Moses in the Basket : Exodus 2:1-10

Moses in the Basket : Exodus 2:1-10
Rev. Henry Martin /

The Bible tells us how God can turn ashes into garlands, which is the case in the story of Moses in the Basket. 

However, it is important to understand the story of Abraham, who came before Moses, appreciate how God performed wonderful works through Moses.

Background Story of Abraham

  • God had spoken to Abraham and told him to travel to the country of Canaan (modern-day Israel).
  • He told Abraham he would be blessed with many descendants there, so many that they would outnumber the stars, and all nations would be blessed because of his faithfulness to God.
  • When Abraham arrived in Canaan, God spoke to him again, promising all the land of Canaan to his descendants.
  • Jesus was a descendant of Abraham and an heir to the blessings spoken of.
  • Through faith in Jesus, Christians are automatically adopted as heirs in the Abrahamic lineage and so are also heirs to Abraham’s blessings.
  • These blessings guide and protect us and offer great hope in this life and the one to come. You can learn more about this here.
  • Abraham settled well in Canaan and produced many children and grandchildren; however, there was a famine after some time.
  • So Jacob, a grandson of Abraham and the then family’s patriarch took his extended family of seventy to Egypt for better conditions and to be with his son Joseph, who held a high position in the government under the Pharaoh.
  • As God predicted to Abraham, the Israelites multiplied in numbers dramatically over the years in Egypt.
  • Eventually, the Pharaoh became nervous that they were too many and thought they might try to take control of the land.
  • So he enforced brutal laws and rules to subvert them and even decreed that every male baby born to Hebrews be thrown into the River Nile. 

Why Moses was put into a Basket on the River

A Hebrew mother, called Jochebed, managed to keep her newborn baby boy hidden for three months, but she knew she could not do this forever, so she dramatically decided to try and give him a chance in life. 

She waterproofed a basket, put the child in it, and carefully placed it in the river’s reeds, perhaps hoping and praying for a miracle.

Her daughter Miriam hid in the reeds watching until the daughter of the Pharaoh came along to bathe in the river and found the child.

The Pharaoh’s daughter probably knew that the child was a Hebrew, and the family was trying to save him, so she decided to adopt him.

Miriam then stepped out of the reeds and asked if she should find a Hebrew wet nurse to wean him. The Pharaoh’s daughter said yes.

Miriam brought Moses’ mother, Jochebed, back to the place, and the Pharaoh’s daughter said she would pay her to bring him up until he was old enough to live in the Pharaoh’s palace with her. Exodus 2:1-10 NRSV

God Works with Difficult Circumstances to Advance His Kingdom

God used the Pharaoh’s dark decree to kill all male newborn Hebrews to place the baby Moses where He wanted him to be. 

His mother might have known there was a good chance that the Pharaoh’s daughter would find Moses in the reeds.

She might well have placed Miriam to watch over the situation and if all went to plan ask if she should find a Hebrew nurse so that her mother could still bring Moses up.

Perhaps the Pharaoh’s daughter could see that Moses’ mother had obeyed the law by putting the baby in the river, but was touched by the beauty and innocence of the child and the desperate hope of Jochebed and Miriam.

Whatever the reasoning, Moses was brought up by his natural mother in his early years.

Then his adopted mother, the Pharoah’s daughter, had the resources to ensure he learnt from the best teachers about Egyptian culture and civilisation at the Pharaoh’s palace.

This prepared him to lead the Israelites out of slavery and persecution in Egypt and back to Canaan; his ultimate destiny and purpose as planned by God. 

Garlands from Ashes

So God made garlands from ashes for Moses and still does for us today. Isaiah 61:2-4

When things go wrong, and everything seems against us, God will take us up to the next level.

He will position us for what he has intended from the beginning of time for each one of us.

We may be in a difficult situation, it might be unfair, and we might call out to God – why me?

But, at times like this, we just need to let go and surrender ourselves to Jesus, saying, Jesus, you take over.

Then don’t be surprised when things start turning around and one day you suddenly realise that you are on another path, as Moses was in the Basket.

When we surrender our will to God he will guide us towards the destiny He always had in mind for us.

However bad a situation might be, we must always remember that God will never test us with more than we can bear.

Also, never forget that all those who believe in Jesus are the heirs of God’s blessings upon Abraham in Canaan.

‘For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSVA)

You can find out more about Moses and how his life unfolded at A Church Near You in the link below;

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