Moses the Deliverer


Sermon Text: Exodus 2:1-10
Sermon Series: “Exodus”

Main Points:
I. The extraordinary story of a baby
II. The hand of God working in history
III. Moses, a prefigure of the Saviour Jesus

This story is a scale-down or tabloid version of the entire book of Exodus, and it speaks to us only one message, that is, God is in control over all things. He is in control over lives; He is in control over all affairs in history; even people’ thoughts and emotions are under God’s full and sovereign will. This story is recorded, preserved and given to us to tell this one ultimate truth – God is in full control over absolutely all things.

By this message, we’re called to bow to God who is sovereign and all powerful. At the same time, we’re called to worship Him who has freed us from our former slavery to sin and death. Then, this story encourages us to remain confident in all powerful and never-changing Saviour God, thus, be joyful in Him.

It might sound to you somewhat overstated, but it’s not at all an exaggeration. And I want you to come along with me and hear the message yourselves as the very word of God speaks to us.

Now, let us focus on the extraordinary story of a baby that took place in Egypt almost three and a half millennia ago.

Its beginning is deeply depressing as the baby boy is born under a death sentence. According to the first chapter of Exodus, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, commanded that every son born to the Hebrews should be cast into the River Nile. So this infant boy’s fate is as faint as his breath.

But his mother decides to take the risk of disobeying the Pharaoh’s order, and keeps her son hidden and alive. She has done it for three months. This must be an unimaginably difficult task. It’s an infant baby, and for the first three months, infants spend their time with crying, eating and sleeping. When they cry, their voice passes through walls and fences. This mother in Ex. 2, however, has secretly kept her baby son for three months. Besides, she has to go out every day to work as a slave, like all other Hebrews in Egypt. Every second in this baby boy’s first three months has been thoroughly cared for in great patience. What an outstanding work that was! Yet, ultimately, we need to know that it was not anyone’s effort but God’s hand working mightily and protecting the baby and his parents.

Heb. 11:23 comments on the acts of the parents, saying that they did it by faith. Hear what Heb. 11:23 says: “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” Why did they keep him? Because, as Heb. 11 adds, “they saw that the child was beautiful.”

Here, ‘beautiful’ means not just an outward appearance, but more importantly, a special purpose of God in this infant boy’s life sensed or glimpsed by his parents, regardless of how dim it might’ve been to them. So, by faith, the baby is kept in secret, away from Egyptian’s eyes and ears.

Then, a time has finally come and the three-month-old boy can no longer be kept – he’s now too big, too noisy, even too mobile. The final and painful conclusion has emerged and he needs to be taken away from the rest of his family and the Hebrew community. Broken-hearted, the mother prepares for her son a basket with waterproof function with as much protection as bulrushes or papyrus reeds could possibly provide. Then she puts her boy in that basket, and places it among the reeds by the river bank.

And he is rescued by the daughter of Pharaoh! Moreover, the boy’s mum is directed to nurse him. I’m sure you can picture in your mind this joyful mum who holds her own son in her arms again! Later, when the child grew older, the Pharaoh’s daughter adopts him as her son and names him Moses “because,” says the Egyptian princess, “I drew him out of the water.”

This is an extraordinary story of a boy; he was born under the death sentence, then, out of death – as the Nile River was as good as death itself to a helpless infant – drawn out to life. Yet, a deeper reason is there that makes this story truly extraordinary.

This story is ‘extraordinary’ – that is, beyond what is ordinary or usual – not because a baby was rescued from misery or even death, but because it reveals who God is as well as what He does. This story testifies to God as the sovereign King over all who is in control over all.

Consider how each detail in this story points out God’s sovereign power, especially in terms of His careful plan and working hand on people. First of all, without God’s intervention, the boy could never be kept secretly for those three months. The basket was kept safe among the reeds away from vicious predators like the Nile crocodiles. Someone commented on this and said, ‘God protected the precious cargo of redemption.’ What a precise insight! This basket was placed at the exact spot and time to be seen by the Pharaoh’s daughter. Miriam, the boy’s sister, was guided by God’s invisible hand to watch over her baby brother and to approach the Egyptian princess and speak to her in wisdom.

