Sermon delivered April 10, 1999

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.
King James Version - KJV
New King James Version - NKJV
New International Version - NIV
New Living Translation - NLT

Miniature Moses

Today is the first of a series of seven sermons we're going to have. I would like to talk today about "Miniature Moses."

Let me ask you a question: Name the greatest female financier in the Bible? It was Pharaoh's daughter. You know why? She went down to the bank... of the Nile... and drew out a little prophet. The prophet grew and became the greatest prophet in the history of the world. How do we know that? Come over here to Deuteronomy 34:10 NLT There has never been another prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face. Now, that's greater than John the baptist because John the Baptist didn't know the Lord face to face. And Moses knew the Lord for a hundred and twenty years and I doubt if John the Baptist lived that long. We are talking about the greatest prophet in the history of the world other than Jesus Christ Himself.

Now, his experience is very similar to the birth of Jesus. Notice how familiar this sounds. We're going to begin our study in Exodus.

His family were as poor as Job's cat! They lived in a humble Goshen cabin. Satan knew that it was time for the Deliverer of God's people to be born. When he knows that, he tries to attack the deliverer. That's what he tried to do. He produced a death decree that all boys would be killed. And this little family were preserved in Egypt from the death decree. Angels of God protected the birth of the deliverer in a miraculous way. I want you to allow the record of one of history's most moving birth stories rub character into your life. Let it's power recharge your being.

Let us begin in Exodus 6, because the story doesn't begin in chapter 1 or 2. If you start in Exodus 2 you don't know the names of Moses' parents. You have to go to Exodus 6 to learn that. Exodus 6:20 Amram married his father's sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. It doesn't mention Miriam. Miriam was born first. Moses' daddy married his own Aunt! Isn't that something? Moses' mother would double as his own great Aunt. Now, my mother is not my aunt, but Moses had a very unique circumstance. Whenever they didn't get along he gets to call her, "Aunt Jochebed" because she was.

This story started with Joseph. You can read it all through the last part of the book of Genesis. You can read about Joseph and how God used Joseph to save Jacob's starving family of seventy people. Two Greyhound buses could have easily held them. They moved down to Egypt because they were dying of starvation. God sent a man, Joseph. And Joseph was able to, through God's providence, grow the grain and save all Egypt as well as his own people.

But Joseph had been dead almost 400 years. Exodus 1:8 Then a new king (Pharaoh) who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. Now, when there is throne changing time there can be a crisis. And he made slaves out of these people who by now had grown from 70 to nearly 2 million.

The good times were gone. This vicious Adolf Hitler-like Pharaoh launched forced labor camps with whips and zealous slave drivers. The Jews had to make bricks, and pyramids, and obelisks and even cities. All this under the hot sun and the cursing bark of jack booted task masters.

For almost eighty years they struggled in building canals. Josephus tells us they built the great Alexandrian Canal. It took a hundred fifty thousand slaves just to build the Alexandrian canal in the 19th century BC and twenty thousand laborers died. Probably most of those were Hebrews. In the midst of this time of trouble two young slaves in Goshen got married: Amram and Jochebed. God gave them two children: Miriam, and Aaron. About the only thing they enjoyed in the way of a treat were the leeks and garlic there.

Now, the more you persecute believers, the more numerous they become. Almost every day on the local Egyptian news, you cold hear the commentators talking about the population explosion in the Eastern Delta. Finally a new law was passed upon Midwives: Exodus 1:15,16 NIV The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.

The midwife was to discover the sex of the baby as it came forth and kill it quickly if it was a boy. She could say, "Ma'am, I'm sorry, we've got a still born baby here," as she finished choking it to death. It was an awful situation similar to partial birth abortion today.

Exodus 1:17 NLT But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king and allowed the boys to live, too. - NLT Praise God for godly midwives! What wonderful heroines. They feared God more than pharaoh.

Exodus 1:18,19 NLT Then the king called for the midwives. "Why have you done this? he demanded. "Why have you allowed the boys to live?" "Sir," they told him, "the Hebrew women are very strong. They have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time! They are not slow in giving birth like Egyptian women."

