Yeshua: A Prophet Like Moses
Part I—Preserved in Childhood
by Gary O'Neal
(Exodus 1:2; Hebrews 11:23; Matthew 1:2; Acts 3, 7)
Moses was born at a time when Israel endured cruel bondage. Almost 400 years had past since the time Jacob and his family went to Egypt, and the Egyptian slave masters oppressed the Israelites with forced labor, day in and day out.
Out of fear that the Israelites would become too strong, Pharaoh commanded that all the male Hebrew babies were to be drowned in the Nile. Out of the fear of God, however, the midwives would not obey. One particular child, Moses, born to a family of Levites, was kept hidden until he was three months old.
The scripture, Hebrews 11:23 says, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's edict.” Acts 7:20 affirms that there was something special about Moses. It refers to him as “lovely in the sight of God.”
Moses’ parents perceived that there was something special about this child. Their convictions gave them the courage to overcome the fear of Pharaoh, and ignore his command. They kept the child safe—in the security of their living faith in the Lord their God. They trusted God. They understood in their hearts that faith is a quiet assurance of God’s control, not the absence of conflict or danger.
Isaiah knew that faith was a necessary virtue. In Isaiah 30:15, he declared, “in quietness and trust is your strength.” David affirmed the value of strong faith. “Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.” (Psalm 27:3) It was with this same rock solid faith that Moses’ parents hid him. For, in their hearts, they were confident that God had a plan.
At God’s appointed time Moses was set afloat in the Nile River, secured in a waterproofed basket that was coated with tar and pitch. This basket was a special type of basket. The Hebrew word used here for basket, tebah, is only used to describe one other item in the Bible—the ark that Noah built!
As the ark (tebah) that Noah constructed and coated with pitch saved his family from a watery death by the will of God, so Moses, by the will of God, was preserved from a watery death in the Nile by the basket (tebah) coated with pitch. In reality Moses’ little basket pointed forward to a much greater type of “ark of salvation!”
Miriam, Moses’ sister, secretly observed the basket traveling down the river until Moses was rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter. At that point, Miriam offered to get the baby a nurse from among the Hebrews. Pharaoh’s daughter, recognizing the baby to be a Hebrew, claimed him as her own, but had favor on Miriam and agreed.
Unknown to Pharaoh’s daughter, Miriam brought Moses’ mother to care for the child. God’s grace was with Moses, as he grew up in his real mother’s care. At the same time, Moses was given the opportunity to benefit from the best kind of education possible. Scripture reports that, "Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.” (Acts 7:22)
God’s plan was progressing. For, He had a divine purpose. He had preserved Moses’ life to satisfy His purpose of bringing deliverance to His people.
Yeshua was born in Bethlehem, also during a time of turmoil for Israel. Rome had occupied the land since 37 B.C., and there had been no prophetic word for close to 400 years. Many Jews in Israel were looking for a political messiah to free them from Roman oppression.
Yeshua’ mother, Mary, engaged to be married—but a virgin, was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Through a series of angelic and prophetic confirmations, Yeshua’ earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, recognized that Yeshua was no ordinary child.
After Yeshua’ birth, Magi from the east inquired in Jerusalem where the “King of the Jews” was to be born. Upon hearing of the Magi’s visit, King Herod feared for his throne. He learned from the chief priests and teachers of the law that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem (according to Micah 5:2).
Just as Pharaoh had decreed the death of all male children among the Israelite population in Egypt, Herod too decreed the deaths of all male children in Bethlehem two years old and younger, as determined by the time the Magi arrived. An angel appeared in a dream to Joseph, warning him to take his family and flee to Egypt. In faith, Joseph obeyed. The Deliverer was preserved.
Interestingly, where Hosea 11:1 reads, “And out of Egypt I have called my son,” it refers to God calling the Children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt by the hand of Moses. This parallels Matthew 2:15; God calling Yeshua out of the safe haven of Egypt, in order that he may deliver his people—Jew and Gentile—from the bondage of sin.
What a remarkable plan from God’s compassionate heart! Moses was preserved as a child to deliver the Israelites from physical slavery to the Egyptians. This event would foreshadow a time when God’s own son, Yeshua, would be preserved in Egypt in order that He might give His life, and call both Jew and Gentile to Himself through the forgiveness of sin, and deliverance from spiritual bondage.
“For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” (Colossians 1:19-22)
What a gift we have been given—His eternal deliverance, His divine redemption, His loving reconciliation. God’s invitation echoes to all hearts to receive His wonderful gift. Thank you, Father, for preserving Moses for the testimony; for preserving Yeshua for our salvation; and preserving our life in Him for eternity!
Scripture references taken from the NASB (New American Standard Bible).