(Summary of the sermon:04 Oct 2015)
PERSEVERANCE OF FAITH
to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The Bible says that we are called to grow in the knowledge of the love of God. The word ‘know’ comes from the Greek word ‘gnosis’, which means the continuous knowledge of God. This knowledge doesn’t come from an academic reading but from a daily living with God. It is not a one off incident but a continuous, progressive transformation. As we grow in this knowledge of God’s love every day, our faith will also increase. We will be filled with the fullness of God and He will give us exceedingly beyond what we ask.
Our heroine for today is a very perseverant mother. Her knowledge of God’s love and the perseverance of her faith are particularly significant in the way they affected her nation many decades later.
HIDING ON THE NILE RIVER
So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.
And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.
Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”
And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
Exodus 1:22 – 2:10
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.
Pharaoh felt threatened by the ever-growing Israeli population. So, he ordered that every male Jewish baby must be killed! Heart wrenching cries echoed the streets as precious babies were massacred! Around that time, a beautiful baby boy was born to a Levite. His wife hid the baby from the public for a while but then realized that her precious bundle could be discovered any day. Trusting in the Sovereign Lord’s ability to save her baby, she devised a plan. She made a tiny ark for the baby, placed him in it and laid it on the River Nile. Meanwhile, the baby’s older sister Miriam kept watch over the ark bobbing on the Nile with her tiny brother in it.
A little while later, the Pharaoh’s daughter came by with her maid servants for a bath. She spied the little ark and opened it. To her amazement, there lay a beautiful baby boy.
At that point, the wee fellow cried out lustily!
The Pharaoh’s daughter was spellbound! Suddenly, Miriam ran up and asked if she would like a nurse for the baby. The Pharaoh’s daughter readily agreed. Miriam brought her mother to the princess. The princess entrusted the baby to the woman (the baby’s own mother!) to nurse and raise him. And not only that, she promised to pay her for her services! The little baby went home with his mother, grew up and became the legendary Moses. Many years later, God used him to be Israel’s Savior!
How incredible was that!
GRAVE TURNED INTO LIFE
The Nile River was the grave for many Israelite babies. But when Moses’ mother trusted God and placed him on the River, it changed his destiny. It became a stream of new life for Moses. We sometimes assume that faith means no action. James says that faith without works is dead. Persevering faith does some amazing things! Moses, the Israelite baby, was spared a gory death and became Israel’s Redeemer; that too at the expense of the Egyptian palace! Now, isn’t that something!?
Calamities, adversities and storms will surely hit us. The devil will probably stack up some obstacles for us to trip over. But the Lord who has called, chosen and anointed us is asking us to not give up. Ephesians 6:11 says, ‘Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil’. We need to take proactive steps to thwart every evil plan. Let’s acknowledge our problems, humble ourselves and persevere in our faith in God. Moses’ mother’s faith resulted in Israel’s deliverance from slavery many years later. The Bible says that when God sent plagues, there was a marked difference in the way it affected Egypt and the Israeli camp (Goshen). Egypt was attacked left, right and center, but Goshen was untouched. The same Yahweh of those days still lives and He is our God too!
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