Born Exodus 1:1 – 2:10
Joseph and his brothers had
many children. Their children had
children and their children’s children had children. Over time, Israelites filled the land. Egypt’s new king, called Pharaoh, did not
remember how Joseph’s people had helped Egypt.
He said, “There are too many Israelites – and they are too
powerful. If we go to war, they will
join our enemies and fight against us!
We need a plan!”
The Egyptians decided to wear
down the people with work. Task-masters
forced the people to build cities for Pharaoh.
They made them do every kind of field work. But the Israelites still multiplied and
Pharaoh became so afraid that
he even commanded people to kill the Israelites’ baby boys. Two midwives named Shiprah and Puah disobeyed
the king and let baby boys live. Pharaoh
angrily questioned them, but Shiprah and Puah said, “There is nothing we can
do! The Israelite women give birth
before we even come to help them.”
Because of their courage, God blessed the two midwives.
When one Israelite mother had
a beautiful baby boy, she hid him. But
after three months she could not hide him anymore. So she got a basket made of papyrus. She put the baby in the basket and placed it
among the reeds on the riverbank. His
sister stood nearby to watch over him and to see what happened.
Pharaoh’s daughter came to
the river to bathe. She saw the basket
and sent her maid for it. When she
opened the basket, she saw a crying baby, and she felt sorry for him. The baby’s sister came up to the
princess. “Shall I get you a nurse for
the baby?” she bravely asked.
“Yes,” the princess replied.
The girl went and got her
mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said, “I will
pay you to take this baby home and care for him.” So the mother took her boy home again, and
she was even paid to do it! When the
child grew old enough, he went to live with Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him
and named him Moses.
Text is from the Shine
On story Bible
Today’s story highlights
several women who showed courage. Puah
and Shiprah were midwives who disobeyed Pharaoh’s orders. Pharaoh’s daughter
also disobeyed her father by rescuing and taking care of Moses. Moses’s mother and sister acted bravely to
save the life of baby Moses. During this
lesson, we will be encouraged to think about what it means to be brave, and to
look for opportunities to do so.
Usually, we do not want to break rules or disobey laws. So this is a chance to discuss with your
family the concepts of right and wrong, and the motivation for
disobedience. Is it appropriate to
disobey if we are acting out of our understanding of what it means to walk with
love, mercy, and justice? (Micah 6:8)
As you read and discuss the
story, you might think about and share these “wonderings”
- I wonder why Pharaoh worried that the Israelites might
fight against him.
- I wonder how Shiprah and Puah felt when they were
questioned by Pharaoh. Is it easier to
be brave when you have a friend standing with you?
- Imagine what it would be like to stand before Pharaoh,
having to explain why the baby boys were still alive.
- I wonder how Moses’ mother hid him for three months.
- If I had been Pharaoh’s daughter, knowing about the
king’s law and how angry he will probably be, would I have helped baby Moses?
- Sometimes doing the right thing makes us feel scared
or uncomfortable. When did I do the
right thing even though it was hard?
- I’m sure that the Israelite mothers were grateful for
the bravery of the midwives, thankful that their baby boys were saved. I wonder
what I am grateful for right now.
If you are with small children,
you might say a prayer similar to this:
God, you blessed the midwives who were brave and protected the helpless
babies. Bless us today. Give us the courage to work together to do
what is right, even when it’s hard. Amen
If they are comfortable doing
so, older children and youth can simply speak from their hearts.
Now is the time to do
something, to be creative.
You might gather paper,
Crayons, markers, glue, watercolor paints, and scissors.
- You could re-create
the scene on the river bank, make some simple puppets, and re-tell the
story. Ask someone to record your work,
and put it in the dropbox for Sharing Time at LMC.
You could search YouTube for
a paper basket weaving video
You might create costumes and
re-tell the story
You could do a Google search
and read the stories of others who disobeyed rules or laws that were
unjust. Examples are: those who worked
on the Underground Railroad, protected Jews during World War 2, or worked to
improve the lives of Native Americans during our country’s westward expansion.
You might talk to your mom,
or video chat with your grandma or a favorite aunt about what it is like to
care for a newborn. They can help you
imagine what it was like for Moses’ mom to hide her baby for three months.