Exodus 2:7-9 Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him.
When one thinks of Moses, they usually think of a big strong man who spends most of his time on the mountain with God. However, it wasn’t always that way. His story began when His family were slaves in Egypt. The Pharaoh at that time became fearful of what could happen to Egypt if the children of Israel continued to multiply in number.
His solution was to kill all the baby boys who were born to Hebrew women by throwing them into the Nile River. The thought of innocent babies being nothing more than waste to be discarded is not only heart-breaking but unnatural.
The scene then changes from something that is heart-breaking to something that is tender and touching. Touching because the responsibility of looking out for her baby brother, (who was marked for death), was given to a little five-year-old girl. The little girl’s name was Miriam and her little brother’s name was Moses. Her job of babysitting did not take place in her room with Moses in his bassinet. No, she was to keep an eye on Moses who was in a basket floating in the Nile River. Imagine the weight of such responsibility on the shoulders of that little girl. Children are born natural protectors of their siblings.
Because Moses’ mother could not bare the thought of throwing her baby in the Nile, she put him in a basket and laid him in the river … apparently hoping someone would find him and save his life. Miriam’s job was to carefully keep an eye on the basket.
When Pharaoh’s daughter came to the river to bathe, (as was her custom), she heard the baby crying and saw him … the inherent protective power of motherhood immediately went into action. As a result, she not only saved the baby’s life, but she wanted to keep the baby as her own.
Even though this story continues … I want to break away from it now because it is leading to anther story with the same kind of tenderness.
There was an eighteen-year-old student nurse who disobeyed her superior to save another throw-away baby like Moses. The eighteen-year-old girl was the mother of William Paul Young, the author of the books, “Lies We Believe About God” and the “Shack”.
According to Young, in 1946 his mother who had only been in nurse’s training for about three months was asked to assist a Doctor and a nurse in doing an emergency C-section. This woman was an Anglican pastor’s wife who had already miscarried five babies while in her second and third trimesters. Now, it looked hopeless for this pregnancy as well.
In doing the C-section the doctor removed the tiny one-pound newborn and placed it in a kidney tray and handed it to the eighteen-year-old student nurse and said, “It’s not viable, dispose of it”.
As the eighteen-year-old was leaving the room she noticed the baby was still breathing so she was caught in a dilemma as to what to do. The doctor said to “dispose of it”, but the same inherent protective power of motherhood immediately took over her life as it did Pharaoh’s daughter.
Instead of disposing of the baby the eighteen-year-old student nurse found a washcloth, wrapped the baby in it and put the tray on top of a sterilization unit, the only warm place in the room. She began feeding it with an eye dropper and the other nurses joined her in caring for and holding this baby.
The end of this tender story is … the baby boy began to gain weight and lived, grew up and became an Anglican priest … his name is Harold Munn. Harold, like Moses, was marked for death, but God had other plans.
Thank you, William Paul Young, for telling us your mother’s story of how as an eighteen-year-old girl she allowed the inherent protective power of motherhood to save a future man of God.
Give us that same protective heart as you did Miriam, Pharaoh’s daughter and the little eighteen-year-old student nurse whose disobedience worked within Your plan.