March 14, 2023

by Barbara Lane Geistfeld, D.V.M., Assistant Director of Volunteer Relations

“Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, ‘Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.’ Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’ And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. 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’” (Exodus 1:22-2:10).

Have you ever given any thought to what was really happening here? We are talking the Nile River here, people. Crocodiles, stinging ants, and scorpions—ASPS!!  What was this mother thinking?!  She was trusting God, that’s what. She defied Pharoah and chose life for her child at great risk to her entire family.  She allowed herself to be a tool used by God’s hands to ensure the future of the Hebrew people—God’s chosen people. Miriam, the baby’s sister, was the clever tool God used to give the baby right back to his mother! Both did everything they could to ensure the life of this child. Because of their faithfulness, Moses’ mother was granted the unexpected blessing of holding him close in her arms, of nursing this special baby and raising him as her own, perhaps for as long as three years. Then she gave him up for adoption to Pharoah’s daughter—another tool in God’s hands. It is possible Moses’ mother never saw her son again.

Moses was a tool in God’s hands as well. Though he had committed murder, God continued to call him, lead him, and use him for mighty things. He became the (mostly unwilling) leader of the Israelites who, with the power of God, led them from slavery in Egypt to the borders of the Promised Land. Remember Moses saying in Exodus 4:13 after God shot down all his excuses, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else”? God did not send someone else, but He did send a helper—Moses’ brother Aaron—another tool.

And now God’s chosen people, His box of tools, includes anyone with faith in His Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. No Jew, no Greek, no slave, no free—He calls each one of us, through the life given to us in Jesus, to become a willing tool in His hands. He has blessed us with life so we can be used as tools to bless others with life. And one last thing—there is something really special about tools, if you stop to think about it. Tools get banged up, dinged up, bent, dull. They lose their shine. The paint wears off. They get rusty. But if it is a quality tool, especially one once owned by someone we love, we use it anyway. We clean it. We oil it. We sharpen it. We straighten it. We value it! And that’s how our God is with us, His beloved tools!  And that’s how He wants us to treat the other tools in His toolbox—our brothers and sisters in Christ! Because we are all valued as God’s tools and because one can never have too many tools, we continue to allow Him to use us to build His kingdom, one project at a time, one new child of God at a time. So, as we get dinged up, dulled, and bent—and we will—remember that our value comes from God who owns us, the One who is using us to build His kingdom. And some day we will all be shiny, new tools! You can count on it!