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Parents Who Hide

The late Rodney Dangerfield made a mint on his "can't get no respect" routines. According to him, the lack of respect started with his parents. He said, "The time I got lost on the beach a cop helped me look for my parents. I said to him, 'Do you think we'll find them?' He said, 'I don't know, kid. There's so many places they could hide.'" What parent of young children hasn't wanted to hide from their kids at least once or twice?! Being a parent is rewarding and wonderful, but is also one of the most difficult and demanding jobs on earth when done conscientiously. The huge investments of emotion and energy (and money!) required to parent one or more children can make you want to hide, at least a little while!

The Bible tells about a mom and a dad who hid — not themselves, but the child! The child was Moses, and Hebrews 11:23 gives this brief statement about the incident: By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command." Wow! There's a whole lot of faith and parenting packed into that single Bible verse! Exodus 6:20 identifies Moses's dad as Amram and his mother as Jochebed. We don't know much about them except that they were Moses' parents and that they took the bold, dramatic action described to protect their child's well-being. The factors that motivated them to hide their baby are found in Exodus chapters 1-2 (which is very dramatic reading). Moses wasn't born into a child-friendly society. Egypt's head of state (Pharaoh) had decreed every male child born to Hebrew slaves was to be killed by drowning in the Nile River. What a good Pharoah, and a nice place to raise kids, huh? How would you like to be a parent in a place whose official policy was to just kill off a certain segment of the population, in this case new-born baby boys? Just pull him from the mother's womb and hurl him into the Nile River. Cruel and barbaric? You bet. Maybe officials softened it up by calling it "population control." But, compassionate people that we are, modern Americans will not accept the barbaric practice of infanticide, thank God. No, we are very concerned about children and prosecute those who physically abuse them in any way. Except that we kill babies in large numbers before they are born, and sanitize it by calling it choice and labeling it as a "reproductive right" and a "woman's right to choose." But I digress. What is a parent to do in a culture like ancient Egypt where Moses' very life was threatened by political, cultural, and moral forces and practices beyond the power of his parents control? Their answer was to hide him! And the Holy Spirit moved the Bible writer to record they did that by faith." The world has not forgotten and cannot forget that a powerful, remarkable man named Moses walked on this earth and accomplished seemingly impossible things. And he did it in spite of his government's hostile opposition and policies. But while we are thanking God for Moses, we must not forget to thank God for his remarkable parents whose faith in God moved them to hide him from an awful fate. Thank God for every parent who hides!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