Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Exodus 2:1–6
The story of Moses is a story set in oppression and slavery; an oppressed minority group, the killing of male babies so that they could not grow up and fight for justice; eyes that see injustice and people who are willing to step into the danger of fighting the injustice. Moses had no choice in where and when he would be born, but he was born into a system that demanded he died. Moses’ mother had a choice and she chose to defy the systems of power and to trust God whatever might result. Pharaoh’s daughter had a choice when faced with the discovery of a hebrew baby knowing her fathers edict that he should be killed, and she chose to defy her father’s unjust order and step into the danger of fighting for justice if just for this one little baby.
What risk did Moses’ mom and Pharaoh’s daughter face? What would have been the consequences if they had not chosen to reject their own safety and stand up for a baby who could not stand up for himself. Could there have been others before them who faced with the same choices made different discussions and are now unknown, the injustice allowed to continue, maybe another baby boy dead? One of my favorite stories in scripture is the story of the Good Samaritan. The Rev. Dr. Marin Luther King preached a famous sermon where he addressed what it was that would cause good people to ignored mercy and pass the injured man while a despised outcast could enter with mercy and rescue him. He said the difference was fear. He said:
“I’m going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It’s possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho Road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road I said to my wife, ‘I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable.’ It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about twelve hundred miles, or rather, twelve hundred feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho fifteen or twenty minutes later, you’re about twenty-two feet below sea level. That’s a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the ‘Bloody Pass.’ And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking , and he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked, the first question that the Levite asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But then the Good Samaritan came by, and he reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”
What will happen to him if I don’t stop?
What will happen to her if I don’t stop?
What will happen to the little baby if I don’t stop?
Oh, it might be easier and safer if I keep going, but maybe I was allowed to see this so that I could stop — even if their is fear in the stopping. Becoming justice seekers requires that we step into fear, embolden by the one who promises to cast out all fear. Becoming justice seekers requires us to ask not what will happen to me if I stop, but what will happen to the other if I don’t.
At Creekside we partner with a number of organizations that are about bringing justice to the abused. One of these organizations, International Justice Mission, seeks to end modern day slavery. To do so, they need people around the world to see the injustice and to stop because of what will happen if they don’t. Explore how you might be involved and add your name to the list of people calling for justice by clicking here.
Peace, hope and love,