During this death decree, Jochebed discovered that she was InfanTicipating again! Was that bad timing? I mean, you don't want to deliver a baby during this time. And through the ultrasound they found out it was going to be a boy. This is bad timing. Right? No. It is perfect timing. Because God's timing is always right. Anybody might say, well, why do I have to have this disease at this time in my life? Why do I have to have this cancer? God's timing. I don't know. It seldom makes sense.

Exodus 2:2 NIV And she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. She hid him for almost a hundred days. He was well formed and beautiful. Is every baby beautiful? If it is yours it is! They named their third child MOSES. He was an exceptionally beautiful and noble looking child, - (Acts 7:20). In fact, if you want the whole story of Moses in a nutshell you just read Stephen's sermon there in Acts 7:20 cf. But Jochebed had a bad problem. Her husband was out making bricks all day in the hot sun. Here she had a screaming baby at home who was advertising his illegal presence with great gusto. You don't want screaming children. When we have them in church we have a mother's room. She didn't have any place to take these children.

It's described well in HEBREWS 11:23- By faith Moses' parents hide him for three months after he was born, because they saw that he was not ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. Godly parents are a blessing to children. That's what Moses had. They weren't afraid. God had a special reason for him to live. He was no accident. Miriam was born first, then Aaron, and you could say, "Moses was an accident." Were you an accident? There are no accidents! Moses was born under the divine hand of God.

If you believe in God, your kids are special. God has a special purpose for every child. And if you believe that, if you believe in your children, you will treat them differently. I know so many parents that the children misbehave and they say, "You are bad! You are the awfullest child on the face of the earth." If you keep telling them that they are going to start to believe it. And they're going to become the awfullest child on the face of the earth. You need to believe in your children. Obviously Amram and Jochebed believed in their child. If you do, you're going to take time to bring your child to Sabbath School on time. You're going to take time to pray with your child, read the Bible to your child, bring your Bible to church and to sit in church with your children. Good parents will be aware of the dangers that could destroy their children. Were Amram and Jochebed aware of dangers here? Absolutely they were. Are there dangers to children today? Do parents need to protect their children from those dangers? Yes they do, just like they protected Moses. Just turn on the TV and you've got some danger there. Turn on the Internet and let your child have a free two hours unsupervised on a web page somewhere. I mean, there are evil videos, evil toys, evil music. We need to shield our children from these evils.

Well, Moses was doomed to die. His parents prayed long and hard. God gave them a brilliant idea. You can't hide your boy forever. Moses was the only boy child in that community. All the others were dead, probably, thrown in the Nile with the crocodiles. So it's just a matter of time before he would be killed. They would find him.

So, one day Jochebed got this idea. The law of Egypt required all Hebrew baby boys to be cast into the Nile as an offering to the river god. The large Nile crocodiles had already gotten fat on hundreds of Hebrew baby boys. Nobody would think to look in the Nile for a live child. That's where she would put him. She thought about Noah. Why not build another Ark, a one passenger ark. She could put her son into that ark. Great idea! And so she rushed to the bulrushes and she wove his future out of papyrus reeds.

Here was the plan: This had to be an exceedingly well thought through plan. It obviously had to be a plan thought out with a lot of prayer. Over and over they rehearsed it. Pharaoh's baby catchers were all over the country. Moses' parents knew the location where Pharaoh's daughter came for her daily bath. They had studied her habits and kept notes on the times. They knew exactly where she would be and when she would be there. And so they made this basket and they put it in the water there and they knew she would find it. She was childless. She was the only daughter of Pharaoh. Pharaoh needed a progenitor. He needed somebody to take his place. he didn't have anybody to take his place. She must have a child. She couldn't have a child, obviously. And here was the chance. Moses could become her child. And they knew just where Miriam could hide. Jochebed and Miriam practiced their speeches, facial expressions and body language over and over.

