Exodus 2

2 The woman could not bear to kill her beautiful child. Every parent sees the beauty in his or her children, but this mother saw a unique beauty in her son. She hid him as long as she could, fearing for her life as well as his.
3 Pharaoh's enforcement may have not been perfect, but the mother knew that she could not hide her young son forever. As the child grew, his crying probably became more difficult to contain.

She was obedient in "throwing" her son into the river, but she made a small boat for him to float in so that he would not drown. She also placed him among the reeds so that he would not be simply carried along with the current. She also knew that the boy had to be found and taken care of if he was to live. Chuck Swindoll, in his book Moses speculates that the place where the basket was placed was a calculated attempt to have the Egyptian princess find the boy. The only way the Hebrew boy could survive in Egypt is if he somehow attained the protection of Egypt. Adoption into Egyptian royalty would indeed provide that protection.

This must have been a great act of faith. She entrusted her contraband son to God, and He did not disappoint her.

4 The mother could not bear to see what the fate of her child would be. Instead, she assigned his older sister to keep watch and then bring news of what happened to the little boy.
5 This is not mere coincidence. God intends to spare the life of this young boy. Why did God not intervene in the lives of the other boys? Was it because of the mother's faith? Was it because God knew that this little boy's character would be one that could be molded? We do not know the answer to these questions, but we do know that God knew what He was doing.
6 Pharaoh's daughter knew that this child was supposed to die according to the law. However, she had something that Pharaoh did not have: compassion. When you are weak and helpless do you cry for help? When you see someone cry for help, do you have compassion on him?
7 The little boy's sister does a very brave thing. She asks Pharaoh's daughter to break the law and keep the little boy alive.
8 Pharaoh's daughter agrees that sparing a human life, even if it is a little one, is more important than keeping the law. There is speculation as to whether this princess ever had children of her own. To have the Nile River, the "giver of life" in Egyptian thought, give her a child was significant to her, even if it was a "despised" Hebrew child.
9 What joy this mother must have felt. Her son was returned to her. She would raise him for perhaps the first few years of his life. She would have legal protection to keep him. In fact, she would even be paid for it.

The mother had given the baby into God's hands, and God had returned him to her. When we give up things to God, He will not only reward us, but give us back more than we put in. Sometimes He will reward us in this life and other times He will reward us in the afterlife. Our reward is God giving us the desires of our hearts, and those desires should be to see God's will accomplished. God does not do this because we deserve it or because He is obligated to. Instead, God has compassion on us and rewards even our feeble attempts to trust in Him.

10 The mother again puts the little boy into God's hands. She may not have seen him or had contact with him again, but she knew that he was safe. In another ironic twist, a boy that Pharaoh wanted to kill became his adopted grandson.

The child was named Moses, and his name would be the description of his life. He was draw out of the river where he was supposed to have died. He would later be drawn out of Pharaoh's household. He would then be drawn out of shepherding in the wilderness. He would later draw all of Israel out of Egypt. Sadly, he would fall short of being drawn out of the wilderness into the earthly Promised Land. However, his true destination was to be with God. For each one of us, our true goal should be to draw near to God.

11 Moses knew he was a Hebrew by birth. That was probably evident by his physical characteristics. We do not know how much Moses' mother may have been able to teach him in the year(s) that she nursed him. We also do not know how much was revealed to him by his adopted mother and the Egyptian schools he attended. So, despite being raised as an Egyptian, Moses knew he was a Hebrew.

It is curious how we desire to know our human roots. Most of those who have adopted children or children separated from parents by divorce will find that the child longs to know about his parents and extended family.

Although Moses had limited exposure to the people of his nation, he is saddened to find that the Egyptians openly oppressed them.

12 In a moment of nationalistic rage, Moses murders an abusive Egyptian. Later this is described as a feeble attempt to "save" the people of his nation (Acts 7:23-28). Moses may not have known anything about God at this point, and he was trying to solve a big problem with his own strength. When we have a big problem to solve, we should look to God who has the perfect answer to all kinds of problems.

