The first verse in the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The all-powerful God designed the earth as habitat for His greatest work, the human race. The theme verse from Jeremiah 32:17, 18 says: “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:…the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts.”
It was this all-powerful God who chose Moses to be the leader for His people, the Israelites. However, there was a major hurdle thrown into this plan for Moses before he was even born.
Remember, Jacob’s family of over seventy immigrants from southern Canaan moved to Egypt to live near Joseph when a famine devastated their crops. Joseph, a ruler in Egypt, had wisely prepared for the famine by storing grain ahead of time. He provided food for them and grain for their livestock during the duration of the famine. (See Acts 7:9-11.) They settled in the land of Goshen with the Pharaoh’s approval.
￼￼The family rapidly became a significant group growing into a large nation of foreigners in Egypt. The new ruler who did not know Joseph or the reason why so many Israelites were in his country, grew fearful of their taking over his country. So he enslaved them. Still they multiplied. He devised a plan to reduce their numbers by ordering the midwives who delivered Israelite babies to smother or strangle all boy babies at birth; girls were allowed to live.
However, the midwives chose to risk their lives rather than follow Pharaoh’s command. He issued a decree charging his people that all newborn Hebrew boys would be tossed into the Nile River to drown. This was the menacing situation which Moses’ parents faced when he was born. Boys were doomed to die, or the parents would be punished.
But God had a plan and loved the future leader for His people. He prompted Moses’ mother to save her beautiful baby boy. She was able to hide him safely at home for three months. (See Hebrews 11:23.) Then she skillfully made a waterproof bulrushes (papyrus) basket in which she put her baby and hid it among the bulrushes by the river bank. His sister hid also and kept watch nearby to see what would happen to her little brother.
Then we see God’s intervening power and love for the Hebrew baby. Pharaoh’s daughter and her attendants came to the very spot where the basket boat floated. She sent a maid to bring her the ark. She opened the cover and saw a beautiful baby boy—a Hebrew! He began crying. The princess immediately wanted to protect him from her father’s decree of death.
The baby’s sister quickly approached. “Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?”(Exodus 2:7) she asked. The princess quickly agreed. The baby’s own mother was hired to care for him until he grew old enough to live with the princess as her son.
When he came to live in the palace, she named him Moses. “Because I drew him out of the water,” she said (Exodus 2:10). God loved Moses and had great plans for his life. The circumstances of his birth and survival were the result of the living God who works all things together for the good of His people.
Most children today will not have such a dramatic story surrounding their births. The Bible teaches, however, without a doubt that God knows each child from the moment of conception. (See Psalm 139:14 and Ecclesiastes 11:5.) Each newborn boy or girl has a special plan God has devised for his or her life. He loves every person enough to send His only Son to die to pay the sin penalty for that individual (John 3:16).
God’s grace is a gift accepted through faith in Jesus Christ. God wants each child to accomplish the special plan He has for him. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
The truth of being loved by God should make a difference in your VBS students’ lives. Allow God’s love to flow through you as you lead kids to discover the principles of this lesson.
(This article is taken from the Bible Background section of Lesson One from the Beginner Teacher Manual.)
Click here for more information about VBS 2013, The Mighty God – God Leads Moses and Me.