As Mariam watched her brother’s floating crib from a distance, she saw Pharaoh’s daughter approaching with her servants to bathe. Here, orchestrated by God’s sovereignty, the lives of a helpless slave child and a powerful woman of influence would intersect. She noticed the ark right away. Opening the lid, she saw the abandoned Hebrew baby and compassion filled her heart.
Always quick on her feet, Mariam ran and asked, “Shall I go and get a Hebrew nurse for you?” The princess accepted and in Exodus 2:9 she said to Jochabed, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” Two amazing miracles in one! The child was saved, and she received pay from Pharaoh to nurse her own son for the next 3 to 4 years.
How precious and fleeting are the toddler years! Knowing this moment wouldn’t last, she gave it everything. She sang the songs of faith, taught him about God, and whispered in his ear, “You’re not a son of Pharaoh. You’re a child of God and a member of his family. He has a great purpose for your life.” As the child nursed and bonded with his mother, he also partook of her deep love for the Lord. When the sad day came to take Moses to Pharaoh’s palace, he took the seeds of faith in his heart.
Here’s another lesson we can learn from these fantastic parents. Parents train and guide their kids in God’s ways. A recent study by the Barna Group found that almost half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ do so before the age of 13 (43%), and 2 out of 3 born again believers commit their lives to Jesus before turning 18. The most excellent place to reach the next generation is at home. Our tools of instruction are not a chalkboard, textbooks, memory cards, and exams. Our faith is more caught than taught. But, when God gives a teachable moment, we seize the opportunity.
There was one occasion our teenagers blew it royally. Both Wendy and I were ready to do the unthinkable – take away their smartphones for a month. But just before lowering the boom, my godly mother-in-law, who was visiting, said, “Take it or leave it. I have an idea. Instead of giving them what they deserve, use this as an opportunity to teach them about God’s grace. They will never forget it!” I heard the ring of wisdom. So, that day I asked, “Girls, what do you think your consequences should be?” They responded with grounding, more chores, no TV, etc. Then I said, “You deserve that, but mom and I are going to give you grace. We’re going to forgive, forget, and give you a second chance. We wanted to show you what God’s grace is like. No matter where you go in life, whenever you stumble, remember God’s never-ending grace. He’s always ready to offer you a new start.” They sat frozen as if stung by a taser.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit; and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Even after his indoctrination into the Egyptian way of life, Moses could not forget those early times with his mothers One day; in a crisis moment, he would make a courageous stand. Hebrews 11:24-26 says, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”