- Religion and Philosophy
Let My People Go...Chapter 2
Lean Not Unto Your Own Understanding
Let My People Go…
Lean Not Unto Your Own Understanding
In Proverbs 3:5-6 we are instructed to: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. As we delve into the book of Exodus 2 this proverb becomes ever so evident. With a new king in Egypt came new responsibilities, new rules, new regulations, and new restrictions. In chapter one, we saw how this new king portrayed the children of Israel as a threat. It was in his territory that the children of Israel flourished. The king feared that they may some day use their numbers to overthrow his reign. He, the king, had no recollection of how Joseph spared Egypt and saved the children of Israel from a seven year famine--all he knew was that the children of Israel became complacent in his country.
Because of his fear, he first ordered that the children of Israel become slaves by having taskmasters rule over them. Their new occupation would be to build Egypt into one of the greatest nations to have ever existed. Despite his efforts to curb and curtail the population growth, the children of Israel continued to flourish. Out of frustration, and yes fear, the king ordered that every first son born of a Jew be put to death, while daughters were given the right to live. But even that decree did not slow the population growth among the Jews.
This is where chapter two begins--with the birth of a baby boy. Immediately we discover that a man from the tribe of Levi and a woman from the same tribe marry and they are blessed with a beautiful baby boy. The mother, knowing that her son was baby son was pleasant, hid him for three months. That is, she refused to respect the kings order. She hid her son for as long as she could without him becoming a detriment to she and the child. However, there came a time when a decision had to be made--so she made a basket for the baby, protected it with asphalt and pitch, and placed her son in the basket only to send him down the river.
As I share this story, I know that there are those skeptics that would argue how could a loving and just God allow such a decree to be passed? What would prevent God from sparing the innocent--I mean, they are babies for heaven's sake? What harm could they possibly do? My response to that question would be simply this: God is not the one who order such a decree--it was a king; not the King. I remember reading people's comments on the internet shortly after the Oklahoma bombing. They were indicting God for allowing such an atrocity to happen. My response to those questioning the motives of God was simply this--God was not the one driving the truck--it was man. If anything you should be blaming the person for the deaths of so many. I further added that that type of terrorism is indicative of what life would be and could be like if God were not involved in the equation. And finally, we must always bear in mind that God has a plan and purpose for all people. In Romans 8:28, Paul reminds his readers that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose. that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose. In other words, there are certain things that are inexplicable, but we know that God has a plan and a purpose. It is the premise of faith.
Returning to the baby--we know the mother sends her son down the side of the river. His sister faithfully follows her little brother to see what should become of him. Incidentally and ironically, the daughter of Pharaoh should just happen to be bathing in the river when she observes this "ark" floating along the side. She calls for one her servants to investigate the contents of the basket. Much to her surprise, there is a baby boy. Rather than looking upon this child and declare his death, Pharaoh's daughter has compassion on him. What was it that moved her heart--first, this baby was beautiful and secondly this baby wept. In as soon as she held this child, we find his sister interrupting this Kodak moment only to ask if she should find the mother of the baby so that he may be nursed to which Pharaoh's daughter gladly accepted. Isn't that amazing? She could have easily dismissed this child because of his nationality, but she doesn't--instead she invites this Hebrew baby into her home and the baby's mother. But what there's more! Not only does she seek out the mother but also pays her to raise her own child. WOW! If you want to talk about God moving in the midst this is it.
There are three things we can learn from this story. First, God always has a plan. Though we may not see it or understand it at the time, our faith in Him permits us to believe it is so. Secondly, we see God's protection upon those who are His people. This baby could have easily been snared by some water creature, but he wasn't. Pharaoh's daughter could have disregarded the basket and the contents therein, but she didn't. God's hand of protection was upon this child from the moment his mother placed him in the basket. And finally, God does give us a peace beyond all understanding. Just think of how difficult it must have been for this baby's mother to send her son off along the river's side. I am sure she struggled let something of so much value go--but in the end, she placed her faith and trust in God and her son in God's hands and we get the privilege of seeing the end result for her faithfulness.