Oh boy, I’m excited about this week! I’m calling this week’s series, “Letting Go and Letting God,” and we’re kicking today off in Exodus. At this time, Pharaoh’s orders are to kill newborn Hebrew boys. Can you even imagine? We find Moses’ mother, who was the epitome of letting go and letting God, placing her son Moses into a basket on the Nile River, trusting God to protect him. Let’s dive in shall we?!
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Did you ever play the trust game in school where you had to fall back and trust that the person behind you, probably one of your classmates, was going to catch you and it was terrifying, wasn’t it? That space between, okay, I’ve decided to start falling back and starting to fall back. You know what that space is called? It’s called faith, and I’m telling you something. Whenever you and I lean in or in this case, lean back and trust in the Lord, we are going to be caught. He’s going to catch us every time. Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica, and I’m so glad you’re here. This week, you and I are going to study what it looks like to let go and let God. What does that trust look like? So often we can become a basket case because we worry when God puts on our heart that it’s time to take a leap of faith. Or we have to trust him a little more deeply on something, and it can be terrifying. That’s why I wanted to start off with that picture, because I think we’ve all played that game. That’s what it feels like physically and a little bit mentally too. You start to wobble a little, you start to wonder, but our God is faithful. He is the solid rock, and he is always going to be there. He’s always going to have your back. I want to begin our study this week in the Book of Exodus. We’re going to be turning to chapter one, and there were a bunch of women who had to trust the Lord in a really terrifying situation during this time in the history of Israel. They were the slaves of the Pharaoh in Egypt. This was past the time of Joseph when he enjoyed great favor with the Pharaoh. Remember, Joseph was faithful and interpreted the dreams, and honestly saved Egypt and the world through the power of God from famine, right? But Joseph died, and yet the Israelites became fruitful. So fruitful in fact, that Pharaoh was afraid, afraid that the Israelites would outnumber the Egyptians and overpower them, and so he enslaved them. I mean, we’re talking hard labor. He worked these people to the absolute bone. Exodus one 12 says, listen to this:
But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly.
That’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? Well, it gets crazier. Let’s pick up the story in verse 15, because clearly the Pharaoh is operating out of a terrible spirit of fear. Exodus chapter one, beginning in verse 15.
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?” 19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”
Okay! How brave, how courageous, how strong did Shiphrah and Puah have to be to stand before the king of their world and give account for disobeying him? They chose to disobey the earthly king rather than disobey their true king, God. Wow. Can we just pause for a moment and imagine what it was like for them to trust the Lord in those moments? Every single time a baby was born, they had to make that decision to trust the Lord. Again, maybe you’re like that right now. Maybe it’s circumstance after circumstance and the Lord is like, dig in, lean in. I got you. Verse 20 now.
So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. 22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”
Okay. Now we see Pharaoh upping the ante. Imagine how terrified he was of God’s people. Alright, Exodus two. Now beginning in verse one.
Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. 5 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. 6 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. 7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” 8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
And that was the beginning of the story of Moses. God’s hand was on him from the day he was born, and God is writing a story for every child that is ever born. Moses’ mother was not just dropping that basket into the Nile, she was placing her son into the hands of her God. She was saying, I release him to you. I trust you Lord. I see that there is something special about this baby, and I know this might be a time for you where you’re letting your little child’s hand go and walk onto the school bus. Or maybe you’re like, me and your child is getting ready to move out. She’s packing up her room. She’s getting ready to spread her wings and fly as you let go of her hand. Again, you’re not just letting her go into that apartment or dorm room or school bus. You are releasing your baby who is so special to you, into the hands of God. That’s what letting go and letting God looks like. Alright, I can’t wait until next time. Until then, you are loved.
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