They chose this place where the floating crib would be found by the only person alive who could save their son. You could call it, "Operation float and find." You see, Pharaoh's daughter did not have a son. The plan was for her to believe that the river god had given her a son.

EXODUS 2:3 NIV But when she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. The King James Version says, "She daubed it with slime and pitch. A Standard Oil Company read this verse many years ago and he thought, "Where there is pitch there must be oil. It is probably still there." So this geologist by the name of Charles Whitshott was sent and he found vast deposits of oil in Egypt. -Chicago Daily News

Now I don't know how Jochebed did this, but in the King James Version it says she mixed this asphalt with this slime. How could you mix okra-like slime with asphalt? I don't know. A desperate mother can do anything, and if you are a persistent, determined, mother, you can save your child. You can do it. I suppose she slimed it down good so the crocodiles couldn't get a hold of it. I don't know. Undoubtedly she tested the seaworthiness of the little homemade craft by using stone weights to make sure it would carry the child and not tip over. All thought through.

Finally she put it in the water. She gave her baby one last kiss on his rosy cheek and withdrew her finger from the warm grip of his dimpled hand. She closed the lid and left with a big lump in her throat and an urgent prayer in her heart. But she left Miriam there, like a guard from Pinkertons, watching, hiding back there in the reeds, the brush protecting that black slimy watermelon shaped cradle, hidden there among the Nile reeds.

Now about that same time another desperate woman came down to the sandy banks of the Nile River. She had another problem: she needed to take a bath. In an area protected from the murky cattails and heaving hippopotami came Hapshepsut (HAP/SEEP/SUIT), the childless daughter of no less than Pharaoh himself! - Hitler's daughter. The man who passed the death decree in the first place. Now, if you and I were standing there as outside observers, we would think that this is absolutely awful, the very murderer is going to find this child. This is terrible. But not so with God's plans. You need to trust in God.

Of course in reality, the truth is that the Angels of God had led Hapshepsut to the very spot. They caused Moses to cry at that very moment so that he would be found. She removed her golden sandals. The maids took off her horsehair wig so that she could take her morning dip. At that point she looked out there and spotted the UFO, an Unidentified Floating Object.

And her maids, with great effort, brought it to shore and... And the Bible says here chapter 2 that she herself opened it and she saw the most beautiful baby she had ever seen in her whole life. He must have been handsome. She read the whole story at a glance. Instantly she knew what was going on here. If the boy's mother was so intelligent as to go through all this, perhaps the baby was a gifted child!

She fell in love with him. He was a gift of the Nile god. The river had imparted life! She would adopt him. He would be her very own son. He would be Pharaoh someday! She named him Hapmose which means drawn out of the Nile. Her father was Tutmose. But she didn't have any milk. She didn't have time to raise this son. What was she going to do?

Well, there was a stirring back there in the reeds and up jumped a person by the name of Miriam. She said, "I have an idea. Can I go find you somebody to help you raise this baby?" "Yes, can you do that for me?" She ran to her mother. You know, mothers make the best baby-sitters, don't they. What better baby-sitter can you find than your own mother?

Isn't providence beautiful? I mean, just at the very time when Pharaoh's cruelty rose to this height the deliverer was born. We have all those people saying, "Well, Y2K is going to destroy the whole world. We're going to blow up or something. All these calamities. I want to tell you the Deliverer is on the way! You trust in God. God is preparing for our salvation! Don't worry about the future. You trust in God. Moses was drawn from the backwaters of the Nile River to be placed in the mainstream of God's master plan to save His people. What a blessing for Moses.

So she got him and she named him Hapmose. Hapmose. That was his name at the very beginning. In fact, her father was called Tutmose. Do you remember reading about Tut One and Tut Two. Tutmose. Eventually Moses didn't go by the name of Hapmose, which means, "drawn out of the Nile." He left off that part, the "Tut" part and just went by "Moses" because he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, didn't he. He wanted to stand up for what was right. There are so many lessons in here.

