Oh, Beautiful Child

George Marshall - 12/3/2023


Call to worship: Hebrews 6:13-20 / Luke 1:46b-55

Text: Exodus 2:1-10


Israel mourns in Egypt. The respected name of Joseph is no longer known in the halls of power. The fruitfulness of Israel stirs fears in Pharaoh, resulting in oppression, and eventually an edict condemning all Hebrew male children to be cast into the Nile. An unvoiced question hangs in the air: How will God be faithful to his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Does God hear their cries? How will he answer Pharaoh's determination? At just the right time, God enters the scene. The birth of Moses is hidden until it can no longer go unnoticed. Then, in ironic obedience to Pharaoh's command, God provides a deliverer to Israel by rescuing him from the waters, undermining the leader of Egypt through his own house. Enter Moses, providentially cared for by his family, nursed by his own mother, but adopted into royal splendor. One day, he will feel the weight of these two worlds colliding, but for now, we watch in hope as God orchestrates the deliverance of his people.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Hope's foundation: God, present (2:1-4)
  2. Hope's design: God, compassionate (2:5-6)
  3. Hope's guarantee: God, sovereign (2:7-10)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Exodus 2:1-10. Who are the characters in this episode? Who is "present", but not explicitly mentioned? What are we to make of the lack of names for Moses' father, mother, sister, etc.? How does this relate to Levi as the eventual "priestly" family?
  2. Read Exodus 1:8-22. How does this backdrop act as a type for Jesus' birth and early childhood? How does Israel's time in Egypt compare with Israel waiting for the Messiah?
  3. What forms of irony do we find in the passage? (2:6,9) How does this set the stage for the rest of Exodus?
  4. What do you find difficult to understand about this passage? What might historical context make clearer?
  5. What do we see of God's activity in this passage? How are we reminded of God as savior of his people (2:3)? Who else has been saved out of water through the use of an ark/basket (the same word in Hebrew!)?
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