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"And she said to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it."
L. Well, that is a very pretty story, papa. How delighted Miriam must have been!
P. Yes; and how much more delighted must the mother Jochebed have been! And how thankful to God she must have felt! She would return thanks, and sing praises with a merry heart; she would say, "It is a good thing to pray to God;" and when with her grateful heart she looked upon her boy, she would think, "I shall keep him longer than three months now; so, as he grows, I will train him up to pray to God; I will tell him about my prayers for him, and I will teach him to become God's servant."
THERE is an unknown language spoken
The mariner's sweet distant hymn,
In the smooth sea reflected dim.
Of Thee, O God! this voice is telling,
Thou who art truth, life, hope, and love;
Who hast but one name-INFINITE.
MOSES IN THE COURT OF EGYPT.
W. Did Jochebed always have that little baby, papa?
P. No. We read that "the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son." It is said, too, that she called his name Moses, because she had drawn him out of the water. We read in Josephus that he was at first called Mouses, "for the Egyptians call water by the name Mo, and such as are saved by it, by the name uses," which two words joined together spell Mouses, and mean "saved out of the water."
It soon became clear that God had heard the prayers of Jochebed, and that God intended to make Moses his servant.
L. Did his mother teach him?
P. No doubt she taught him of the God who had saved him when in the ark, and had taught him to love and reverence that God. But he gained his learning from the Egyptians, and soon he showed that he had an uncommon mind. It is said by Josephus that the understanding of Moses became superior to his age, nay, far beyond that standard; it is said, too, that he discovered "great quickness of apprehension." Besides these advantages of mind, his body was fine and well-formed; Josephus tells us that when he was three years old "God did give him" that tallness which was wonderful; and as for his beauty, there was no one so unpolite when he saw Moses as not to be greatly surprised at the beauty of his countenance. Nay, it happened frequently, that those that met him as he was carried along the road were obliged to turn again upon seeing the child; that they left what they were about, and stood still for a great while to look at him, the beauty of the child was so remarkable.
Seeing, therefore, that the disposition of Moses was well trained by his mother, his mind well taught by the Egyptians, and his countenance so beautiful, there is no wonder that Pharaoh's daughter adopted him as her son. He lived most probably in her house, and as he grew up he was instructed in the "wisdom" for which Egypt was so famous. Such an education must have been a very valuable one-it must have improved his mind, and have helped to fit him for the great work marked out for him by God. At that time Egypt surpassed all other nations in science and art. It is said, "If a philosopher sought know
ledge, Egypt was the school-if a prince required a physician, it was to Egypt he applied-if any point perplexed kings and their councils, it was referred to Egypt:" therefore Moses had the very best opportunities for improvement.
But with all the learning, and all the pomp and grandeur of Egypt around him, Moses still remembered God. God's Holy Spirit preserved him; and he kept his faith as a servant of God. He passed through many events and temptations at Pharaoh's court, living there until he was about forty years of age. It is supposed that his kind friend Pharaoh's daughter and her husband were then raised to the throne of Egypt. Pharaoh's daughter (now the queen) then felt, that if she were to notice him any longer, he must no longer be considered as a Hebrew, for her notice of him as a foreigner would be disagreeable to the Egyptians, and they would be jealous. Therefore, it is very likely that she required of him to leave his own people, and publicly to be adopted as an Egyptian.
He had to choose whether he would become an Egyptian and live in riches and grandeur, among men of learning; or, whether he would remain as a Hebrew, with his poor despised nation. There was the highest temptation for him to leave his own nation, but then he must also leave his GOD-he must serve the gods of the Egyptians, and must give up the duties which God had marked out for him. But the teachings of his mother had sunk deeply into his heart; they had, as I said, been blessed by the Holy Spirit, and he soon made his choice; he took his part with his own people, and became one of the despised and afflicted Hebrew slaves. We read in God's Word that he "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for
Now that Moses had refused to become an Egyptian, he could no longer remain in the Royal Court. He was obliged to live again in the land of Goshen, with his relatives, in a condition little better than slavery. But still he had more pleasure than before. Do you know why?
L. It was because he was doing God's will. You have often told us that anything is pleasant if it be God's will.
P. Yes; and Moses thus showed his wisdom, for he had made a
Heb. xi. 24, 25.
wise and noble choice. True, he was reckoned as a slave on earth, but he felt again, that he was God's servant, and God's service is perfect freedom. Can you learn anything else from Moses ?
Ion. I think that we may learn this.-We need not be anxious whether we shall be rich or poor; it does not matter, if we can only say that we are God's servants.
GREAT God of all! here on my knee,
How good to guard a child like me,
I know that Thou on all dost look,
And all I do dost see;
So I will try to read Thy Book,
And to be loved by Thee.
My father and my mother dear,
I would not vex this day;
But I am weak-then help me, Lord!
To mind each word they say.
I OWE to Thee, Great God above,
That Thou to me hast shown.
I'll seek each day to learn Thy word,
And try to do thy will;
And then I know that Thou, O Lord,
To Thee, my God, for strength I pray,
In Thy good ways to live;
And all I've done that's wrong this day,
THE FLIGHT OF MOSES FROM EGYPT.
It is very likely that when Moses left the court of Pharaoh, he did not have to work and make bricks as the other Hebrews did. I told you that he was more learned than they, for he had received a good education at court.
But though he did not endure such hardships as his brethren, their sorrows must have grieved him. How sorry he must have felt to see the sons of Abraham toiling, and sighing, and enduring hardship all the day long! He saw the cruel task-masters oppress them, and increase their heavy burdens. Then he felt angry as well as sorry, and his indignation would grow as he said to himself, "They are degrading the sons of Abraham." At length, as he one day walked abroad, he saw an Egyptian treating one of his Hebrew brethren in a very cruel manner. His indignation was now greater than ever; and, as he looked on, he felt that he could endure the sight no longer. He determined to punish the Egyptian; then he thought to himself, "If any one should see me, I too shall be punished;" but he still felt angry, and he wanted to punish the man. So he looked all around him, "this way and that way," and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
Now this was a very wicked thing for Moses to do, although, perhaps, he did not think so at the time. He might have felt indignant, but he had no right to punish the man-and to kill him was very wicked indeed. Perhaps he did not mean to do so, but when men are guided by anger, they cannot always contain themselves, or tell how far they may go.
Moses now felt afraid, like many others who have done wrong. The next day, when he happened to find two Hebrews quarrelling, he said to the man who did wrong, "Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?" The man did not like to be found fault with, so he answered Moses, "Who made thee a judge over us? Dost thou intend to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian yesterday?" Moses was surprised at this answer; he had hid the Egyptian's body in the sand, and thought that no one knew anything of the murder, so that now he was more frightened