Lesson 1—God Loves Me
The Nile River
God loved Moses and had great plans for his life (Exodus 1:16, 17; 2:1-10).
Each student is special to God (Psalm 139:14, 16), and He has a special plan for each life that begins by realizing God’s love for the student (John 3:16) and the student’s need to believe in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10).
I am loved by God.
The student will understand that God loves him and has a great plan for his life.
God loved Moses and had a great plan for his life. Likewise, every believer in Christ is special to God (Psalm 139:14). Moses gave us the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Pentateuch. God allowed Moses to write the Pentateuch, which includes the book of Exodus.
Moses died at the age of one hundred twenty years, while “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” God referred to him as His faithful servant when he climbed Nebo’s lonely mountain. The Israelites wept for him in a valley in the land of Moab. Moses was the only man in the Bible to have God as his undertaker. (See Deuteronomy 34:1-8.)
Moses was special and his last days on earth were spent in intimate fellowship with God. God permitted no human to take part in his burial. However, the Israelites mourned for thirty days. The normal time for mourning a dead loved one was seven days. (See Genesis 50:10.) Centuries later, Moses appeared with Elijah at Christ’s transfiguration. (See Matthew 17:1-3.)
The Birth of Moses
Into the home of a devout couple of the tribe of Levi, a child was born. According to Pharaoh’s decree, that child should have been cast into the Nile River to perish. The parents, however, like the devout midwives who had defied the royal edict, determined to save the child. For three months Jochebed watched over her infant son, keeping him from prying eyes. She came to love him more and more each day. As the boy grew older, she knew that she could not keep her secret. Thus, she determined to save him by outwitting the king. Therefore, she placed him in an ark of bulrushes in the Nile River and trusted God to care for her child.
An older sister, by the name of Miriam, was watching the child in his floating bed when Pharaoh’s daughter came to the river to bathe and swim. Jochebed may have known the habits of the king’s daughter and trusted that her sympathy would be aroused by the helpless baby. According to her plans, when the princess saw the child, she determined to save him. When Miriam saw the princess’ interest, she offered to find a nurse to care for him. Miriam arranged for the baby’s mother to care for her own son with the blessing of Pharaoh’s daughter.
While there is no evidence to indicate the spot where the child was found, the general locale can be identified with little difficulty. It was near both the royal palace where Pharaoh’s daughter resided and the place where the Hebrews lived. The Bible describes it as the land of Goshen. (See Genesis 47:6, 11.) This limits the location to the eastern delta near Tanis or Bubastic.
The name, Moses, seems to be of Egyptian origin. Although the Hebrew form of this word is a play on words, signifying one who is drawn out of the water. (See Exodus 2:10; Acts 7:20-38; Hebrews 11:23-26.) However, when Moses was grown, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
The Early Life of Moses
It would take a volume in itself to fully expound the virtues of Moses—the historian, orator, statesman, legislator and patriot. A holy intimacy existed between God and this prophet (Deuteronomy 34:10) who was supernaturally guided and aided in his life and labors. It is, therefore, no wonder this mighty leader of the people of Israel is a favorite biblical hero to many people.
The Believer’s Separation from Worldliness
The believer in Christ is commanded to come out from the unbelievers and be a separated people. (See 2 Corinthians 6:17.) God does not mean that believers in Christ are to isolate themselves from all other people. As God’s children, our bodies become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. We are to keep His dwelling place pure and clean from worldly and sinful attitudes and practices.
God’s Love for Moses
There is no doubt that God loved Moses and worked providentially to spare and prepare him for the great task God planned for him. When that precious newborn baby was placed in the handmade basket and placed among the reeds on the bank of the Nile, God was watching over him. It was no accident that the daughter of Pharaoh was nearby and saw the basket among the reeds, then reacted with compassion as she picked up the child. It was not a coincidence that Miriam just happened to be near enough, watching, to step up and volunteer her mother’s services as a nursemaid for him.
Jochebed was able to nurse and rear her son in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Moses had the advantage of knowing and loving his father and mother and his siblings, Aaron and Miriam, as well as critical exposure to the true God of Israel. At the same time, he was brought up in the house of Pharaoh with all the privileges, education and connections that riches bring. God allowed Moses the best of both worlds. He knew what it was to be a God-fearing Hebrew, yet enjoyed the benefits of royalty. Stephen preached that Moses “was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22).
The blessing of godly parents was also in the plan of God for Moses. The Bible states, “They were not afraid of the king’s commandments” (Hebrews 11:23). Even his parents knew God had special plans for Moses. God’s love for Moses, and His plan for him became fruitful as Moses grew and “by faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (verses 24, 25). The child, Moses, grew into a man of great conviction and compassion for his people.
God’s Love for You
We never know what God has in mind for the lives of newborns. Every great man or woman of God began as a little speck of life in his or her mother’s womb. All great leaders began their lives the same way, as helpless little babies.
One thing we know for sure is that God specially designs each child in the womb before he or she is born. The psalmist praised God because he was “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). He described the work of God in the unborn like this: “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought. . . . Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (verses 15, 16).
Not all children achieve God’s plan for their lives. Though God loves everyone and desires each person to come to know Christ and serve Him, God will never force anyone against his will. Moses made the decision to turn from “the pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25) and to follow “the reproach of Christ” (verse 26) with the people of God, “when he was come to years” (verse 24). He decided to follow the Lord’s will for his life because he considered God’s way to be “greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (verse 26).
The Mighty God who made and loves you also wants to save and bless you. But God will not force His salvation upon you. Instead, He offers you His love and sacrifice for your life. The Memory Verse states, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). It is obvious that all are sinners. And the only remedy for sin is to accept God’s loving provision, the death of Christ. Admitting sins, believing in Christ and calling upon His name can result in your salvation today.
Moses was loved by God and chose to follow God’s great plan for his life. God loves you and proved it by sending His Son to die in your place. Will you choose to follow God’s great plan for your life?
• From what tribe in Israel was Moses’ parents?
• What was Moses’ mother’s name?
• Where were they when Moses was born?
• What is the name of the river in Egypt to which they were close?
• Why should Christians be a separated people?