Papyrus and Pitch

The guest speaker talked about God’s promises. To Abraham the promise was to make him a father of many nations. An impossible promise, because it came when his wife, Sarah, was in her eighties and he was in his nineties. But a miracle happened. They had Isaac.

Fast forward a few generation. Abraham’s seed, now known as Israelites, were slaves in Egypt. They had increased greatly as the promise had said, but their numbers made the new Pharaoh nervous. He devised a brilliant plan to curb the growth of the Hebrew nation—drown the baby boys in the Nile.

That’s when the promise became problematic to the seed.

Mark Griffin’s story-telling skill helped us imagine a young Levite couple praying, “Please, God, no babies now.” After the pregnancy was announced, the prayer might have been, “Please, God, a little girl.” After Moses was born, his mom and dad decided to hide him in the bulrushes in a basket made of papyrus and pitch, watched by his sister. Now the prayer must have been, “Please God, keep him quiet. “

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Watch this moment: The beautiful Egyptian princess, accompanied by her equally beautiful attendants, approaches the Nile in preparation to bathe. Now the prayer becomes, “Please, God, have them go the other way.” When the princess and her entourage move in their direction and then come right to the river bank where Moses is hidden, Miriam prays, “Please, God, keep him really quiet, now!”

All prayers unanswered, it seemed, but because God had a plan, too.

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The princess hears the baby’s cry and sees Moses. She’s smitten right away, even knowing he was a Hebrew. Moses’ sister quickly comes out of hiding and, perhaps tentatively, presents an idea, “Let me find a Hebrew woman to care for him.”

Now God’s plan to uphold his promise to Abraham begins to take shape. Moses, the God-ordained deliverer of God’s people, was saved from the enemy’s hand by the enemy’s own daughter! And his mother got to take care of him, and…I love this…she was paid to do it!

Today, no matter what is going on, take hope.

“For he established a testimony in Jacob…that they should make [his works and his strength] known…that they might set their hope in God,” (Psalm 78:5-7).