Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Second Greatest Ark

By Mary Vee
Exodus 2:3-4

The first great ark mentioned was Noah's ark.  Years later, a much smaller ark, able to hold only one baby, saved an entire nation. Through this nation, our Messiah was born.

Jochebed woke to the her baby's coo.  "You wake me with a song, little one." She scooped him into her arms and pressed him against her body.  She wrapped her finger around his tiny hand. "Yahweh, please protect him."

Her husband had left for work already.  Amram and Jochebed couldn't afford to arouse any suspicions with the neighbors or soldiers.  If the Egyptian soldiers knew their son was alive, they would murder him--like all the other Israelite baby boys.

"Yahweh has taught you to be quiet." A hand touched her shoulder.  She turned toward her daughter. "Miriam, you're awake?"

"Yes, can I hold him?"  Miriam reached for her baby brother.  "I can keep him quiet."

Jochebed sat in the chair. She watched Miriam dance with her little brother and hum her special song for him.  When the song ended, Jochebed stood and sighed.  "It is time.  Are you ready?"

"I'll carry his ark."  Miriam grabbed her shawl and wrapped it around the tiny ark and her body.

Jochebed raised her chin and flung her shawl around her little son and her body.  "Stay close. No one must notice us. Put soiled clothes in the ark so it looks like we going to the river to wash them. Drip the material over the side to hide the pitch."

Miriam ran to prepare the ark.  "I'm ready.  Are you sure this will work?  Will Yahweh save my brother?"

Jochebed rubbed her sons smooth head. "Yahweh loves your brother.  He will do what is best."  She opened the door and looked outside then motioned Miriam to follow.

The two walked down the village street like they would for any other laundry day.  They talked along their journey and lowered their heads when a soldier came near, as was expected.  Deep inside, Jochebed's heart pounded.  Her daughter and baby son kept the secret.  I am so blessed.  Thank you, Yahweh.

Once Jochebed reached the river, she pulled back the bulrushes.  She glanced to her left and right. "No one is here, yet.  Good. Miriam, dump the soiled clothes on the ground and set the ark in the shallow water."

"I will."  She scooped the clothes out onto bent leaves.  "It's ready."

Jochebed uncovered her baby.  "Sleep now, little one.  Yahweh will protect you." She gently laid him in the ark and stroke his face. "I will always love you."  She stepped into the water and steadied the ark. He cooed one more time, yawned and closed his eyes. Jochebed set the lid on top and pushed the ark into the current.

A tear dripped down her cheek. "Yahweh, send him safely to a home."   Jochebed turned back to Miriam.  "He will be safe."

"Can I watch him, now?"

"Yes.  I'll wash the clothes in the river.  Stay hidden in the bulrushes."

Miriam weaved through the shore plants out of her mother's sight.  Jochebed pulled the first soiled cloth and soaked it in the river.  She glanced up from her work in time to see the little ark float away.

******
God had a special plan for this baby.  Soldiers managed to kill all the other Israelite baby boys, but they missed this one. Pharaoh allowed the older boys to live. He decided to only kill the male babies. Despite his decision, God stepped in and made a way for this baby to live. How do you think Jochebed knew to make an ark for her son?  How did Jochebed and Miriam successfully travel with the baby and the ark to the river? Do you know what name would be given to this baby? Write your answers in the comment box.

Several weeks ago in this blog, Joseph told his brothers, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive." Genesis 50:20.  Pharaoh and the soldiers meant  the killing of the babies for evil, but God had a good, in order that the Israelite nation would see their need to leave Egypt, follow a leader chosen by God, and go home.

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