Weekly Devotion – Exodus 2:5-6

Published 9:16 am Thursday, January 26, 2023

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By Mike Caton

Exodus 2:5-6, “Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said.”

When I was in middle school, maybe, we had a reading book entitled Serendipity. It was after I was grown I realized that was not just a made-up word, and when I looked it up, the definition was a fun one; a happy accident. Isn’t it serendipitous that pharaoh’s daughter just happened to choose this spot in the Nile to take her bath? As was said earlier, we are not told Jochebed did any scouting before she placed Moses in the basket in the river, but we can almost be sure she did her homework. But there was still so much that was out of her control.

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There can be no doubt God still works in our world, just as he did in Bible days. That is not to say we can force God to act or that God always works in the ways we want or understand. And so often the plans we have are nothing more than recipes for disaster and God saves us from ourselves many times, and we are often unaware of that. Jochebed could put the basket in the river, in a place she expected the princess to find, but she could not control the girl’s reaction to the baby. Most folks have a positive reaction to a baby, they are drawn to its innocence, helplessness, purity. But there are no guarantees.

Again, this is where the attitude of work like it all depends on you and pray like it all depends on God comes in. Jochebed has done all she can to protect her child. Now Moses is staring into the face of pharaoh’s daughter, I wonder what he sees, I wonder why he is crying (is his diaper dirty, is he hungry, has the Nile soaked through, is he cold or hot, or just cranky?). And I wonder what the princess sees, clearly it is a Hebrew baby; but what else? I wonder if she sees more Hebrew or more baby? I wonder if she has any children, if she is even married. I’d love to know what is going through her head.

Father, help me trust in those moments of the unknown. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works full time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.