Read: Exodus 2:1-10
It is a hard thing to give up a child for adoption. There is the loss of the parent/child relationship. There is the loss of all the idealized hopes and dreams of the future. And there is sometimes a stigma of thought, “what kind of a mother would give her child away?” This is a stigma and judgment that is unfair and unfounded. When it is clearly in the best interest of the child and that an adoptive family can provide a stable home with the opportunity for a life of happiness and fulfillment, it is a loving and compassionate decision. Such a choice by the birthmother then becomes a selfless and even a heroic decision. Such is the case with the baby Moses.
For baby Moses it was a matter of possible life or certain death; even so, it was a hard thing for his mother to do. We never learn the name of Moses’ mother in the Exodus story. Strangely, we do learn that Moses has a brother, Aaron, and a sister, Miriam. These two siblings will later play a role in the liberation of God’s people from slavery in Egypt, but at this point in the story we follow the life of the baby Moses.
It was a loving and compassionate thing for Moses’ birthmother to give him up. And it was a loving and compassionate thing for Pharaoh’s daughter to accept the baby she found floating in the Nile River, as her own. She “drew” him out of the water (the meaning of “Moses”) saving his life. She realized that he was a Hebrew baby, yet her recognition and affirmation of common humanity overcomes the ethnic, racial, or religious prejudices. I wish I could say that is easy to do, but in a society feeling threatened because of the free/slave injustices, it would have been easy to dehumanize “the other”, even a vulnerable infant. After all, presumably some Hebrews boy-babies were killed at birth because the dominant culture felt threatened. So, there are two heroic, unnamed women as this story begins.
“Black lives matter”, “Blue lives matter”, “All lives matter”, the list could go on and on, with merit. Human beings have all been “made in the image and likeness of God”. When we fail to recognize that fact, even in the face of our “enemy”, we have stopped following Jesus (Matthew 5:43-45). When we dismiss the sick, staving, homeless, imperiled or refugee we have dismissed the word of our Lord, and we have neglected Him (Matthew 25:31-46).
Pastor Rob Nystrom