|But Moses was not an Egyptian boy. Oh no!
He was a little Jewish baby. They were called Hebrews then, which is still one of the
names of the Jewish people.
The Hebrews were the children of Jacob, and all the
children that have since been born from Jacob's children are called Jacob's descendants.
Jacob was the grandson of Abraham.
To Abraham and his children God promised to
give the land of Canaan, but at the time of this story all the Hebrew people were in
Egypt. Joseph, one of Jacob's sons, had become a ruler in Egypt, and the rest of the
family went there during the years of famine. I told you all about this in my last story,
but I want you to be sure to remember it.
Everything went along fine with the Hebrew
children as long as Joseph lived. But, like everybody else, Joseph grew old and died, and
so did all his brothers. But of course there were a great many Hebrew children who became
men and women, and they had children of their own. As years went by, there were thousands
and thousands of Hebrews living in the land of Egypt.
The Egyptians grew old and died also.
Everybody had to die then, just as everybody dies now, because in the Garden of Eden Adam
and Eve disobeyed God.
It won't always be that way though, for God
loves everybody, and he gave his Son, Jesus, to die for everybody; and by and by Jesus
will bring back all the dead people and give them health and strength, and they will then
live forever. Won't that be wonderful? That's what the Bible means when it says that Jesus
saves the people. He saves them from death just as the big ark saved Noah and his family
from the water, and just as the little ark saved Moses from the water.
Well, to get back to my story, that nice,
kind Pharaoh, or king of Egypt, who had made Joseph such an important ruler over the
people, died. Then there was a Pharaoh in Egypt who had not known Joseph and he was
unfriendly to Joseph's relatives.
This king saw how the Hebrew children were
increasing in number, and he was afraid that some day there would be more Hebrews than
Egyptians. So what do you suppose he did? Why, he made slaves of all the Hebrews and put
cruel masters over them to make them work very, very hard. Perhaps he thought this would
cause them to die young, and that soon there wouldn't be nearly as many Hebrews.
But God was with the Hebrews.
He had made wonderful promises to Abraham
and to Isaac and to Jacob, and to all of Jacob's sons. These promises belonged to all the
Hebrews. They were God's people, and God won't let anybody kill all of his people.
Besides, God will bring back to life all
the Hebrews who have died, and everybody else, too, for that matter. You see, God always
keeps his promises, and no one can really interfere with what God wants done. That's a
very important thing to remember.
Making slaves of the Hebrews didn't stop.
them from increasing in number, so the king of Egypt ordered that all the boy babies of
the Hebrews should be killed as soon as they were born. They were to be thrown into the
river Nile and drowned. Wasn't that awful?
Now the mother of the baby boy who was
later named Moses dearly loved that little child, just as all of us love babies today, and
no matter what the king had said, she made up her mind that she would do all she could to
keep him from being drowned.
She kept the baby out of sight in her home
for three months, and when she realized that she couldn't keep him hidden much longer she
built that little ark of bulrushes and painted it with tar so it wouldn't leak. Then she
placed the baby in the ark and bid it among the leaves and grass that grew up at the edge
of the water in the river.
After the mother put this small boat with
its precious passenger by the edge of the river, she went away. But the baby's sister
stood nearby to see what would happen. And what do you think did occur? Why, one of the
daughters of the king-the very king who had ordered all the Hebrew baby boys
killedcame down to the river to bathe. Several young ladies came with her to give
her any help she needed. The king's daughter saw the little boat snuggled among the reeds
and rushes by the water's edge, and she asked her servants to find out what was in it.
When they opened the basket, there was that
darling baby! Of course the king's daughter knew that it was a Hebrew baby. She knew, too,
that all Hebrew boy babies were supposed to be drowned. But she was tenderhearted and
couldn't bear to see such a precious little baby killed; so she decided that she would
adopt the baby and call it her own. Wasn't that wonderful?
You see, God had planned that when this
particular boy became ,a man he would give him a great work to do, and this was God's way
of saving the boy he wanted to use. God always knows how to do what he wants to do. That's
why we should always trust him and believe that his promises will come true.
The king's daughter knew that she didn't
understand very much about taking care of babies, so just at the right time the baby's own
sister, who had stayed nearby to see what would happen, came to her and offered to get a
nurse to take care of the baby. The king's daughter thought this was a very good idea, so
the baby's sister went home and brought back their mother.
When she came, Pharaoh's daughter asked her
to take the baby and nurse him for her. Now, didn't everything turn out well. That is the
way the Lord does things. Then the king's daughter named the baby Moses, and Moses was
cared for by his own mother until he grew to be a young man.
A LITTLE BOY IN AN ARK
Explain how it come about that Moses was cared
for and educated in the
home of Egypt's ruler.
Who was Moses, and why was he put in a small
ark at the edge of a river when
he was a baby?