I was reading in Exodus this morning about Pharaoh giving the order to all of his officials to kill all of the newborn baby boys birthed from the Hebrew people. He said in Exodus 1, "Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile." Can you even imagine?
I read the story again that most of us have read too many times to count about the desperate measures that a mom went to in her meager effort to do something that might keep the child safe that was born to her, the son that she loved, the son that she found so beautiful, the son that Pharaoh so ruthlessly commanded to be drowned. I read about this mommy placing Moses in a basket and then putting him among the reeds along the bank of the Nile because she could hide him from those that sought his life no longer.
I imagined his mom and the horror of her hurt as she wrapped her babe up ever so tightly and placed him as gently and carefully as she could in a basket that she had tarred and sealed to keep from sinking. No doubt, she must have waited until he was sleeping. She probably rocked to soothe her child as tears were streaming down her face and soaking the robe she was wearing. Perhaps she sang him songs in hopes to soothe him while it simultaneously was breaking her heart. I imagine that she was already mourning for her loss and that she was fervently praying to her God asking Him to watch and take care of this child, this boy, this son that He had given to her that she was now sending away in hopes to save him.
After putting Moses into the water from her well thought out plan, she must have moaned every step that she took all the way back home as she grieved for the son that she once physically carried in her womb and now still carried him there mentally through the ache that was overtaking her. All the while the baby boy's sister (Miriam) stood at a distance to keep watch in an effort to see what would happen to him. Of course, we know then that Pharaoh's daughter found him crying there, and that Miriam runs to ask her if she needs someone to nurse him, and that Pharaoh's daughter winds up hiring Moses' mom to nurse Moses for her until he grew older.
Can you imagine the joy in his mama's heart at holding him again? Yet, it's only a little while before she has to rip herself from him again because, "When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water.""
In reading that today I thought of three other babies that I personally know that were once ‘left in a basket.’
Trinity was left at the police station.
Shaylee was left on a bridge.
And Selah was left by the side of the road.
All three Chinese baby girls were left in their places so soon after their births. Left somewhere (like Moses) "when" their moms could no longer take care of them.... Or probably "because (their moms) could hide them no longer."
I wondered if they had a sister or brother that stood in the distance to "see what would happen to them"? An aunt or an uncle? Or the mother herself? To make sure that someone actually found them so that they knew that the child would be taken care of and not left to die alone?
I thought about Pharaoh's daughter being drawn in and taken by the baby's cry that soon stole her heart and moved her to claim him as her own. I thought about her naming him Moses because she "drew him out of the water." And I thought about my friends Bridget and Lindy who have adopted Trinity and Shaylee and Selah and about all of the others who have drawn babies out of the some ‘water’ to keep them from drowning and to keep them from the fate of death at the hands of the enemy that wanted to kill them.
I thought about the moms that often seem so cruel in leaving their babies in such odd places as if cast aside and thrown away because their hearts did not care... when all the while, they may have placed them with precious precision in their carefully thought out strategic places where they hoped someone would come and rescue them and save them from their fate of what would happen to them if left to them.
Thank you Mark and Bridget and John and Lindy for drawing out the three that you have. And thanks, too, to all of you others that have done the same in adopting some babe. May God shine His face and His favor upon you and all of the children you now bare!
James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
"A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads forth the prisoners with singing..." Ps 68:5-6
Click here to watch: When Love Takes You In