The Call of God (Hebrews 11), Part 13

Mses' toes

The Trustworthy Nature of ‘Vox Dei’.

“By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict” (Hebrews 11:23).

Taking refuge in Egypt had backfired. The famine in Canaan c.1500 B.C. was nothing compared to the cruel bondage the Hebrew people now experienced in Egypt. For four generations Pharaoh’s taskmasters had drowned out any sound of God’s call in the Israelites’ ears. The oppression had become unbearable. Then pharaoh published his decree: ‘All male Hebrew infants must be aborted—must perish in the river Nile.’

Perhaps it was the shocking nature of the edict that awoke the pregnant Jochebed and her husband Amram to the distant memory of God’s call upon their forefather and people, Israel. “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring,” the LORD had promised. “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you…” God had pledged.

So when their baby was born, Jochebed and Amram saw much more than a nameless, forbidden infant slated by the Egyptians for drowning. They saw a child of promise—one of the offspring of Israel, through whom God had vowed to bless all people. Defying Pharaoh’s command by hiding the baby was the natural response for two who valued God’s call over all others’.

We don’t know if any other Hebrew parents were also listening to God in the midst of their suffering. We don’t know if they, too, clung steadfastly to God’s promises or whether they had let the memory of His call slip quietly into obscurity through carelessness, bitterness or disbelief. Those who choose to follow God’s quiet leading often walk a lonely path.

We do know how prone we are to become deaf to God’s call when things don’t go as we had hoped or planned or felt God ought to allow. We know the argument: ‘It goes against reason to listen to a God who allows suffering to come into people’s lives.’ But there is a truer argument—one that Jochebed and Amram chose to believe and act upon, one that argues ‘God’s Word is faithful, even when everything seems to point against it and Him.’

Acting on this premise positioned Jochebed and Amram to make a creative decision. They hid their baby in the one place no soldier could ever look: the bathing pool of Pharaoh’s daughter. Washing led to finding, and—for the soft-hearted princess—finding led to adopting, naming and raising the baby Moses in the very household of the infanticidal Pharaoh. The word of Egypt’s most powerful leader was indeed no match for the call and purpose of God.

“ ‘Vox temporis’ (the voice of the times),” quotes Os Guinness of Thomas Oden, “is no more trustworthy than ‘vox populi’ (the voice of the people) when set against ‘vox dei’ (the voice of God).” Trustworthy, life-giving, loving and faithful is the call of God on every life, on yours and mine as it was on Moses’. The Scriptures are full of that call. The determining question is, will we be deaf and blind to it, following the edicts of the status quo, or will we step out in faith that God’s Word and call give life?

God’s Word over and over again reiterates the refrain that our lives are not ordinary; we are called by God to live extraordinary lives, lives led by God.

“Nothing will change your life,” observes author Tim Keller, “like hearing the voice of God through the Scripture(s).” Hear vox dei and live.

(Photo Credit: Retrieved from https://www.oneforisrael.org/bible-based-teaching-from-israel/the-mysterious-case-of-moses-parents/)

 

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