Trusting the Lord: Three Lessons from Moses’ Mother


You’re probably familiar with Moses, the Old Testament prophet who helped free the Israelites from their captivity in Egypt.

You might also remember the circumstances surrounding Moses’ birth. The Egyptian Pharaoh, concerned about the population growth of his Israelite slaves, ordered that every newborn Israelite boy be put to death.

Moses’ mother managed to hide him for three months. Three months that must have been precious but extremely stressful – Pharaoh was scouring Egypt for babies and babies make a lot of noise!

For whatever reason, things couldn’t continue as they had. The situation required her to act or instead be acted upon.

So she gently tucked Moses into a home-made basket that she then placed in the river. (see Exodus 2)

Wait – she did what?!

When I heard this story as a child, I never once even thought to question the mother’s judgement. Now that I have children of my own, it occurs to me what a difficult and dangerous thing she did.

That said, I am positive she acted under divine inspiration (though she might not have known it at the time). I also feel confident Moses’ mother trusted in the Lord, hoping and praying for his divine assistance.

But can you imagine the fear of the unknown? The second-guessing? And if anybody else knew about her actions, the fear of judgement? (“So you’d rather let your son die slowly, is that it?” “At least I tried to flee with my son before the guards got to him.”)

So what happened to Moses? While bathing in the river, Pharaoh’s daughter found the child. She was enamored with the chubby cuteness, and Moses became the exception: he not only lived, but became the Pharaoh’s daughter’s adopted son and the person who would forever change the lives of the captive Israelites.

All because of a mother who decided to trust the Lord and do something (seemingly) crazy.

As I’ve thought more about what I can learn from Moses’ mother, I have arrived at three important lessons on trusting the Lord.

1. You may have to do some additional work. After Moses’ mother acted against reason and put Moses in the river, she had Moses’ sister Miriam keep watch over the baby as he lay in the basket. When Pharaoh’s daughter arrived at the scene, Miriam was perfectly positioned to ask Pharaoh’s daughter if she needed someone to nurse the baby – she knew just the person for the job!

2. Things will work out, but not necessarily in the way you hoped. Moses’ mother would doubtlessly have preferred that Pharaoh change his mind about killing the Israelites’ sons, but things eventually worked out all right: she got paid for nursing her son in her own home. Even so, she eventually had to return Moses to Pharaoh’s daughter.

3. You may turn out to be one of the “other” Israelites. I’m referring to the men and women who prayed to the Lord to deliver their sons from the Pharaoh’s edict, but who lost them anyway. If you find yourself in their midst, remember that you will one day be delivered. Your Moses – The Redeemer of Israel, Jesus Christ – will free you and compensate you for every loss.

Just trust in Him.


  1. Yes, what an incredible story this is. And I so appreciated thinking about it more deeply, especially now that I’m a mother. You last point was particularly touching.

    • angelicahagman says:

      Thanks, Erica! Being a mother certainly changes your perspective on things. (and you know how I love reading on your blog about your particular perspective!)

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