In this passage, we see how women played significant roles surrounding the birth and growth of Moses. Were it not for the courage and compassion of these women, the story of Exodus would not be.
First, the midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: they feared God and disobeyed Pharaoh’s decree, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” By shrewdly avoiding this cruel and inhumane decree, the midwives were later rewarded by the LORD to have their own family.
Second, Moses’ mother: she also defied Pharaoh’s order, “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.” and nursed him for 3 months. She was later given a little consolation by being able to care for Moses until he was fully weaned, knowing at least he would be alive.
Third, Moses’ sister (Miriam): she watched the fate of Moses afar. She took advantage of the situation to have Moses nursed by his own mother.
Then lastly but not the least, the Pharaoh’s daughter: she, too, defied her own father’s order. “She opened it (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 she decided to adopt him as her son.
The LORD was not only on the side of Israelites but also there is some irony here. The Pharaoh intended to annihilate the Hebrews and yet his plan was thwarted by his own people, most significantly by his own daughter.
Psalm 124 seems like singing about the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, but it is also referring to Moses when he was 3 months old. He could have been drowned there. He was drawn out of water as one comes out of baptism. We symbolically die during the baptism, but we come out alive escaping the Death. We are not always aware how close we are to death. Yet, only by the will of our LORD, we wake up in the morning, as if “we have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!” So each day when we wake up, we are given a new life as a free person – how should we spend our day?