What about the princess? God must’ve prepared her for this encounter. He could’ve made her heart unpleasant with her father’s genocide plan against the Hebrews. Her heart must’ve been touched by God to pity on the Hebrew boy crying in the basket. She might’ve thought that it was the time for her to do something about her father’s evil plan. In fact, her pity on this Hebrew boy is a precursor or reminder that the exodus was not just for the Jews but many others through faith, as Ex. 12:38 tells us.

When you consider all these in a bigger picture, you’ll see that this rescue overruled Pharaoh’s plan. Pharaoh’s intention was to exterminate the Jews, but his own daughter was protecting and preparing a Hebrew boy for the emancipation of his people from Egypt.

Let me talk about this more because it reveals to us an important truth on Satan and his evil scheme against God’s people. Pharaoh’s decree to exterminate the Israelite boys is a typical example of Satan’s attack on God’s people and His church. The devil always starts his evil scheme in secrecy, like the way Pharaoh secretly commanded Hebrew midwives to kill Hebrew boys at their birth. But, never does he succeed because God is always with His beloved. Then, the devil changes his plan, turning it to public awareness and acting in full power, as Pharaoh did at the end of Ex. 1 and the whole second chapter, ordering all in Egypt to throw Hebrew boys into the Nile.

This pattern has been repeated many times in the sad history of humanity. We can find this pattern even on our own streets and public squares in the present generation Australia.

The same pattern might’ve already taken place or might be faced in the coming days in individual’s life. Satan tempts you to compromised one tiny thing of your faith with the worldly principles, and it always begins in secrecy and soon in force. For example, seeing that working on the Lord’s Day would bring a Christian much better financial profit, he changes his schedule to work on Lord’s Days. In the beginning, it would give him much joy in terms of finance. He doesn’t feel in the beginning no change with his faith and commitment to God, although he finds himself absent from more Sunday worship services. But don’t be surprised when his negligence in worshipping God soon bites him back. Likewise, our enemy, the devil, begins his scheme with smile and in peaceful gesture, but soon will he disclose his secret plan to your eyes.

However, please be reminded afresh of the truth that every time the enemy presses on, his plan is overruled, thwarted, and turned to benefit God’s people, like the case of Pharaoh and Moses alongside all his fellow Jews in Egypt! God triumphs over evil because God is sovereign while the devil is not; because God rules the world, while the enemy Satan will be crushed underfoot! God is in charge of all things; God accomplishes salvation in human history – His eyes are on you and me as were on Moses and Israel in Egypt; He holds everything in His control and that includes your life and mine.

As God was working out His plan down to the last detail in this story of Moses’ birth and rescue, God never leaves you and me, His beloved, alone but keeps us in His mighty hands.

Moses was the guarantee of this truth of God in the sight of the OT Israel. The baby boy born under the death sentence, thrown into the abyss of the great river Nile, but God drew him out from all those troubles. Seeing it all, Israel realised and believed that God alone is King, He alone controls all things, and so He would surely save them from their slavery to sin, free them from their fear of death.

In fact, what God did in Moses’ birth and rescue, then, in his work of delivering Israel from their Egyptian bondage was to draw everyone’s eyes to the ultimate Guarantor of God’s salvation, that is, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is the ultimate reason that makes the story of the baby Moses extraordinary. Without this connection, Moses’ birth and rescue story has no significance or attraction. Without this connection to Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection, without a direct connection to Jesus’ redemption of sinners like us, Moses’ story would’ve been forgotten long ago. Moses takes our eyes to Jesus the Saviour of the world.

So, Moses prefigures Jesus, and his delivery of Israel from Egypt foreshadows the Saviour’s rescue work for sinners from all generations, freeing them – us – from the fear of death, thus, giving us everlasting joy!

To conclude, let me remind you that Moses’ story is extraordinary because it leads us to Jesus who is the Saviour. As God sent Moses to the OT Israel to deliver them from their Egyptian slavery, He sent His Son, Jesus, to us to deliver us from our bondage to sin and death. By believing in Jesus, sinners can be delivered from the curse of sin, thus, no longer is death a threat to the believer.

As Moses’ story leads us to trust in the Saviour Jesus, it also urges us to have confidence in God who is sovereign over all and in control over all matters. As He kept Moses in His hands, carefully guiding and protecting him alongside all people in the story, His eyes are fixed on you and me, and His hands are surrounding you and me now and always as have been in the past. ***

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s