Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Joy Pople
A Leader Is Born
Exodus 1 & 2
After Jacob's name was changed to Israel, his children were called Israelites, or Hebrews. Their descendants lived in Egypt, in the land of Goshen, for more than 400 years. And they grew in number until they became strong nation.
Both Joseph and the Pharaoh who supported him had been dead a long time. A new Pharaoh became afraid of the Israelites. He thought, "There are too many Israelites. Soon there will be more Israelites than Egyptians. If an enemy invades they might turn against us."
So he put slave masters over the Israelites and made them build big cities. But the more the Israelites were oppressed the more they multiplied.The Egyptians became afraid of the Israelites and made their lives bitter with hard work.
Pharoah told the midwives, who helped deliver babies, to kill all the boy babies. But the midwives believed in God and did not harm the babies. They told Pharaoh that the Hebrew women gave birth before the midwives arrived. More and more babies were born to the Hebrews.
Then Pharaoh told his people to throw every Hebrew baby boy into the Nile River, and let only the baby girls live.
A man from the tribe of Levi named Amram married a woman from the same tribe named Jochebed. During this dangerous time, she gave birth to a baby boy. When she saw that he was a fine child she hid him for three months. But when she could no longer hide the baby, she got a basket and coated it with tar. Then she placed the baby in the basket and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. Her daughter Miriam stood at a distance, waiting to see what would happen.
Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile River to bathe. As she and her servants were walking along the river, she saw the basekt among the reeds and sent a servant to get it. The princess opened the basket and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said.
Then Miriam came and asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?"
"Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother.
Pharaoh's daughter said to the woman, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took her baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter, who raised him as her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water."
From his mother, Moses learned about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the palace he was educated as a prince of Egypt. As the boy grew to manhood, he did not forget his own people, the Israelites.
Whenever Moses left the palace, he saw his people being mistreated. One day, he went out to where his people were working and watched them. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. Moses had been raised as an Egyptian, but his heart was with his own people, and he could not stand to see them mistreated. Looking in every direction and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.
The next day Moses went out again and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one who had started the fight, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?"
The man answered, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Moses became afraid.
Moses had taken a great risk to defend his people. But instead of trusting Moses as their defender, the Israelites reported what he had done to the government. God had prepared Moses to lead the Israelites back to Canaan, and if the people had united with Moses, God could have led them directly to Canaan in a few weeks. But since the people could not unite with Moses, God's plan was delayed.
Pharaoh heard what happened, and he tried to kill Moses. Moses escaped from Egypt and went east into the wilderness.
Joy Pople (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote this Bible story from the standpoint of the Divine Principle.
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