The Abandoned Child & the Basket Case!
The stories of great men and women usually don’t start off with great wealth, strength, name, or fame. We read about them as people who struggled a great length before they became famous or holy. They worked hard at it and of course, God, and others helped them through life situations.
Abandoned child stories of the ancient world have definitely influenced the story of Moses, for sure. So, what’s the real story here?
Moses's story starts with the insecurity of a Pharoah. He commands all infants to be killed so that his kingdom or his power is secure. Exod 1: 16-22. In the story of Moses, we read his mom hid him in a basket, his sister watched over him from the bushes and the Pharoah’s daughter saved him from the water. God uses, as we read in the Bible, this situation to bring Moses under the protection of Egypt’s ruler until his time was up.
These kinds of stories were common in the literature from Mesopotamia, Canaan, Greece, Egypt, Rome, and India. There are over 30 such stories found in these cultures. We see stories of children abandoned, and rulers protecting them. The Sargon Birth Legend of Mesopotamia is close to the story we read in the Bible. Check it out sometime.
But the difference in the story of Moses, unlike the stories we hear in the other cultures, is that he eventually leaves the safety, security, and comfort that he came to enjoy to follow God’s call. He became poor, and a slave, so that he understands the suffering of those who went through such experience. Moses is not like the rest of the Near Eastern World heroes. While the Israelites embraced identical cultural norms and stories to tell their story, Moses’ story stands in stark contrast to all of them by actually letting go of the comfort of the world. In fact, Moses’ response to God sets him apart from the rest of the cultural figures.
May be we all have a lesson here to let go of things that don't help us to live into the purpose of God.