Lesson Nineteen



Memory Verse: Exodus 4:12
Further Study: Exodus 1-6; Patriarchs and Prophets: pp. 241-263; The Story of Redemption: pp. 105-116; The Bible Story, vol. 2, pp. 75-105

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the boy who had his hand stuck in a vase. Wanting to free the boy without breaking the vase posed a problem. Various attempts failed until it was discovered that the boy was holding a penny in his fist. Not wanting to lose his precious find, he held on tightly. Only after much coaxing did he open his hand dropping the penny. Of course, not only did he have his freedom, but upending the vase, the penny as well.

Jochebed teaches a similar lesson. I’m fairly certain that the last thing she wanted to do was leave her 3-month-old floating on the Nile River. But her faith allowed her to let go of her son. In so doing, God gave him back, and only in a matter of hours. What do we hold tightly in our hearts or our hands that if we let go, God would be allowed to bless us in more ways than we can imagine?

What do we hold tightly in our hearts or our hands that if we let go, God would be allowed to bless us in more ways than we can imagine? 


I once had a job where I was successful. There was only one problem. I was bored. I set my eyes on another job that appeared more interesting. When the opportunity presented itself, I went for it. It was a mistake, and a hard lesson—one that lingers with me even today. Moses, seeing injustice, decided to put himself in the position of deliverer—one Egyptian at a time. He decided to do things his way instead of God’s. Jumping ahead or rewriting God’s plan can place us in circumstances God never intended. Waiting on God may be hard to do, but a lesson, like Moses, we must learn. 

Waiting on God may be hard to do, but a lesson, like Moses, we must learn.


Moses, shoeless and troubled, kneels in front of the burning bush begging that someone else serve as the deliverer. God then asks: “What is in your hand?” For Moses, it was a shepherd’s rod. Nothing special, but it became the tool he would use to free a nation. The same question echoes down the millennia. What is in your hand? What has God given that can be used for His kingdom? Only an individual can answer such a personal question, but the response, when used with and for God, can become the means of serving in mighty and miraculous ways.

Letting go. Letting God. Serving Him. In these we are renewed.

Digging Deeper 

My daughter has been teaching English in one of our Adventist schools. She taught a unit on “Identity” using various methods as a way to allow the teenagers in her classroom to explore the answer to the question: Who am I? While it seems a simple question, for them it proved to be challenging. 

Moses could certainly be forgiven if he had an identity crisis. He was raised by his mother for 12 years (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 244). An additional 38 years was spent being raised by his adopted mother in the palaces of Egypt. Compare for a moment what that might have meant in his environment, food, clothing, entertainment, and faith. The riches of the most powerful country in the world contrasted with the slave’s cabin and lifestyle. 

But look what happens when Moses goes on a walkabout in Egypt (Ex. 3:11). The Bible says he went out to “see his brethren and looked at their burdens.” He saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite (v. 11), again “one of his brethren.” Moses seems clear on who he is—he’s an Israelite. He identifies with God’s people. Further reading in Hebrews affirms this: 

“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,  esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26).

It went a little deeper than identity for Moses. Acts 7:23-25 reveals even more about this story:

“Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.” 

Recognizing oneself as a child of God is only half of the equation. Accepting His will and desire for our lives, in His way, with His timing, is how we arrive at contentment.

Making it Real

The early life of Moses has much for us to contemplate. Consider these questions:

  1. As a parent, in what ways can you give your child back to God each day?
  2. If you had to answer the question, Who am I?, what would be your response?
  3. What things, talents, or blessings are “in your hand” that can be used by God today?


Respond & Share

Complete this sentence: I am __________________________.

Share your answers in the comments.


Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.


Coming next week:

Based on Psalm 91:10; Exodus 7:1-12:33;
Patriarchs and Prophets: pp. 263-280;
The Story of Redemption: pp. 116-119; The Bible Story, vol. 2, pp. 106-120


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