From River to Palace

Pharaoh, king of Egypt, issued on order to throw all the male babies of the Israelites into the Nile river at birth. Moses was born under this edict. Pharaoh was trying to control the population of the Israelites, because they had been blessed by God and had become a numerous people. Exodus 12:37 says: "The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children." Add a wife and a couple of children for each man of fighting age, and the nation that left slavery in Egypt was easily 1-1.5 million people!

But Moses was protected by God at his birth. His faithful parents, Amram and Jochobed, hid him until he could no longer be hidden. Then they put him in the Nile - in a basket they had coated with pitch and tar so it would float. Moses' sister, Miriam, watched as the basket was discovered by the daughter of Pharaoh when she had come to the Nile to bathe. Instead of sinking the basket and doing away with one more Israelite baby, Pharaoh's daughter had compassion on Moses and chose to take him as her own son.

Quick-thinking Miriam asked Pharaoh's daughter if she would like for her to find an Israelite woman who could nurse the infant until he was big enough to join her in the palace. Pharaoh's daughter liked the idea, and hired Jachobed, Moses' own mother, to care for him. When he was weened, she took him as her own son and raised him in the palace of Egypt.

We have an enemy like Pharaoh who wants to steal, kill and destroy our lives. (John 10:10) And we have a God who guides and guards us like He guided and guarded Moses. God chose Moses to deliver Israel from slavery. He called Moses from a burning bush. He led Moses every step of the way from the Exodus to Mount Sinai where He gave Moses the Law of God for the people of God. Then God led Moses as Moses led God's people from Mount Sinai through the wilderness for 40 years to the edge of the Promised Land.

This same God sent His Son, Jesus, to deliver us from another kind of slavery - from slavery to sin and death. This same God protects us and blesses us before we even know Him. This same God gives us grace instead of judgment when we throw ourselves on the mercy of Jesus at the foot of the cross. This same God leads us through the wilderness of this life to the promised land of heaven and eternal life with Himself. Moses' story is my story. It's your story, too, if you trust and follow Jesus Christ.

Some people divide the Bible by its two parts too much, I believe. According to them, the Old Testament is about Law, and the New Testament is about grace. It's almost like there are two different Gods revealed in scripture - the Old Testament God of Law and judgment, and the New Testament God of mercy and grace.

But there is one living God, who is both holy and loving. The love of God is all over the Old Testament. The grace of this holy, loving God is demonstrated in His protection of Moses before Moses could possibly defend himself. And the holiness of God is all over the New Testament. "Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." (John 14:23-24 NIV)

To love God is to obey God. To obey God is to love God. It's simply not either/or in the Bible. And it shouldn't be either/or in our hearts and lives. Out of great love for Jesus we live to honor Him by obeying Him. In deep obedience and sacrifice we express our love for the One who went to the Cross for us.

God is our deliverer. And He delivers more than pizza! He delivers us from death to life! Jesus said: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)

I have thrown my lot in with Jesus Christ, the son of God, the Savior of my soul, and the Lord of my life. The enemy wants our destiny to be destruction (the river). God wants our destiny to be abundant life (the palace). I'm following Jesus into the life He alone gives to those who trust Him.

Will there be hardships along the way? Sure thing. Following Jesus does not mean a charmed life where nothing ever goes wrong. He told us this in advance: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

The world has treated Christ followers as the scum of the earth. Followers of Jesus have been persecuted and martyred. It's not the security of the approval of the world that brings us eternal life. It's faithfulness to the Lord of life, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Lord. And that is enough for me.

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