Their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents had all been slaves. The Hebrew people had been living under the oppressive rule of Egyptian taskmasters for four centuries. Forced labor, bondage, and slavery … all day, everyday… it was all they knew.
Like most of his neighbors, Amram wore deep scars inflicted by vicious Egyptian slave drivers. “Harvest more grain! Make more bricks! Dig deeper! Work faster!” The crack of the whip urged him on as blood trickled down his back and sweat poured from his forehead!
Amram, a descendant of Levi and a member of the priestly tribe, knew the Divine promise made to his ancient ancestor, Abraham. “Know this for certain: Your offspring will be resident aliens for four hundred years in a land that does not belong to them and will be enslaved and oppressed. However, I will judge the nation they serve, and afterward they will go out with many possessions” (Genesis 15:13–14).
Amram and his young wife, Jochebed, had started a family, believing that God’s promised liberation would come in their lifetime. They knew… they believed… they trusted… that their Rescuer and Redeemer was coming soon. They didn’t know how such a miracle would occur, but they woke every day hoping to see the Devine mystery unfold.
Their only son, Aaron, was almost three years old and Jochebed was carrying their second child in her womb when Pharoah made the heart-wrenching declaration. “Every baby boy born to the Jewish slaves will be sacrificed to our most revered god, the god of the life-giving, life-sustaining Nile River.” “Throw every son born to the Hebrews into the Nile, but let every daughter live” (Exodus 1:22). Amram and Jochebed prayed silently, “Oh God, please let this child be a baby girl.”
The baby wasn’t a girl! He was a beautiful baby boy!
The God-inspired New Testament writer says this: “By faith Moses, after he was born, was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful” (Hebrews 11:23). Amram and Jochebed, with a God-given faithfulness, saw something special in their child. Sure, he was cute and cuddly with bright eyes and chubby fingers, and his cooing and wiggling was adorable. But it was more than that… Stephen adds a helpful note. “At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful in God’s sight” (Acts 7:20). Amram and Jochebed saw with faith-filled eyes what God revealed to them. Moses was beautiful to God. He was special and would be used for a special purpose. Because they knew God’s heart, “they didn’t fear the king’s edict” (Hebrews 11:23).
Knowing that the Egyptians would ruthlessly punish them for their rebellion and disobedience, they hid the tiny baby for three months. “But when she could no longer hide him, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with asphalt and pitch. She placed the child in it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile” (Exodus 2:3).
We know the rest of the story, but you can be certain of this. Amram and Jochebed prayed for a miracle. They prayed that God would protect their baby boy. They prayed that God would send the Rescuer! And He did… by grace (Exodus 2:4-10)!