse of today’s reading says the Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him as her own son.

This reminds me of the passage in Ephesians 1v 5

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:15-18 says The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

As God’s children we have help in caring for our children.

He is committed to their journey, their struggles and joys AND He is to committed to our journey.

On this Sunday as we celebrate our Mothers, as we celebrate our children, grandchildren and even our greats.

TODAY WE CELEBRATE ALL WOMEN ………..

& also THE CARE THEY GIVE. We celebrate each one of us as we “love one another in this difficult time

Each of us, male and female celebrate that we are God’s adopted children. Children of the HIGH GOD.