“Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.”
Exodus 2:23-24 (NKJV)
Our lives are frequently challenged by new beginnings which aren’t always our choice.
We can read about a challenging new beginning in the second chapter of the book of Exodus. A baby boy is born to a couple from the tribe of Levi. We aren’t told his name, but he’s born under a death sentence. The Israelites are growing into a powerful people and the King of Egypt is scared that they will join forces with his enemies in a war and take control of the Kingdom. The King orders the midwives to murder all Hebrew boys that are born, to eliminate that risk. The midwives fear God, so they refuse to obey the order. The baby is hidden by his parents for three months. His mother then makes a waterproof basket and lays it in the reeds, with the baby inside, along the bank of the Nile river,. As the story unfolds, Pharaoh’s daughter comes to bathe in the river, finds the baby in the basket, falls in love with him, and unknowingly hands him back to his mother to wet nurse him. When the baby is weaned, the daughter adopts him into the royal household and names him Moses.
This new beginning for Moses gives him a privileged upbringing. In verse 11 of Exodus 2, Moses is now a young man. He sets out one day to visit his own people and comes across an Egyptian beating a fellow Hebrew. Checking that no-one is watching, Moses kills the Egyptian and hides the body in the sand. Pharaoh hears about the murder. He tries to kill Moses who flees to Midian for safety.
Another new beginning for Moses as he settles in the area. He marries and then manages his father-in-law’s flocks. Years pass and the Israelites’ burden under the Egyptians becomes unbearable. God is about to intervene to release them and He intends to use Moses for that task. In Exodus 3 God speaks to Moses through the burning bush. He explains His plan of delivery and says to Moses, “Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10). In spite of his protests, this is another new beginning for Moses as he prepares, with God’s help, to lead the nation of Israel into a new beginning.
Many decades later, a new beginning starts with another baby boy. This boy is named Jesus and through Him God blesses all mankind with a new beginning of reconciliation. As we read in Romans 6:4, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, and will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts (Revelation 21:6).
Father, thank you for our new beginning through Jesus. Please help us to use this change in our lives for the benefit of others.
Study by Diana Hall
Worldwide Church of God Southampton
SOUTHAMPTON SO15 5RL
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