God Chooses Moses as Israel’s Deliverer, Exodus 2:1-10

A small patch of brown rippled upon the Nile’s water, unlike the familiar swaying reeds near the swampy shoreline. What is that? The rectangular shaped carton was a welcome distraction from the constant ache of not being able to conceive.

“Bring that object to me at once,” Hatshepsut ordered her attendant.

A muffled cry grew louder as her attendant neared with a basket woven out of papyrus reeds. She carefully opened the lid, her heart booming within. A robust, but helpless baby boy met her curious gaze. His red cheeks glistening with tears. “This is a Hebrew baby,” she gasped.

Surely the gods have brought him to me! How long has he been floating among the reeds? He’d be swallowed alive if a crocodile spotted him. Poor boy must be starving!

She gently lifted him out of the basket, nestling his warm body against hers. “Shh, you’re going to be alright.” He quieted. Your name will be Moses. For I have drawn you out of the water.

“Excuse me!” a young Hebrew girl called. “Shall I fetch a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for you?”

“Yes, go at once!” The girl wasted no time in bringing back a Hebrew woman. “I will pay you if you take this baby and nurse him. But when he is older you must bring him back to me. Agreed?”

The woman silently nodded as she cradled the baby and took him home.


In this well known story, Pharaoh’s daughter encounters firsthand the effects of her father’s method of extermination. While Pharaoh orders the Egyptians to throw every Hebrew baby boy into the Nile River, God moves his daughter’s heart to draw this baby out of the water. You may read Exodus 2:1-10 here: Bible Gateway.

Who was Pharaoh’s daughter?

The NIV Life Application Study Bible notes: Some think that Hatshepsut was the woman that pulled Moses from the river. Her husband was Pharaoh Thutmose II. . . . Apparently, Hatshepsut could not have children, so Thutmose had a son by another woman, and this son became heir to the throne. Hatshepsut would have considered Moses a gift by the gods because now she had her own son who would be the legal heir to the throne.

Who were Moses’ parents?

Moses’ parents Amram and Jochebed (Ex. 6:20) already had two children: Miriam (the oldest), and Aaron (three years older than Moses). Amram and Jochebed saw that Moses was “no ordinary child” and believed God had a special purpose for him.

Determined to not cave into fear, Jochebed throws her energy into making a tiny boat out of papyrus reeds to hide Moses. She coats the basket with tar and a mineral pitch so it will float. This Bitumen mineral pitch was one of the best waterproofing materials known. Noah also used it to waterproof the ark (Gen. 6:14). Eph. 3:20


I love how God arranged for Pharaoh’s daughter to pay Moses’ mom to nurse him until he’s older. Miriam—Moses’ older sister—jumped on the opportunity to reunite her family when the princess discovered Moses.

Moses—who would grow into a great man of faith—first learned to trust God from his parents. Hebrews 11:23 commends his parents for their faith: for “not being afraid of the king’s edict,” and hiding Moses for three months after birth.

It’s easy to dwell on uncertain situations and worry. But in the midst of uncertain times, God wants us to watch for opportunities He gives and then boldly step out. Just as God used Moses’ parents’ act of courage to preserve this future deliverer, God can certainly use our small acts of faith to fulfill His purpose(s).

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