Moses obviously wanted to keep this murder a secret. It's impossible to say whether he thought this was the only abuse Egyptian and that no one would miss him, or if he planned to kill all the abusive Egyptians one by one.

13 Moses must have had very limited exposure to human relationships. Perhaps he could understand the Egyptian prejudice and hatred against the Hebrews, but he could not understand why people fight amongst their own families. Fighting still puzzles many people today. What is worth getting hurt or killed over? This is especially troubling when we see people killing one another over the smallest issues and possessions.
14 Moses' crime was probably easy to deduce. First, the victim would have been missed by his commander and family. Secondly, Moses' single-handed effort to bury the man in the sand was not enough to keep the body hidden. Third, witnesses likely saw Moses watching the abuse beforehand. Moses may have used a weapon that would have left distinctive wounds. While no one may have actually seen the murder, it was not difficult to figure out who did it.

Moses' little secret was exposed after only one day. We should keep in mind that nothing we do in secret is ever really a secret. Quite often, other people will find out the secret and the result is often humiliation or punishment. Sometimes someone can effectively hide a secret, but in these cases God will expose it and bring justice.

There was obviously confusion about Moses' intentions. Perhaps he wanted to be a rallying point for his people. Perhaps he was compassionate for his people and felt that if he could become their leader they might be able to rebel against Egyptian tyranny and become a free people. The Hebrews, however, did not see Moses as a fit leader for them. Perhaps they saw him more as an Egyptian or a traitor to his people (or at least out of touch). Moses presumptuously wanted authority over the Hebrews, and the abuser's remark here is a sarcastic challenge to that authority. It also appears that the Hebrews saw Moses as a murderer, not as one avenging his people.

15 Pharaoh was outraged. He had been persuaded to spare this foreigner's life and he is repaid by the murder of one of his countrymen. He had taken Moses into his household and treated him as a true grandson. Nothing was spared from Moses, and then Moses betrayed Pharaoh and Egypt.

Moses escaped and found himself exiled to a small desert camp. He went from the opulent palace to a harsh and barren wilderness. When we do something wrong we should expect consequences.

16 It is unlikely that the priest of Midian was a priest of God. The details of the gods he served at this time are much less important than his later knowledge of the one true God (Exo 18:11).

Israelites descended from Abraham through Isaac while the Midianites descended from Isaac's half-brother, Midian.

17 Water holes were jealously guarded, especially in wilderness areas. The daughters would have been working for their father because he had not sons to do this work. The shepherds took advantage of their physical and cultural strength to drive the daughters away. Fortunately for them, Moses just happened to be walking by, and he took up their cause.
18 Apparently, this had gone on for some time. The women typically had to wait until the men left before they were able to water the flocks.

Reuel is also known as Jethro (Exo 3:1).

19 Moses had been raised an Egyptian, thus, the mistake is understandable.
20 After Moses' act of kindness, the father was eager to meet him. On one hand, hospitality demanded that they accept this stranger in. On the other hand, Jethro may have had an ulterior motive. He had seven daughters and apparently had not found suitors for any of them. If this man had been willing to help his daughters, maybe he was willing to marry one of them.
21 What ever the motives may be, the situation seemed to work out. Moses was single and without a job. Reuel had seven unmarried daughters and needed a son-in-law to help with the family flocks.
22 "Gershom" means "a sojourner there." Moses was homesick for Egypt and felt out of place in Midian.
23 The Pharaoh that oppressed the Israelites died, but their burdens did not die with him. The new Pharaoh continued the oppression.
24 In later passages, it appears that the Israelites had been thoroughly entrenched in the religion of the Egyptians. The Israelites may have found worshiping the Egyptian gods a futile act and finally resorted to calling on the one true God who had favored their forefathers. When they called, He heard them.
25 God knows the suffering of all people. He was especially sensitive to the children of Israel because He had promised their ancestor, Abraham, to take care of them. God had not forgotten them, nor was He ever far from them. He does things in His own time, and must often wait until we are ready.