Theme: God has a plan for you.
Key Verse: Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Do you ever wonder what your life will be like?
- Where you will go to college?
- What you will be when you grow up?
- Who you will marry?
- Where you will live?
Do you know that God already has that figured out? Even before you were born, he knew what you would look like and what you would be like and what you would become.
How do we know this? The Bible tells us in Psalm 139:16 (NIV) – “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
You’re not the only one God had great plans for. He also had great plans for a baby named Moses. The Israelites needed to be rescued from slavery in Egypt, so God created Moses to do it.
Miriam huddled on her sleeping mat with her face against the wall. Mama had told her not to look, but it was so hard.
Mama screamed. Having a baby wasn’t easy.
“It won’t be long now,” the midwife said.
Would it be a boy or a girl? Miriam wondered.
They were praying for a girl. If it was a boy, he would be killed. Pharaoh, the king, had said that every Israelite baby boy must be thrown into the Nile River.
Because Pharaoh was afraid of the Israelites. The Israelites had moved to Egypt during a terrible famine when Joseph was alive. But 400 years later, there were so many Israelites in Egypt, Pharaoh feared that if a war broke out, the Israelites would join the enemy and fight against them.
So, he wanted to stop the Israelites from increasing.
He came up with Evil Plan #1. “I’ll make those Israelites my slaves. They will work hard for me in the hot sun. They’ll make bricks and build cities for me. That will get rid of some of them.”
So, the Israelites became slaves. Strong men used whips to make them work hard. They were exhausted.
But instead of getting rid of the Israelites, more babies were born.
So, Pharaoh came up with Evil Plan #2: He told the midwives who delivered the babies to kill all the baby boys.
But the midwives didn’t. Instead, they protected them.
So, Pharaoh came up with Evil Plan #3: This plan was even worse. He said that every Israelite baby boy had to be thrown into the Nile and drowned.
That’s why Miriam wanted a girl. She didn’t want their baby to die.
The next thing Miriam heard was a baby’s cry.
“It’s a boy!” the midwife said.
No! This was the worst possible news.
After the midwife cleaned the baby, Mother called, “Come, Miriam. Come see your new little brother.”
Miriam ran to her mother’s side. Mother cradled the wee bundle. Father squatted beside her, looking on with joy.
Miriam looked into the baby’s face. He was beautiful. He was perfect. She loved him instantly. She didn’t want him to die.
Miriam looked at her mother. “Is he going to die?”
“But the Egyptians will throw him in the Nile.”
“No, they won’t. I’m going to hide him.”
“But how can you hide a baby? Won’t he cry?”
“Babies sleep a lot. I believe God will help us.”
And He did. For three months, they hid the baby. Whenever he almost cried, Mother would feed him.
But then he didn’t sleep as much. He made more noises. It was impossible to keep him quiet.
“What do we do now?” Miriam asked.
“God has given me a plan,” Mother said. “Find me a covered basket about this long.” She held out her hands the length of the baby.
Miriam brought her a papyrus basket. Mother coated the outside with tar and pitch.
“What are you doing?” Miriam asked.
“I’m making it waterproof.”
“This basket is going to float in the Nile River.”
“Huh?” Was Mother crazy?
When the basket was ready, they laid little baby brother in it and covered him up.
“Come with me.” Mother picked up the basket.
Miriam followed her to the banks of the Nile where cattails and reeds grew thick.
Mother parted the cattails and placed the basket into the water. The basket could not float away because the cattails held it in place.
“You’re not going to leave him there, are you?” Miriam asked.
“But why? Why would you throw your baby away?”
“I’m not. I’m trying to save his life. This is where the princess, Pharaoh’s daughter, comes to bathe. I’m hoping she will see our baby, fall in love with him, and rescue him.”
That didn’t sound like a good plan to Miriam. The Pharaoh’s daughter was an Egyptian. She might kill the baby instead.
“I believe this is what God wants us to do to save his life,” Mother said. “Now, Miriam, I want you to hide here behind this tree and watch that nothing bad happens to him.”
Then Mother was gone, and Miriam was alone.
She was scared. She didn’t know what to do. The baby was sleeping now, but what if he woke up and cried? What if he was hungry? Would Mother just let him starve? This did not seem like a good plan at all.
But Miriam waited and watched. She waited and waited.
Some women, dressed in flowing gowns, walked down the hill to the river. Just then, the baby cried.
The princess held up her hand. “What is that?”
“It sounds like a baby crying,” another said.
“You, girl,” the princess said to a slave girl. “Find the baby.”
The girl walked to the water’s edge. She parted the reeds. The baby’s cries were louder. It didn’t take her long to find the basket.
The slave girl dragged the basket out of the water and carried it to the princess.
By now the baby’s cries were deafening. The princess took off the lid. “Oh, isn’t he precious?” She lifted out the baby, and he stopped crying. “Look at him. I’ve never seen such a beautiful baby. He must be one of those Israelite babies.”
She turned to the slave. “He’s hungry. Find someone to feed him.”
Mother’s plan had worked.
Miriam came out from behind the tree. “I know a woman who can feed the baby for you. Shall I get her?”
“Yes, go quickly,” the princess said as the baby started to cry again.
Miriam raced home and burst into the house. “Mother, Mother, the Princess found our baby! She wants you to feed him for her.”
Mother’s eyes glistened. “Praise the Lord! God is saving our baby boy.”
When Mother and Miriam walked back to the ladies, the princess said, “Here, take the baby and feed him. I will pay you. This baby will be my son. Bring him back to me when he is older, and he will live in the palace with me.”
So Miriam’s mother took her own baby home again and took care of him until he was old enough to live with the princess in the palace. And the princess named the baby Moses.
But even though Moses was safe, God’s people, the Israelites, were still in trouble. They were still slaves. As Moses grew to be a man, life for the Israelites grew worse. They prayed and prayed, asking God to free them from slavery. God heard their prayers. He had a plan to set them free. And guess who was a part of that plan? Moses! This baby would grow up to be the very person God would use to free His people from slavery.
God’s plan was for Moses to save the Israelites from slavery, and God has a plan for you too.
Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
You can trust God’s plan to be what is best for you.