Lessons From the Basket

My kids have a storybook about baby Moses. He’s so calm and cute in the basket. The illustrator portrays Miriam, his sister, hiding and glowing with joy as she watched her brother being discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter. Intended for the gentle minds of children, it’s cute, but completely misses the heartbreaking, terrifying reality of genocide. Being marked for death because of your heritage is not modern invention.

“When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth-stools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” – Nameless Pharaoh in Exodus 1:16

Can you imagine the angst among the people? The heartbreak of a new mother as her baby boy is snatched from her cradling arms. The survivor’s guilt of girls as they grew up?

Just as many smuggled and craftily hid Jews during World War II, I imagine efforts were made to protect the baby boys. It’s human nature after all to protect the weaker.

Jochebed, mother to Moses of the bible, lived under the oppressive rule of this insecure Pharaoh who ordered the death of all baby Hebrew sons. Then she gave birth, to a boy.

“…when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.”


Beautiful. Later in Moses’ life, he was in God’s presence and was physically radiant. The vibrant afterglow of being brushed by God’s glory forced him to wear a veil so fellow Hebrews could look at him! Perhaps there was something divine about Moses that made him more attractive than the average baby. Perhaps he was more beautiful because he had been with God in Jochedbed’s womb.While that’s a question for heaven, the query for today is, are we glowing to those around us? Have we taken a quiet moment to commune with God long enough to sit in His presence?


Hidden. The Pharaoh already had it out for the Hebrews but Moses had courageous parents. Amram, Moses’ father, and Jochebed had such great faith in God, they were willing to take the risk and hide the baby (Hebrews 11:23). We’re so comfortable with our technology, ease of groceries and housing, would any of us be willing to risk it all for the Unseen One?


Skilled. Jochebed put her skills and knowledge to the test creating a basket from bulrushes. Daubing it with asphalt and pitch it was watertight, a safe refuge for her baby. Clearly she knew what she was doing! Are we attentive to mundane tasks so that we can extrapolate and create something extraordinary?

Planned. Just as God would later send our Savior, a meager helpless baby in His ultimate rescue, God planned the rescue of His special people through another helpless baby boy. Practical provisions were carefully made as Jochebed wove the life basket and his sister stood on the bank of the river. Would you be surprised to learn they had been monitoring the patterns of Pharaoh’s daughter? Probably not. Are you living thoughtfully or flying by the seat of your pants?

blog-moses-foundFound. Unsuspecting, Pharaoh’s daughter went to the river and noticed the basket. She opened the basket and found a crying baby. Though she recognized the baby’s Hebrew origins, Her heart was tender. WOW! A prominent woman with a compassionate heart and the gall to take action against the king, her father, in this ancient act of racial lines being destroyed.

Years later, Jesus gave a parable of race lines being broken down in the parable of the good Samaritan. Racism is more than skin deep. Have you pigeon-holed a niche of people different from yourself? Do you see the way someone is dressed and become reserved? Does the car they drive up in make your heart close off? Will you pray for God’s eyes to care for all people He puts in your life?

Blessed. An obedient, brave, poised and well-spoken Miriam initiates conversation with Pharaoh’s daughter offering to find a nursemaid for the baby. She returns with their mother who is given the job of nursing her own baby and earning money while doing so! Are you planning and using the skills God has blessed you with carefully? Do you take time to notice the blessings God showers you with, even when they look different from you expected?

Walk by faith

Faith. If Amram and Jochebed did not know and believe God’s promises this would not have taken place. Their faith in God made their hearts brave to the point of action. The Bible recounts time and again the protection He provides to those willing to walk bravely in faith. Moses grows up, gives up his royal privileges to be by God to lead the Hebrews out of suffering and slavery. Strong and courageous, Joshua leads the Hebrews into the land God had promised. Rahab and her entire family were rescued because of her faith demonstrated by her brave actions.

How about you? In a shifting world, are you trying to salvage social and creature comforts or are you willing to walk in the loving boldness of God?

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