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Exodus 2:10

“When the child grew older, 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.’ ”

Question and answer 11 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism states that “God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.” This statement makes it clear that God is sovereign over whatsoever comes to pass, directing all things to accomplish His goals, though not in such a way that eliminates true creaturely agency. To put it another way, God’s rule operates in and through the choices and actions of human beings. Consequently, the Lord often remains hidden in each individual moment of history, and we can discern His providential guidance only by looking back over the course of months, years, even centuries. Miracles wherein God acts immediately and visibly are rare; more commonly, the Lord works invisibly through secondary causes such as our choices.

Various biblical stories make this plain. Perhaps the best example is the story of Esther, in which an amazing combination of seemingly chance events leads to the preservation of the Jews and the downfall of their enemies. The same kind of thing is going on in the rescue of Moses. Not only does an Egyptian “happen” upon the baby boy, but “coincidentally,” she is the princess, and by adopting him (Ex. 2:10), she will be able to provide him with invaluable training that will equip him well for the incredible call that God will put on his life (see ch. 3). Matthew Henry comments: “Those whom God designs for great services he finds out ways to qualify and prepare beforehand. Moses, by having his education in a court, is the fitter to be a prince and king in Jeshurun; by having his education in a learned court (for such the Egyptian then was) is the fitter to be an historian; and by having his education in the court of Egypt is the fitter to be employed, in the name of God, as an ambassador to that court.” By faith we see that none of what happened to Moses was a coincidence; all of it was the Lord’s working quietly behind the scenes to prepare His servant to lead His people out of Egypt. None of us will play the same kind of role as Moses, but if we trust in Christ alone, we are likewise the Lord’s servants. Thus, we can be sure that God allows our lives to unfold in ways that prepare us for our vocations.

The daughter of Pharaoh gave him the common Egyptian name Moses, which sounds like the Hebrew word for “drawing out” (2:10). His name reminded him—and us—forever of God’s marvelous, unseen hand of providence that saved him in order to prepare him.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

We do not always know what God is doing, but we can be sure that He is always working for His glory and for the good of His people (Rom. 8:28). If you trust in Christ and are worried this day about where your life is going, know that God will work everything together for your ultimate good. We do not have to know how He is doing this or what the end will be; all we need to do is trust the Lord and obey His revealed will—the Word of God.


For Further Study
  • 2 Samuel 22:40
  • Proverbs 21:1
  • Luke 1:80
  • Hebrews 13:20–21

Trouble in Ephesus

Moses Kills an Egyptian

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From the January 2022 Issue
Jan 2022 Issue