Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.
The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
What strikes me about this story is the courage shown by Miriam. She clearly lives in a context that is hostile to her people to the point of even killing infant boys. After placing her brother amongst the reeds, she has the courage to wait and watch to see what happens. Then, she is brave enough to approach the Pharaoh’s daughter and offer to go find a Hebrew woman to nurse the child. God’s watchful care over Moses is abundantly clear in this passage, but I think it’s important to note how God uses Miriam in practical ways to ensure that Moses survives, is cared for, and eventually has a place in Pharaoh’s court. God’s plans for the redemption of God’s people is clearly at work even while Moses is a baby. May we be God’s instruments in our world today and be filled with the same level of courage and bravery as Miriam.
Merciful God, thank You for having a plan for us. We thank You that You care for us as individuals and as Your people. Empower us to say yes and to be Your instruments. Fill us with the needed courage to carry out Your will. Amen.