Well, Miriam jumped up and went and got her mother. Her mother came and Hapshepsut said, "Could I hire you. Would you work for twenty dollars an hour or something to take care of this child? I will give you money for his clothes. I'd like for you to refurbish your house, fix up a special room for him. Just treat him right, because he is going to be my son." And so Jochebed was paid to take care of her own boy. You know it pays to follow God, doesn't it. Proverbs 16:7 NLT When the ways of people please the LORD, he makes even their enemies live at peace with them.

I appreciate the Divine planning that Moses' mother did to save her son. I think we need to take a part in this rather than just sit back and fold our hands and pray, "God, you do this. I'm not going to do anything." Moses' mother went to great lengths to plan for his future safety. Do you do that? Miniature Moses had a mother who both trusted and acted. God helps those who help themselves.

A worried lady came to see me... 
     "Pastor, I'm in a big problem here.  I need some money," she
said.  
"Do you have a job?"  I asked.
"No.  I am trusting in God to provide me with a job.  I know that."
I asked, "Have you put any job applications in yet?"
"Yes, I put it in a bakery not far from here."
"Have you put applications anywhere else?"
"No.  God's going to provide.  I'm going to get a job.  I am
trusting in God."
I said, "well, get out there and spend eight hours a day putting in
applications.  That's your job." 

You know, God helps those who help themselves. I can't quote that out of the Bible, but, Jochebed did her best, all that she could do humanly and God took it from there. You need to do all you can do. These people that just sit back and twiddle thumbs... that doesn't work.

Now, I trust in God for good health, but that doesn't grant me the right of going out and feeding on Snicker bars and Twinkies and Ice Cream. You know, I can't do that. I've got to do my part. Jochebed did not cast her "bread" on the water without a wise plan.

Did you know that it is thought that a short time later, the death decree was lifted because Hapshepsut implored her father to revoke it due to her new son. Thus Baby, HapMoses ALREADY became the passive method of saving hundreds of Hebrew lives. Indeed the Deliverer had come. We don't call him HAPMOSES because he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter.

Moses was blessed by being born into a God-fearing family. Were they God-fearing? How do we know that? It says they were both Levites, for one thing. You can read the whole story. They were a very God-fearing family. Weren't most of the Hebrews in Egypt God-fearing people? No, they were not. How do we know that? After four hundred years Pagan Egypt had pretty well rubbed off on most Jews. Look at Joshua 24:14 KJV Now therefore fear the Lord, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood. They had pretty well gone the way of idolatry. They were still God's people somehow. It's a wonder He didn't just leave them there. Today Christian parents must keep their own hearts pure from the corruption of this sinful world if they are ever going to raise godly children. You've got to be godly yourself. You can't expect your children to be any higher than you are. It doesn't happen that often.

So it was that devout Jochebed took this child and raised it. She only had twelve short years to raise her son. After twelve years he would have to move in with his other "mother." She would have to give him to the heathens. He would be surrounded with wicked parties, drinking, foul cursing, women wearing transparent clothing, and all manner of ungodly things. She had a tremendous challenge, to do in twelve short years what most mothers have a lifetime to accomplish. Moses would have two mothers. But fortunately the one who believed in God got to him first!

What a difference that makes. Oh, the importance of those first years cannot be overemphasized! No other work can equal the work of a Christian mother today. Moses' father is hardly mentioned here. To a very great extent the mother holds in her own hands the destiny of her children! (See Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 244, EG White.) Perhaps we would be better parents if we were given a deadline! If you knew that twelve years was all you would have you would be desperate from day one! Every moment would be priceless!

You preschool mothers, ponder cautiously before turning those irretrievable years of your child over to another person. The mother is the best baby sitter. If you must work outside the home, work the least hours you can. Spend quality time with your children. Your child will thank you for that later on.

Just as Moses was born to save his people, just so, Jesus was born to save us from sin. I want you to accept Jesus as your Savior.

Now, we have an exciting series here on Moses coming up. I hope you will not miss any of these. But I hope you will not miss Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Opening Hymn: #7, The Lord in Zion Reigneth
Scripture: Exodus 2:1-10
Closing Hymn: #308, Wholly Thine

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