Exodus 2

* Moses is born, and exposed on the river. (1-4) He is found,

and brought up by Pharaoh's daughter. (5-10) Moses slays an

Egyptian, and flees to Midian. (11-15) Moses marries the

daughter of Jethro. (16-22) God hears the Israelites. (23-25)

1-4 Observe the order of Providence: just at the time when

Pharaoh's cruelty rose to its height by ordering the Hebrew

children to be drowned, the deliverer was born. When men are

contriving the ruin of the church, God is preparing for its

salvation. The parents of Moses saw he was a goodly child. A

lively faith can take encouragement from the least hint of the

Divine favour. It is said, #Heb 11:23|, that the parents of

Moses hid him by faith; they had the promise that Israel should

be preserved, which they relied upon. Faith in God's promise

quickens to the use of lawful means for obtaining mercy. Duty is

ours, events are God's. Faith in God will set us above the fear

of man. At three months' end, when they could not hide the

infant any longer, they put him in an ark of bulrushes by the

river's brink, and set his sister to watch. And if the weak

affection of a mother were thus careful, what shall we think of

Him, whose love, whose compassion is, as himself, boundless.

Moses never had a stronger protection about him, no, not when

all the Israelites were round his tent in the wilderness, than

now, when he lay alone, a helpless babe upon the waves. No

water, no Egyptian can hurt him. When we seem most neglected and

forlorn, God is most present with us.
5-10 Come, see the place where that great man, Moses, lay, when

he was a little child; it was in a bulrush basket by the river's

side. Had he been left there long, he must have perished. But

Providence brings Pharaoh's daughter to the place where this

poor forlorn infant lay, and inclines her heart to pity it,

which she dares do, when none else durst. God's care of us in

our infancy ought to be often mentioned by us to his praise.

Pharaoh cruelly sought to destroy Israel, but his own daughter

had pity on a Hebrew child, and not only so, but, without

knowing it, preserved Israel's deliverer, and provided Moses

with a good nurse, even his own mother. That he should have a

Hebrew nurse, the sister of Moses brought the mother into the

place of a nurse. Moses was treated as the son of Pharoah's

daughter. Many who, by their birth, are obscure and poor, by

surprising events of Providence, are raised high in the world,

to make men know that God rules.
11-15 Moses boldly owned the cause of God's people. It is plain

from #Heb 11|. that this was done in faith, with the full

purpose of leaving the honours, wealth, and pleasures of his

rank among the Egyptians. By the grace of God he was a partaker

of faith in Christ, which overcomes the world. He was willing,

not only to risk all, but to suffer for his sake; being assured

that Israel were the people of God. By special warrant from

Heaven, which makes no rule for other cases, Moses slew an

Egyptian, and rescued an oppressed Israelites. Also, he tried to

end a dispute between two Hebrews. The reproof Moses gave, may

still be of use. May we not apply it to disputants, who, by

their fierce debates, divide and weaken the Christian church?

They forget that they are brethren. He that did wrong quarreled

with Moses. It is a sign of guilt to be angry at reproof. Men

know not what they do, nor what enemies they are to themselves,

when they resist and despise faithful reproofs and reprovers.

Moses might have said, if this be the spirit of the Hebrews, I

will go to court again, and be the son of Pharaoh's daughter.

But we must take heed of being set against the ways and people

of God, by the follies and peevishness of some persons that

profess religion. Moses was obliged to flee into the land of

Midian. God ordered this for wise and holy ends.
16-22 Moses found shelter in Midian. He was ready to help

Reuel's daughters to water their flocks, although bred in

learning and at court. Moses loved to be doing justice, and to

act in defence of such as he saw injured, which every man ought

to do, as far as it is in his power. He loved to be doing good;

wherever the providence of God casts us, we should desire and

try to be useful; and when we cannot do the good we would, we

must be ready to do the good we can. Moses commended himself to

the prince of Midian; who married one of his daughters to Moses,

by whom he had a son, called Gershom, "a stranger there," that

he might keep in remembrance the land in which he had been a

stranger.
23-25 The Israelites' bondage in Egypt continued, though the

murdering of their infants did not continue. Sometimes the Lord

suffers the rod of the wicked to lie very long and very heavy on

the lot of the righteous. At last they began to think of God

under their troubles. It is a sign that the Lord is coming

towards us with deliverance, when he inclines and enables us to

cry to him for it. God heard their groaning; he made it to

appear that he took notice of their complaints. He remembered

his covenant, of which he is ever mindful. He considered this,

and not any merit of theirs. He looked upon the children of

Israel. Moses looked upon them, and pitied them; but now God

looked upon them, and helped them. He had respect unto them. His

eyes are now fixed upon Israel, to show himself in their behalf.

God is ever thus, a very present help in trouble. Take courage

then, ye who, conscious of guilt and thraldom, are looking to

Him for deliverance. God in Christ Jesus is also looking upon

you. A call of love is joined with a promise of the Redeemer.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will

give you rest, #Mt 11:28|.
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