The season of Advent reminds us that we continue to long for the second coming of our Savior, when all things will be restored to God’s intended glory. As we wait for his second coming, seeing how the Old Testament stories pointed to his first coming can fill our hearts anew with hope.
The fledgling nation of Israel was facing its darkest days. They had come to Egypt many years earlier to escape famine. But, now the new Pharaoh of Egypt made their lives very bitter, by placing task masters over them and decreeing all male-born Hebrew babies be thrown into the Nile. (Exodus 1)
A single Levite family decides to disobey Pharaoh’s command. They hide their newborn son for three months. When hiding him becomes impossible, the mother waterproofs an ark with pitch, places the child inside, and sets it in the thick reeds of the Nile’s edge. The boy’s older sister is stationed, at a distance, to guard the boy. Then tragedy struck.
Pharaoh’s daughter had come down to the Nile to bathe. She sees the ark and has it brought to her. When she opens it, she sees the Hebrew baby. Yet, instead of following her father’s command, she has compassion on the boy. The sister takes advantage of the situation and offers to find a Hebrew wet nurse to care for the child. She then brings the boy’s mother to the Egyptian princess. Ironically, the boy’s mother ends up being paid to nurse her own child. Pharaoh’s daughter eventually formally adopts the boy by giving him a name. The name Moses means “to draw out,” and that is what he will do; he will draw out his people from slavery in Egypt. (Exodus 2:1-10)
Like Moses, Jesus was born into humble circumstances (Luke 2:1). Like Moses, Jesus was given a name that reflected his destiny (Matthew 1:21). Like Moses, Jesus is born under a death sentence (Matthew 2:16). But, though the two are alike in many ways, “Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses… (Hebrews 3:3).”
Underpinning everything there is a mysterious providence at work, leading all things to the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). May the story of the birth of a savior of Israel, give you hope as you wait for the second coming of the Savior of the world.