Exodus 1:1-2:4; 6:20
Joseph’s family moved to Egypt where they lived there for hundreds of years. As they grew, Joseph’s family became known as the Israelites, or Hebrews. Four hundred years after Joseph brought his family to Egypt, a mean pharaoh ruled the land. He did not like the Israelites and made them all into slaves. Then, he ordered that every Hebrew baby boy should be killed!
One mother of a little boy tried everything to keep her son alive. He was a beautiful baby with the wisest dark eyes. For three months she managed to keep the baby hidden but she knew time was running out.
“There must be something we can do to save him.” She cried to her husband. Night after night they prayed for an idea and their children, Miriam and Aaron, prayed with them.
Then the family had an idea, the mother wove a basket together out of reeds. The basket became a little boat. They took the baby and wrapped him in soft blankets and laid him into the basket. Miriam and her mother brought the basket down to the river and gently placed it in the water.
“Watch him Miriam.” The mother said.
God had heard the prayers of the baby’s family. He had very special plans for that boy. As the basket floated down the river one of the pharaoh’s daughters, a princess chose just that moment to go for a swim. The princess stood in the water as she laughed with her servants. The sun shone and the birds seemed to laugh with her. The princess splashed one of her maids and soon the girls were throwing water, giggling and chasing each other.
Suddenly, one of the servants saw the basket. “Princess, come look what the river has brought us.” Sshe called. She carried the basket up to the shore and laid it on the sand.
“Ahh.” The girls sighed. There, inside the basket was a beautiful baby who’d kicked off his blanket and was crying.
“He must be a Hebrew boy.” The princess said.
She knew about her father’s order to kill the Hebrew boys and that just made this baby all the more precious. “He’s so hungry, isn’t there anything we can give him?”
Miriam had been watching and praying, she wanted the princess to save her little brother. Now she ran up to the princess. “I know a Hebrew woman who could feed him. Do you want me to get her?”
“Yes, once he’s old enough to eat on his own, you can bring him back to me.”
So the baby went back to his family and his parents, his brother and sister all loved and took care of him. They thanked God for answering their prayers. When the baby was about three years old, his family brought him back to the princess. She smiled at him. “This boy will be my very own son.”
As Moses grew older, he learned that he was a Hebrew, not Egyptian. Whenever he saw how his people were treated like slaves, he felt angry.
“It’s not fair.” he cried to the princess.
She said, “We can’t question what Pharaoh does. He is king.”
The years went by and Moses became a grown man. One day, he was walking in the streets when he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave.
“No!” he yelled. He hit him hard and pushed his head up against a wall and the Egyptian fell dead in the sand where Moses hid him.
The next day Moses saw two Hebrews fighting. “Don’t.” he said to one of them. “Why are you hitting him?”
The Hebrews looked at Moses’ fine clothes, they laughed at him. “Who are you to tell us not to fight; didn’t you just kill an Egyptian yesterday?” They laughed. They knew as soon as Pharaoh heard what Moses had done Moses would be killed. Moses grew afraid.
“If these two slaves know I killed that Egyptian, who else might know?” He wondered.”I must leave Egypt, and quickly.”